By SHUBHAJIT Chakraborty
Jaipur, March 7 – Rajasthan’s husbands are quite bright when it comes to run show in political arena! The spouses hold the key positions in Panchayat and husbands run the show from the background. Recently, Rajasthan government has notified husbands who dubbed “sarpanch patis” or “pradhan patis” and taken over the responsibilities of their wives, rendering the women mere puppets.
The order coincidentally has come when women’s reservation bill of 33 per cent seats in legislatures again prepare for fresh brewing.
In the order, the Rajasthan government asks women representatives not to pass their post to their family members under any circumstances. One who delegate her post to her husband or any other family members will face action under the Panchayati Raj Act.
Principal Secretary C.S. Rajan said: “We received a missive from the Union ministry of panchayati raj that men, especially husbands, should not interfere in the daily activities and financial matters of panchayats, which has been the case in several instances. Although Maharashtra was the first state to implement this directive, Rajasthan is bringing in this order to empower women and help them work independently.”
Social activists welcome the order but advise government to prepare intensive and innovative methods to prepare women to suit the posts. Most of the women do not have adequate skills and leadership quality to run a responsibility post.
Rupa Mangliani, a college lecturer associated with research on women sarpanches, said: “The ground reality is entirely different. There is bound to be a gap between the order and actual implementation. A new government order or rule is not enough to root out the malaise of males, especially husbands, putting forward the women sarpanches as showpieces and actually carrying out their activities.”
Before the Rajasthan High Court order that cancelled the 50 per cent quota for women in civic and local bodies, the panchayat election witnessed a large number of women sarpanchas in the state. The high court has already declared that those already elected would not be affected by the recent order.
Rajasthan High Court had yesterday cancelled the 50 per cent quota for women in civic and local bodies, but clarified that those already elected would not be affected.
Due to lack of education and skills most women who become sarpanches are forced to depend on family A sarpanch has to maintain at least 21 registers, look after 35 schemes and prepare the below poverty line list —tasks not easy for those with little formal education.
However, there are also exceptions that are not spoon-fed. Some work and think independently.
“Tribal women sarpanch in Udaipur and Dungarpur belt are more enlightened and aware of their duties and work independently,” Mangliani said.