Pratibha ain’t the only woman to be empowered

BAPU SATYANARAYANA writes: Willy-nilly and for what it’s worth, Pratibha Patil‘s election as President of India has come to symbolise “women’s empowerment” in the 60th year of our country’s freedom from the British.

But what of the rest of the women folk?

What, for example, of India’s number one woman police officer, Kiran Bedi?

In ignoring her seniority, in ignoring her record, and in overlooking her credentials for the post of Commissioner of Police, Delhi, in favour of a rank junior, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has only exposed its empty rhetoric of “empowering women”.

Bedi’s fulmination against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is justified and only shows how far the PM has fallen from grace, and how increasingly his words carry little credibility. What could be more revealing than Bedi being shown the door despite her legitimate claims on the very day Patil was taking over despite all the question marks?

The overlooking of Bedi for the post is an issue that women’s organisations should take up, first and foremost. Hopefully, Bedi herself will take the fight to the “enemy camp”—the UPA government, inhabited by a pathetic and emasculated bunch of hangers-on whose only qualification is loyalty to the President of the Congress party over everything.