CITIZENS APPEAL TO THE HONORABLE LAW MINISTER SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD

10th June 2019
To: Honourable Law Minster, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad

Namaskar!

Congratulations on your Lok Sabha victory and we welcome you as the Law Minister of India!
We write to you as a group of concerned women, men and from across India. We are a non partisan collective of citizens championing the cause of more women MPs and MLAs. We are ordinary citizens, some of us engineers, farmers, bankers, teachers, from various sections of society united in the commitment to a stronger Bharat, led by women and men.
We request that your Ministry draft a proposal or revise the old draft of Women’s Reservation Bill and place it in Parliament during this inaugural session for debate. As you know, the ruling BJP, your own party has promised it in the manifesto on page 32, item 14.

“Reservation for Women: Women’s welfare and development will be accorded high priority at all levels within the government and the  BJP is committed to 33% reservation in Parliament and State Assemblies through a constitutional amendment.” 

The Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has reiterated his commitment to a women-led India innumerable times.
Many other opposition parties have also promised women’s reservation in their manifestos, so it is clear that there is support for this across parties. In fact, several state governments including those led by the BJD in Odisha, TDP in Andhra Pradesh and several state governments led by the Congress have already passed resolutions to this effect in their state assemblies.
As a veteran Parliamentarian, you are well aware that this is not the first time any party is promising this, although it remains undelivered. You will agree that the women of this country have shown enormous patience, and that our demand is fair.

As one of the most powerful Ministers, you can change the fate of democracy in India, particularly the fate of half of India – its women. This election has seen more women voters than ever before, equalling the percentages of the male voters, and awarding your party a clear majority. We ask the newly elected government to represent this mandate by giving women a greater voice. While there have been multiple false starts on this bill, you can make history by seeing it through successfully. 

We ask that the Women’s Reservation Bill be drafted and tabled for discussion in Parliament this first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, sponsored by the  Law Ministry. 

We ask that you keep your promise to us. Thanking you!

Yours sincerely,
Concerned Citizens of India

Shakti is a non partisan women’s collective passionate about female leaders in politics. The long term objective is to enable more women to be elected as MLAs and MPs while being non partisan ourselves.Our ethos is to be inclusive of women from all sections of society interested in political leadership or in furthering other women’s political careers. We are embarking on a very exciting mission, perhaps never done in India before.The first event was held in Goa as a round table of women leaders and set the stage for the formation of the Goa state chapter of Shakti. The first national event was held in Bengaluru on Dec 8th, 2018 as a daylong dialogue with women leaders from political parties, intersectional researchers of gender, women pursuing careers in politics, grass roots activists working with women in local bodies, journalists and others. Actionable resolutions towards the 2019 elections and were formulated as group and the entire audience took a pledge to commit ourselves to this cause.
Shakti Resolutions

  1. Build a non partisan, national movement to demand political power for women.
  2. Launch Shakti in Delhi by February 2019 and kick start state caucuses.
  3. Exert public pressure on political parties for 50% tickets to women for 2019 Lok Sabha.
  4. Promote women candidates during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
  5. Demand passing a Women’s Representation Assurance Policy in the Winter Session of the Lok Sabha (2018), derived from the Women’s Reservation Bill discussions

Everyone committed to the cause of more gender just politics in India is welcome to join this group.