Perhaps the number 13 has stuck with Haryana this time. While results to the elections to the 13th state assembly have just been declared there is also something unprecedented which has happened. For the first time ever in the 47 year history of the green state, 13 woman MLA’s have been elected to office. While BJP has eight women elected members, Congress has three. Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal and Kuldeep Bishnoi’s Haryana Janhit Congress have one elected woman member each.
Till date, the highest number of women MLA’s elected to the Haryana assembly was 11 in 2005. This development has huge connotations in every regard be it political, sociological, societal and psychological. For centuries, Haryana has been the male bastion where all decisions are and need to be taken by a society steeped in complete patriarchy. In a state which has one of the country’s most skewed sex ratios at 879 females per 1000 males, this phenomenon is bound to have positive repercussions as now more and more women candidates will be fielded by political parties and the imbalance in representation is bound to contract majorly. However, it is now the onus of the elected women representatives to ensure that they work towards the improvement of health, education, sanitation and social status of other women from their state. It is also required of the elected representatives to voice their complete disapproval of the khap panchayats, which are an extension of the masochistic outlook of the state.
To kill a woman or a man who have fallen in love is not tantamount to murder, it is murder. Khaps, have for long been let off the hook in the absence of any strong articulators who can speak against them and bring them to book. The state which also has one of the highest numbers of illegal abortions in India also stands at crossroads from the kind of model that has been advocated by now Indian PM and former Gujarat CM Narendra Modi in the western Indian state. Gujarat is perhaps one of the safest states in India when it comes to ensuring safety for women. With eight out of the thirteen elected women MLA’s from BJP, it can be expected that Mr Modi’s thrust to ensure equality for women will get a huge fillip.