New Delhi, April 2: Pakistan and India have been nations in contrast but unlike India, where tokenism is a fad, Pakistan is making history in women's empowerment. And, again Sonia Gandhi has let down her party's women cadre.
A nation that barely managed to stay democratic with a duly elected government completing its term, for the first time in its history, two Pakistani tribal women are taking on the feudal lords.
On the other hand, the Congress party with Sonia Gandhi as its head, has reluctantly given tickets to just seven women members from 224 seats available in Karnataka Assembly.
Pakistan and Karnataka go to polls in the month of May.
Badam Zari and Nusrat Begum created history by becoming the first tribal women to file the nominations for general elections to Pakistan's National Assembly. It is historical because, till now, tribal traditions did not allow women to exercise the right to vote.
Contrast this with India and the situation in so called progressive state of Karnataka. To give credit to Sonia Gandhi, she had rejected the list which had only one woman canidate. But, the latest list is no better. The Congress wants 33 percent reservations in various areas of governance but it fails even to maintain 10 percent quota for women candidates.
Just seven have managed Congress nominations for the Assembly polls in May. Of the seven, two are from urban Bangalore.
The Congress has best time in Karnataka. It is on a firm wicket and is on course to a good win. This should provide room for experiments, beyond token statements, and encourage women's aspirations.
Other parties do not fare better and the women in Karnataka can at best envy the boldness of the tribal women from Pakistan and hope for stroke of wisdom or luck.