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CHAPTER IV
EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN THROUGH POLITICAL
PARTICIPATION: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO
KARANATAKA STATE
Introduction:
Women constitute 50% of the population of Karnataka women literacy is
about 57.7% women have given adequate representation is the local bodies after the
73rd and 74th amendments to the constitution of India, unfortunately the representation
given to women in Karanataka and other important post is negligible. Women
candidate nowhere contested to the parliament election in 1952 and 1957, but in
1962’s elections at the first time from Karnataka a lady namely Dr. Sarojani Mahishi
was elected to the parliament from Dharwad constituency of karanataka. Also she was
contested from M.P and elected for four times continuously form 1962-1977.1 But till
now the women members of parliament could not be exceeded three seats out of 28
seats in the state. In 1980 and 2004 there was no number of elected women MPs in the
state.
Elected women candidates to the state assembly and lok sabha from
Karanataka as in the 2008 public election, there were 6 seats allotted to the women in
total 132 seats wholly contested and elected by the congress. There was a null
reservation in parties like Janatadal(s) and (U) BJP, AIADMK and independent
parties it of total seats of 224 in the house. But there was also not better condition in
the parliament from the state. The total number of 28 seats there was a seat given by
congress and elected accordingly. In the Karnataka assembly election of 1999 there
were 1340 numbers total contestants 62 women candidates no percentage or 71% of
132
total women population in the state.2 From 1983 to 2008 elections in the state there
could not be exceeded 3% of the elected women MLAs seats out of women
population. In 1999 to 2004 assembly elections there were 6 women MLAs were
elected out of 224 assembly seats.
In the state legislative contest there were 7 women candidates elected by the
MLAs in the total seats of 75 in the council. Also 3 members are elected to the Rajya
Sabha out of 12 seats in the Karnataka state.
Women Cabinet Rank Ministers in Karnataka:
A glance at the available data reveals that only few women became the
Minister of the Cabinet rank in the Karnataka Ministry. They include the
following…

Smt.Yashodhara Dasappa

Smt. Leeladevi R Prasad

Smt. Manorama Madwaraj

Smt.K.S. Nagarathnamma

Smt.Motamma

Smt Chandraprabha Urs

Smt. Renuka Rajendran

Smt. Bhagirathi marulasiddana Gouda

Shobha Karandlge

Umashree
133
SMT. YASHODHARA DASAPPA:
Yashodhara Dasappa was inducted into the S.R. Kanti Ministry in 1962. A
Cabinet-rank Minister in charge of Social Welfare, this Gandhian made news by
resigning in 1969 (when Nijalingappa was Chief Minister and Ramakrishna Hegde
the Finance and Excise Minister) in protest against the withdrawal of Prohibition.
Women Ministers have typically been assigned two portfolios: Women and Child
Welfare, and Kannada and Culture, both unfortunately considered “soft” in the maledominated world of real politick.3
Yoshadharamma Dasappa enjoyed a unique place among the first generation
of women freedom fighters of Gandhian era. She was the wife of Sri. H. C. Dasappa,
a prominent congressman from the former Mysore State. Yashodharamma’s first
confrontation with the Government took place at Shivapur Congress session held on
10th April 1938. It was the first session of the Mysore congress. 4
Yoshadharamma along with other women participants guarded the flagpole for
which she was arrested. She also played an important role in underground activities.
The centre of activities was the house of Yoshadharamma. Satyagrahis were coming
from all corners of the state. There was a particular significance in hoisting the flag
near the Town hall because the government had banned holding of any meeting there.
Yashodharamma wrote speeches for the Satyagrahis to oppose the decision of the
Government to name the building of the town police of Mysore after Hamilton, who
was known for his cruelty and inhuman treatment of those who participated in
nationalist activities.
134
Yoshadharamma was the first lady member on the working committee of the
Mysore State Congress and later its first lady-president, too. She was mainly
responsible in the freedom movement. She had the gift of the gab. Add to it her
transparent sincerity and her missionary zeal, she was a great force in those days, and
continued to be one, even later. Her short speeches, but hard-hitting ones were
classics by themselves. Both men and women would sit like a painted picture to listen
to her. She was most influenced by Mahatma Gandhi. She was in Sevagram in 1944.
Gandhiji advised her to take to constructive work. She took to social work under the
programme of Kasturba Memorial Trust.5 She was the first lady Minister of cabinet
rank. She served in Nijalingappa’s Ministry. She resigned her minister ship on the
question of prohibition. She continued to be the Chairman of the state-level
Prohibition Committee till sometime before her death. Age had slightly bent her tall
imposing figure but it had crushed her fighting spirit. Mellowed though she was,
occasionally she turned into a firebrand at the contemplation of the change of values
that has taken place in the present public life.
Yoshadharamma continued to fight for freedom from ignorance, illiteracy,
poverty and squalor. For her, prohibition was not just a principle but a creed. She was
running hostels for workingwomen, homes for the destitute, the handicapped. She
brought up a Harijan girl and adopted her. All those who worked with her ately called
her ‘Amma’.
SMT. LEELADEVI R. PRASAD: