A bill passed this week would amend the constitution to reserve one-third of national and state legislative seats for women:

Opponents of the bill say that it will favor wealthy upper-caste women at the expense of the lower castes and Muslims. “We are not against women reservation,” said Lalu Prasad Yadav, leader of one of the parties seeking to block the amendment. “Give reservation to poor India, to original India. Ninety percent of the population is deprived in India.”

Critics of the amendment say that it will only worsen what is already a big problem powerful men substituting their daughters, wives and sisters as proxies in political office. 

Aparna Ray has an extensive round-up of opinion on both sides.

(Video: "Agitated lawmakers opposed to the tabling of a women's reservation bill created a commotion and tore a copy of the bill, in the upper house of the Indian parliament.")

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