Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sexism in Indian politics and loudmouthed Indian male politicians

Now that the poll trumpets have been blown, Indian politicians will have to come out in the open from hiding, and talk, infact beg for votes. While we shouldn't expect most politicians to make sense, some of them like Sharad Yadav and BJP leader Vinay Katiyar have stooped very low and proved to us with their "foot in mouth" statements that they aren't fit to lead, let alone campaign in the poll bound states.
Yesterday JDU leader made a shocking statement at a rally held in Bihar that the honour of a vote is more important than that of a daughter's. 
He said that if a daughter's honour is compromised, it only affects the village or community but if a vote is sold it has an impact on the entire nation. To add insult to the injury the gentleman is not willing to apologize.

In a country where hundreds and thousands of women are molested and raped, such a comment could send the wrong signals especially in villages where sexual crimes are rampant and a woman and her body is protected to preserve that thing called "izzat" or honour. Yes in India honour lies inside a woman's vagina and if she dares to exercise her will, it brings shame on the village or community. No such rules govern a man or his body which has led to men in our country becoming like untamed bulls, leading to a rise in sexual crimes. 
Leaders like Mr.Sharad Yadav should be brought to book and the NCW has issued a notice to him over his derogatory remark. But often feminists like me wonder, where does that thing called "izzat" or honour lie. For many Indians it's lodged inside the vagina of a woman. Protective patriarchy sends the wrong message and gender sensitization should aim at doing away with such schools of thought that imprison a woman and her freewill.
A day after this belittling remark, comes another insensitive statement by a BJP leader Vinay Katiyar who says that Priyanka Gandhi is not as beautiful as she is projected to be. There are prettier women leaders in BJP like Smriti Irani  who can pull crowds and give better speeches.
It's not the first time that an Indian politician has passed sexist regressive remarks on a woman politician. The question that baffles me often is that how long it will be before a woman politician is given importance and her potential as a politician not measured by her looks. BSP leader Mayawati has also been a popular target of politicians when once BJP spokesperson Shaina NC took a jibe on her and said that she doesn't know if the BSP leader is a "her" or "she". On another occasion another BJP leader said that Mayawati is worse than a prostitute who gives a seat to the person who pays the highest amount for it. His sexist and casteist statements were aimed at her because she is a woman and a Dalit. 
I wonder how long will it take until Indian women politicians are not made a soft target for their looks or their gender and are appreciated and honored for their calibre as a leader, much like any male leader in India politics. I wonder when will the day come when people who govern the country won't dishonour women and accept that they are human beings with equal rights as Indian men.

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