The hall of sexist infamy is littered with moments of brilliance uttered by those we call leaders. Abhijit Mukherjee, our illustrious President’s son and a politician no less, has decided to join the hallowed corridors with his latest comment on female protesters at India Gate. Here are some more unforgettable moments.
Narendra Modi – Referred to Sunanda Pushkar as Shashi Tharoor’s “50 crore girlfriend” in an election speech in Himachal Pradesh. Not the best development from the “vikas purush” (development man).
Sanjay Nirupam – Decided he’d had enough of logical arguments and in a TV news debate told BJP’s Smriti Irani “Kal tak paiso ke liye TV par thumke lagati thi. Aaj chunavi vishleshak ban gayi”. (You used to dance for money in TV programmes till recently. Today you have become a poll analyst). Too bad for him Smriti Irani slapped him with a legal notice for defamation. (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-12-22/india/35969022_1_congress-mp-sanjay-nirupam-mahila-morcha-smriti-irani)
Mamata Banerjee – With the current rape case in Delhi, most male politicians have been using the “I have 3 daughters” plank. You’d think being a woman Mamata would have a “being a woman I understand” statement, but she squandered it long ago. After Kolkata’s infamous Park Street rape case, she said that rapes take place because “women and men interact freely”. We guess she’s banned TMC’s women wing so that the women don’t have to “interact” with men.
Anil Basu – Just because you indulge in it, doesn’t mean you can’t be at the receiving end of it. Alluding to the prostitutes of Sonagachi, CPM’s Anil Basu had the following pearls of wisdom about Mamata Bannerjee “Where is she getting the money from?” he asked. “From which bhatar (Bengali derogatory slang for a woman’s ‘illicit male partner’) did she get Rs 24 crore to fund the Trinamool Congress’s poll expenses?” http://www.indianexpress.com/news/to-slam-mamata-cpm-mp-cites-us-prostitutes/780525/
Sriprakash Jaiswal – Talking about “the sanctity of marriage” is passé. Jaiswal decided to compare marriage to a cricket victory and said “Nai nai jeet aur nai shadi ka apna alag mahatva hota hai. Jaise jaise samay bitega jeet ki yaden purani hoti jaengi. Jaise jaise samay bitata hai patni purani hoti jati hai, wah maja nahi reh jata hai” (Like a new victory, a new marriage has its own importance, but as time passes, like the victory, a wife loses her charm). Oh and yeah, he said this at a women’s college.
Sharad Yadav – Instead of discrediting the provisions of the Women’s Reservation Bill, Sharad Yadav decided to take the high road and said instead that the only women who will benefit from the Bill are parkatti mahilayein (literally translated to women with short hair). No guesses about whom he was alluding to.
Botsa Satyanarayan – One of the time-tested ways to prevent women from being raped is to stop them from stepping out. That is what Andhra Pradesh Congress Chief and Transport Minister Botsa Satyanaran believes. Commenting on the Delhi gang rape in a moving bus he said that, “Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark…Though the incident was condemnable, she should also have behaved keeping in mind the situation. Although it was a minor incident, Soniaji made it a point to meet the protesters when they called on her.” Not only was it the woman’s fault, it was a “minor incident” too.
Need we say more?
Mulayam Singh Yadav – The Women’s Reservation Bill seems to bring out the best in our dear netas. Echoing a similar sentiment to Sharad Yadav’s, Mulayam Singh Yadav had this to say, “Bade bade gharon ki ladkiya aur mahilayan kewal upar ja sakti hain…yaad rakhna…apko mauka nahi milega..hamare gaon ki mahila me akarshan itna nahin…” (Only girls and women from affluent class can go forward…remember this..you (rural women) will not get a chance…Our rural women are not that attractive). That’s not his first time either, in 2010 he had said that the bill will fill parliament with the kind of women who attract whistles and catcalls. Enough said.
Chiranjeet Chakraborty – This TMC legislator decided that he wasn’t going to let Mamata Bannerjee get away with taking credit for all the sexist remarks and held forth on his views on “eve-teasing”. He said “Tell me… can you imagine a movie without a villain, could Ramayana have been written without Ravana’s role… eve teasing is very old… but the preparation is made by the involvement of girls.”
“Their dresses have changed in tune with times… skirts have become shorter to appeal to men… that should be appreciated… but when it attracts taunts and comments… it becomes a case for eve teasing… it is undesirable though.” (http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article3696995.ece) Well as long as it’s undesirable.
Digambar Kamat – The former Goa CM decided to go for the “it’s bad for society” argument to counter the women’s reservation bill. He opined on women joining politics that – “Don’t fall for 33 percent reservation (in politics). Politics makes you go crazy. Women play an important role in transforming the society. We should look after our next generation”. So stay home and mind the kids, woman! (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/goa-cms-sexist-remarks-anger-women-activists/116002-37-64.html)
If you think about it, there is obviously more than one reason why the women’s reservation bill has been in limbo for so long. With attitudes like these from our politicians, why does one need to excavate for a preserved Neanderthal fossil in the arctic tundra. Dilli ki sardi does it and more.