Toxic masculinity still rampant in Indian politics

Toxic masculinity still rampant in Indian politics

We are all proud to be Indians. India is a country which sees god in everything whether it is human beings, trees, stones, water, sun, earth, air or animals

We are all proud to be Indians. India is a country which sees god in everything whether it is human beings, trees, stones, water, sun, earth, air or animals. This is a common dialogue we have on the tip of our tongues. But when it comes to safety and judgement, where do women stand in our country? The politicians need to introspect how often they prove their misogynistic mindsets on public platforms. Why is it that their mindset is still enveloped by egoism and male chauvinism?

Can they win the elections if women decide not to support men? Never! They should understand that women outnumber men and exercise their vote, patiently waiting for long hours for their turn. There has been a growth of 55% among women voters. Netas bow before women voters during campaign call them “Hamari Matayen, Hamari Behne,” (Our mothers and sisters) but once polls are over and they are in the legislatures, they lose no opportunity to belittle Nari Shakti.

What is worse that they go scot free and their respective party leadership does not bother even to condemn such remarks. The latest comments were from a Congress leader and more surprisingly from a woman leader who also happens to be the official spokesperson. Mandi is from where Kangana Ranaut would be contesting. It is known as “Chota Kashi.” Congress leaders H S Ahir and Supriya Shrinate used the word ‘Mandi’ in a derogatory connotation, which went viral on social media.

And what’s more the Congress top leadership did not even bother to condemn it or pull up the leaders. Even when questioned by media, their reaction was “what action do you expect. Did BJP take action when their leaders made comments against Mamata?” This is a ridiculous argument. How can they have the cheek to say we need not take action since BJP has not taken action? Do they mean to say “they are bad and so are we” Congress is a party which was led for a long number of years by Indira Gandhi and later by Sonia Gandhi who still is the supreme power centre and now Priyanka Gandhi is emerging to take that position. Priyanka often says, “Ladki hun Lad Sakti hun.” Then why not fight against such elements within the party?

There are any number of instances where even senior most leaders who had sought and begged for women votes later made derogatory remarks. In 2014, then octogenarian leader and chief of Samajwadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav while addressing a rally in the run-up to elections in the state opposed capital punishment for rape, saying “ladke ladke hain, galti ho jati hai (boys will be boys, mistakes can be made).”

He did not stop there. He said, “Ladkiyan pehle dosti karti hain. Ladke-ladki mein matbhed ho jata hai. Matbhed hone key baad usey rape ka naam dey deti hain. Ladko sey galti ho jati hai. Kya rape case mein phasi di jayegi?” Similarly, on the issue of Women’s Reservation Bill, he claimed that it would be of no use to women from rural areas. “Women’s Reservation Bill will only benefit rich and urban women. Our poor and rural women are not attractive... I will not say beyond this,” was his comment.

Rahul Gandhi who in the name of spreading affection hugged PM in Lok Sabha later commented saying, “The watchman with a 56-inch chest ran away and told a woman, Sitharaman ji, defend me…,” Rahul Gandhi said, speaking in Hindi. “And for two and a half hours, the woman could not defend him.” People vote for leaders expecting good governance not this kind of cheap politics and remarks.

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