Though we are in a time when every word and comment of anyone who is ‘someone’, on women’s issues, is being scrutinised by the media and social media in particular, our netas seem to be least bothered.
It took some time for a lot of people to understand why a senior parliamentarian was speaking about the dark skin tone of south Indian women in the middle of a discussion on the Insurance Bill – like the parliament has nothing else to do than to objectify women. While Yadav did raise the pertinent issue of an Indian’s obession with skin colour, his distasteful comments led many to question why discuss women in this way – “The women of south are dark and (have) beautiful body...They know dance..”
Just like the female parliamentarians who did not find Yadav’s comments in good taste, Hyderabadi women too are aghast.
Saher Taj, a city-based doctor says, “A person in such a position needs to understand his responsibility and respect his position and not speak in this sleazy manner. As a politician and member of parliament he needs to be mindful and more respectful about women. Besides, who is he to decide who is beautiful and who is not. No man has a right to comment on the colour or figure of any woman.”
Priyanka Yadav, a homemaker is also apalled with JD(U) leader’s “sexist and disgusting comment”. “Instead of becoming sensitive towards issues of women, men who hold positions of power misuse their stature. What he said, reflects his mentality. And what is worse is that he does not think he has spoken poorly,” she says livid.
“If one can’t respect women, he can’t be sensible enough to discuss other matters of national importance either,” Priyanka says.
Though Yadav’s comment saw women seething with rage – Smriti Irani’s(HRD minister) appeal to not make comments on colour of skin of women and Kanimozhi’s attempt to interrupt Yadav’s speech – such objectification of women by politicos is not a standalone instance.
Giving a fair view of the mental set our netas have, NCP leader DP Tripathi also took the opportunity to add that, “An ideal woman should be slim and slightly wheatish.” But then again, Yadav and Tripathi can’t be hanged for expressing their views when people like Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav who made the infamous comment, ‘Boys will be boys, they make mistakes… Will you hang them for rape?’ was let off on the ground that his comment was taken out of context. Also, let us not forget that RJD chief had also, once upon a time wanted to make Bihar’s roads as smooth as Hema Malini’s cheeks.
But, lets face the truth. Though the JD(U) leader may have cut short Irani’s objection to his words and has put up a defiant stance saying that he is not apologetic and is even ready to debate on dusky beauties, aren’t our eligible bachelors seeking “tall, fair, slim and convent-educated brides?
One cannot but agree with Aishuwarya Sudarshan, a student when she says, “half or more than half of India thinks that fairness is everything. So while some youngsters might call Yadav a racist and misogynistic man, which he surely is, there are girls in cities and villages in India whose parents are forcing them to vigorously apply fairness creams, especially before marriage.”
Aishuwarya also adds that men and women sitting in positions of power do not have much regard for public opinion. “So stop being so startled at what they say and maybe work at knocking sense into those thick racist and sexist skulls,” is her advice.