KOLKATA: Coming out strongly against BJP President Amit Shah's comments on increase of Mamata
Banerjee and Mayawati's age by 10 years in a single night due to demonetisation, Bengal's women have dubbed the statement as 'disgraceful' and in bad taste.
The BJP president, while addressing a rally at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, said:"People who have money to hoard are most worried by demonetisation. Have you looked at Mamata Banerjee and Behen Mayawati? Unke chehre se noor utar gaya hai (their faces have lost the charm). In a single night, their age has increased by ten years."
His statement has drawn the flak of Bengal’s women.
"The sexist comments on a state's Chief Minister is most unfortunate. There were other points ways to attack an opponent," said Sunanda Mukherjee, West Bengal Women Commission chairman.
Others pointed out the sexism inherent in Shah's attempt at painting a picture of these strong women leaders as just being skin deep.
"He tried to mock the two strong woman leaders of our country by alluding to the stereotyping that women try to hide their age. Well, that is sexist," said a professor of Jadavpur University.
"We feel ashamed to even react to such comments. I don't think an apology will be made due to the political arrogance and absolute majority in the Lok Sabha. But, nevertheless we women should not stop protesting against such sexist comments," said academician Sutapa Ray.
Others felt that Amit Shah was tactfully using words to his advantage to lure a targeted audience. "In the western part of Uttar Pradesh, where he was addressing the rally, patriarchy and sexism is deep-rooted and punishing. He attempted to hit two targets of upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections, in which Mayawati is one of the major challengers, and the anti-demonetisation camp, in which Mamata is a major force, with his sexist comment. The UP elections will be a test of how demonetisation has been received by the public," said political observer Sharmishtha Banerjee.