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India's politicians often make inappropriate, insensitive and misogynistic comments, and get away with it. This insightful post questions why.
India’s politicians often make inappropriate, insensitive and misogynistic comments, and get away with it. This insightful post questions why.
Like many others, I watched a mediocre Bengali actor turned Member of Parliament (of the Trinamul Congress, of which Mamata didi is president) Tapas Pal screaming rape and retribution on TV. Horrendous as it was, I found it more sickening that the audience he was targeting was actually clapping and hooting at his threats of letting loose his men to rape women of an opposing political party.
Months ago, Ms. Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, another MP from the same party had stated that the Park Street rape victim wasn’t raped at all, and that it was just a tiff between a prostitute and her clients, never mind the fact that all evidence pointed to the fact that the victim had been dragged into a car by a group of men and raped.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, a wrestler turned politician from the badlands of Uttar Pradesh considers rape a pastime for boys, while his son tells a female reporter that if “nothing has happened to you”, why should she raise questions about the Badaun rape-murders. After the Mulayam Singh “boys will be boys” episode, it confounded me that a lady from his Samajwadi Party- I think Madhu Gupta was her name- was actually defending her Netaji’s comments on TV.
Politicians mouthing inappropriate or downright offensive comments are nothing new…
Politicians mouthing inappropriate or downright offensive comments are nothing new; but as I said earlier, what appalled me even more was the clapping and hooting when Tapas Pal was mouthing obscene nonsense. This brings me to what I want to drive at- that we as a people are sexist and misogynist and think nothing of harassing or threatening women as part of our lives.
What I read in FirstPost sums up what I feel: “Tapas Pal doesn’t scare me. Those men, beyond themselves with glee just at the mention of rape, they scare me. And you know what, they’re not the only ones hooting and clapping at Pal’s show of masochism. God knows how many others, watching the clip on their phones, reading about it in papers and watching him on TV, are virtually joined in this celebration of misogyny.”
My younger daughter tells me of the stares – and more- she gets while walking down any road- that scares me.Never miss real stories from India's women.Register Now
My younger daughter tells me of the stares – and more- she gets while walking down any road- that scares me.
I am a man, and a father of two daughters. My younger daughter tells me of the stares- and more- she gets while walking down any road- that scares me. My elder one, based in the UK, now tells me how she had been at the receiving end of stares and catcalls while she was in India- that scares me too.
Making noise about misogyny isn’t enough anymore; endless debates on TV aren’t enough either. It is time for swift, sure and severe punishment for sexual predators, misogynists, sexists and others of the ilk.
Pic credit: FerranJorda (Used under a CC license)
I am a former bureaucrat, and have worked a lot on gender issues, disaster management and good governance. I am also the proud father of two lovely daughters. read more...
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Tripti Dimri had completely won everyone over with her performance in Bulbbul. so there is a great deal riding on her new Netflix film Qala.
Netflix’ latest release, Qala (2022) is Tripti Dimri’s second collaboration with Anvita Dutt and Clean Slate Filmz after Bulbbul (2020). Her performance was applauded in 2020 with Bulbbul’s character becoming well known in most Indian households.
Thus, the audiences certainly had high expectations from Qala, a film that portrays a protagonist who suffers from schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, in terms of what Dimri, Dutt and Clean Slate Filmz would together deliver.
Does Qala match up to Bulbbul?
A few Bangalore schools recently did a search of students' bags for mobile phones that are banned inside, and were shocked to find condoms, oral contraceptives, cigarettes, etc.
When schools in Bangalore conducted surprise checks of the bags of students to see if they were bringing cell phones to school, they were in for a nasty surprise.
As this report in the Deccan Herald says, “In addition to cell phones, they found condoms, oral contraceptives, cigarettes, lighters and whiteners in the bags of students of grades 8, 9 and 10. To their credit, the school authorities handled the situation with maturity- instead of suspending the students, they informed the parents and/ or guardians and advised them to seek counselling for their wards.”
People are, understandably shocked to find out that adolescents in the age group 12 to 15 years are potentially indulging in sexual intercourse. People largely fall into four camps–
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