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I want to have a say in the India that I live in. We should ‘do politics’… Yes, women should participate in politics now, as they have no option if they want proper representation.
Deepika went to JNU. Yes, some will believe she went to draw eyeballs and promote her movie. Others like me, will believe that she is part of the brave new world, and like many young people today, she dares to lay claim to what she wants her India to be.
BJP politician Gopal Bhargava chose to make his mark in this brave new world by waving the age old flag of toxic patriarchy, stating “Heroine should dance in Mumbai. Why should she go to JNU? I do not know. There are many people like her. If they want to do politics then you should enter politics and contest elections.”
Here’s the thing. More of us women should want ‘to do politics’. That is the only way towards better representation for women. Yes, I know, the menfolk will manage to sneak in a few Trojan horses, that is, rubber stamps who will be their mouthpiece, but we may still get to have our say.
While most political parties seek minority votes, no one actively pursues women’s votes because it’s not considered worthwhile. Tokenism, appealing to supposed female sensibilities in the ‘pyaz ke daam kam kara denge’ (we will decrease the price of onions) rhetoric pops up here and there, but that’s it.
Define for me, what exactly is a women’s issue, as opposed to men’s issues? Inflation? Child care? Health? Education? Women’s Safety? Are all these Women’s issues? Seems like it, because the chest thumping Neanderthals are all out there, quite sure of who their ‘baap’ is, trying to teach certain segments of society a lesson.
Guess again, what are the issues that bother women like me?
As women, do we have adequate representation in Parliament? No. Not just in numbers, but because the kind of women that will be given a party ticket are those that have to toe the party line. In fact, it is my considered opinion that women in politics are only tolerated if they stay within the Lakshman Rekha.
Yes, more women should do politics. Why don’t we? Let me list the reasons:
First of all it’s the dirtiest of all professions, populated to a large extent by goondas. Case in point, Kuldeep Singh Sengar. Yes, this may be true at the bottom of the echelon, but that’s where everyone (read every woman) will have to begin.
Secondly, it’s the biggest and the most fanatical of the old boys club. Yes we had a female PM and a female President, and many CMs, but not one woman politician had been able to pursue an even vaguely feminist agenda.
I admire the ladies in politics. Yes, not all are admirable in every sense, and yes, many have sold out. Women are as corruptible as men, and perhaps we should rejoice that in this at least they may be equal to men. That said, they fight the same fight that every woman who goes to work does, in an area where there is absolute patriarchy and no transparency or accountability.
I’m hoping the gen next will be braver than we have been. I’m hoping that when an independent young woman stands for election many of us will go give her our vote. I’m hoping that the pendulum will swing hard and fast to the other end. Till then, I will do politics as best as I can – by using my voice.
Image source: YouTube
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