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Dear Babul Supriyo, I Am A Proud ‘Aunty’ Who Is No One’s Paraya Dhan!

Posted: March 1, 2021

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Union Minister Babul Supriyo’s tweet about TMC’s election campaign slogan reeked of all kinds of ageism and misogyny. Will this ever stop?

Patriarchy doesn’t spare any!

Not even seasoned politicians!

‘Bengal wants its daughter, not aunt!’ So say the counter poll taglines of BJP in West Bengal.

That jibe makes me wonder if ‘aunt’ is an unwanted creature, a being well past her sell-by-date?

What is this all-around obsession with nubile nymphets and absolute disdain towards mature women who can offer so much with their experiences?

Do men stop ageing, unlike women?

Sure thing, youth indeed is invigorating but hey, doesn’t that yardstick hold true for men too?

Does ageing ever stop men, unlike women? Men apparently can go on, age is no bar for them, even if the local geriatrics club might find them too old to fit in. Men have do have it much easier when compared to women!

Much like the Khans of the tinsel world who continue to dominate the silver screens with PYTs, young enough to be their daughters.

Or take a Geriatrix who flaunted a young wife to look cool!

Let’s examine this specimen called ‘aunt’ first.

The women who are categorized thus, now, have been the harbingers of change in India. They hit their teenage years somewhere around the nineties when the Indian economy was opening up, social mores were changing. The women studied hard, made it to the job market by their grit, fought the staid mind-sets, once the kids arrived, some chose domesticity over career.

After the fledgelings found their wings, these women decided, finally, it was their time under the sun. All their hidden-deep dreams were getting fructified finally and their identities underwent a sea change.

They weren’t just someone’s plus one!

Now a person like this who has tended to her family while keeping her dreams in abeyance chose to unshackle herself when she deemed it fit! She chose to sharpen those rusty wings, mind you, at her own pace. A woman like this, should ideally, be thought of in the best of terms.

Her experience at running a mini venture called a family, which often threatened to unspool has manifested in myriad profitable ways.

Also, let’s face it. When the body was willing, the bank balance wasn’t. When there was moolah finally, the body was neither sprightly nor youthful.

Why should ageing stop a woman from breaking bad?

And why should girls alone have fun?

Why should a woman get labelled for her way of living, dressing, or opining?

How do we still consider women to be property?

Using the same thought process as that of our leaders, what if we say, we want our strapping young sons helming the hot seats and not some jaded portly ‘uncles’?

Tough luck with that happening ever! The older they are, the wiser they are perceived to be.

Skewed much?

I’m not done yet. Union minister Babul Supriyo’s tweet in response to TMC’s election campaign slogan, ‘Bengal wants its daughter’ was ‘beti paraya dhan hoti hai‘ (a daughter is someone else’s wealth) Thankfully he has deleted the tweet once a furore broke out!

Seriously? A daughter whom I have raised to be a right-thinking individual, who is an extension of my being, my ethos, do I think of her as property? And that too, ‘property’ belonging to someone else?

How palaeolithic is this thinking? Perhaps the winds of change were far more soothing in that stone age.

Coming back to the moot point, I’m an Auntie! Proudly so!

My crow feet are the testimony to what I saw and still chose to forget.

And, my callouses indicate how hard I have fought to create my space

So next time, you want to deride one?

Don’t say ‘Auntie’

Because she has had the balls to walk tall!

In spite of it all!

Picture credits: Twitter

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Anupama Jain is the author of * ‘When Padma Bani Paula', listed as 'One of the

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