Karela Fry

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Safety, not just political correctness

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It is of course correct for any right-thinking person to be completely aghast at MP Sanjay Nirupam’s remark about a woman. Witness, however, TOI venting on the issue in its entertainment/Bollywood section (accompanied by a picture of Nirupam and Rakhi Sawant):

If you ever see a suitably concerned looking ‘senior leader’ Sanjay Nirupam smiling, waving around as he takes part in a rally to defend women’s rights/safety/ gender equality or anything like that, disregard it pronto.

For the manner in which he questioned actress-turned-politico Smriti Irani’s credentials to comment on a political issue during a debate on ABP News is bizarre, even by the standards of public debate we’ve got used to. The by-now-famous “Kal tak toh television pe thumke laga rahiin thi…” was no slip of tongue, either; the thought was so ingrained in his mind that every time he was cut off, he resumed with “kal tak toh thumke… thumke… thumke…” as the starting point to re-enter the conversation – if it can be called that.

To leave it at that is mere political correctness. If the media’s outrage about attitudes towards women were genuine, then the decibel level would have been higher about the MPs and MLAs who have ongoing rape cases against them. Instead, only the more respectable papers, like the Hindu carried the news on their political pages:

With political parties in the last five years giving Lok Sabha election ticket to six persons and State election ticket to 27 persons, who declared that they were charged with rape — and six MLAs with rape cases now actually representing people in the Assemblies — a demand has been raised that the practice of fielding people with criminal backgrounds be stopped forthwith.

Words should be taken seriously: Sanjay Nirupam on Smriti Irani, Narendra Modi on Sunanda Pushkar, Chautala on child marriage, are all reprehensible. But rape speaks louder than words.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

December 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm

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