It all began with the President’s son who decided to call the women protesting ‘highly dented and painted’. For starters, that hardly makes sense. I’m assuming this figure of speech is normally used for vehicles. I think. But what exactly is a ‘dented’ and ‘painted’ woman? If I try to make sense of his statement, I’m gonna go with the fact that’s he is a male chauvinist who cannot fathom the fact that modern Indian women are no longer ready to stay repressed and thus, are coming out by the hundreds to stand up for their gender. He is yet one of those outdated men who believe that Indian women should shut up and stay at home. Too bad his sister couldn’t be one of those women; she happens to be a dancer.
Next up was Mr. Mohan Bhagwat, an RSS leader, who decided that in his demented jaded head that rapes only happen in India and not in Bharat. Are you confused yet? Don’t worry, I’m as muddled. What I think he was getting at is that ‘India’ refers to the more urban areas while ‘Bharat’ is the rural parts. This basically infers that rapes only happen in cities and not in villages or less developed areas. Errr, really? Here’s some trivia, just for Mr. Bhagwat. Seventy-five percent of rape cases have been reported from rural India.
Then there is the great Asaram Bapu—I had no clue who on earth he was until he stated that the victim was as guilty as the rapists. His theory was that the victim should have begged and not fought back. If she would have called them her ‘brothers’, they would have not raped her. Yes, when this poor was getting raped and stripped of her dignity, she should have done just this. Mind you this is coming from a man who also claims women should be restricted to home chores and is against the westernization of Indian society. The bigger question here is would he tell the ladies in his own family to fall at the feet of rapists and call them their brothers too?
And this is just two of many absurd theories, comments and statements that have come from a number of well-known leaders across many arenas in Indian political and religious groups.
What is most irritating about the fact that these religious leaders and politicians are politicizing the issue with their backward statements, is that a bulk of India actually supports these people and thoughts. They do not feel the need for these men to apologize for their insensitivity. This theoretically means that this rigid mindset has already been set set in stone and so such beliefs will fall to their children and so on. Ultimately, this starts a domino effect that cannot be eradicated at all. Such outrageous and demeaning comments only further these old-fashioned and incorrect beliefs which do nothing but encourage more men to ill-treat women. Instead of preaching to the men to realize that women are their equals and cannot be looked down upon, they choose to further promote atrocities against women in India.
All of a sudden, the road to liberating women in India seems long and rocky filled with potholes in the form of men like the above, who simply cannot see past the old school depiction of Indian women. One can only hope the likes of Mata Lakshmi, Durga Maa and all the female goddesses up there, give strength to the women of India as they take on this battle to secure themselves and the future of Indian women.
Oh and before I end, there is also one more idiot—a minister from Chhatigarh, who claims that there is no ‘clear answer’ for the crimes against women and thus, it is because ‘the stars are not in position’. Right.