A Letter From Indian Women – “5 Minutes Please, Ms. Kiran Bedi”

Posted on January 19, 2015 in Politics, Specials, Staff Picks

People change, their careers, views, political positions, religious affiliations might change. Kiran Bedi can also change. Her entry into the ambit of Bharatiya Janata Party has created an uproar on social media with all her old tweets being shared, discussed and deleted. But we thought change is not something that has to be despised, but questioned; we thought it is more important that Ms. Bedi clarifies a few of our queries about her current political position. It is with this intention that this Facebook page was launched yesterday.

Dear Ms. Kiran Bedi,

You have been a national icon of women’s power as the first female IPS officer of the country: As you have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party now, you are giving legitimacy to the party and its 7 months’ rule in the centre. We, some women of the country and of the constituency, request you to answer the following questions. This will only take 5 minutes of your time. If you are too busy to answer at length, a simple yes or no would do!

1. The Hindutva leaders have made unacceptable remarks on women’s choices, be that costumes, profession or love (women wearing jeans, women having to give birth to four children to save the Hindu religion or their war on love through “love jihad”). They have also demonstrated that they have no qualms in using male violence on women if it fits their logic. Many incidents of moral policing on women by Hindutva parties and allies have been reported. This includes physically assaulting and molesting young girls by them. Do you approve of this sort of denial of women’s freedom for personal choices? If yes, what should we expect from the party that is in centre and contesting for Delhi elections? If you don’t, how do you intend to try and change their positions on women?

2. As a police woman, you do know of the reports that 63 MPs of the BJP have a criminal record. A lot of these crimes are against women, including rape and assault. Do you justify having rapists and molesters in responsible positions in your party?

3. Ever since the Hindutvavadis have been in power, attacks on minorities are on the rise. For instance – the attacks on Churches and Christmas celebrations. As a person who knows the history of communal violence, you do know that communal violence is fundamentally anti-women in that it leaves the choice of being assaulted by men from other communities or of being made to live under the directions of men from their own communities. As a woman, would you disown the communalist bigotry of the hindutvavadis or endorse it, now that you have joined them?

4. Privatisation of railways and de-regularisation of medicines have a huge impact on our daily lives. Do you think these steps were essential for making India into what the party envisions?

5. Hindutvavadis have been coming up with statements that make learning and teaching history, science and social issues difficult. As an educated women, would you endorse this kind of political interference in education?

We know you won’t run away from these questions as you have always been applauded for your faith in social justice and commitment to the rights of women. Since you have been an icon of female strength, many of us are confused with your current political decision. Once you answer these questions, our doubts will be clarified about supporting you.

Kindly respond.

Thank you.

Featured image credit: Simply CVR 

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