By Misha Dwivedi:
Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has done it again and with equal aplomb as in the past. Caught again with his foot in his filthy mouth, he has been summoned by a local district court in UP for his latest remark on gang rape being ‘impractical’. The summon has been issued under Section 504 (intentional insult), 505 (statement conducting to public mischief), 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 116 (abetment of offence punishable with imprisonment) and sections under Indecent Representation of Women Prohibition Act 1986.
I reckon by now you must be familiar with his infamous series of outrageous misogynistic public remarks and his absurdly horrifying views on rape. If not, here is a refresher-
1. “One commits rape and then four more are named. Can such thing happen? It is impractical. If one brother commits rape, his three other brothers would also be made accuse in the case.” (So, all the gang rape cases registered by the police are an inexplicable farce aimed at destroying the reputations of saintly men?)
2. “Ladke, ladke hain. Galti ho jati hai. Rape accused should not be hanged. Men make mistakes.” (Speaking like a sheepish parent defending his child at a parent-teacher meeting in school for pinching a fellow student, this gem came at a time when the entire country was aghast at the heinous nature of the 2012 December 16 gang rape case.)
3. “When their friendship ends, the girl complains that she has been raped.” (Words fail me, I’ve been silenced into shock by this unimaginable theory.)
Besides these incredible statements, Mulayam also possesses other weapons in his fat arsenal such as- “What can I say about the kind of women who will enter Parliament? The wives and daughters of officers and businessmen, who invite whistles from boys”, in context to Women’s Reservation Bill, 2010. I am pretty sure Mr. Yadav must’ve done his fair share of whistle-blowing and ‘friendly’ eve-teasing in his salad days.
While MSY’s backward remarks unarguably win him the title of the Most Sexist Political Leader in India, there are innumerable others in this never-ending race:
1. Abhijit Mukherjee, President Pranab Mukherjee’s son: He characterised female protestors at India Gate as “dented and painted women” and claimed that the activists had come out right after a bout of dancing at the discotheque about the protesters against the 2012 gang rape case. Such a provocative statement from the son of our nation’s first citizen is unfortunate to say the least.
2. PM Narendra Modi: He called Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar, “50 crore ki girlfriend”. (Whatever be the context, this remark borders on defamation and reflects the speaker’s callous attitude towards women.)
3. BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj: “The concept of four wives and 40 children will not work in India. The time has come when a Hindu woman must produce at least four children in order to protect Hindu religion.” Referring to Muslim men who can legally have four wives, he reduced Hindu women to baby-producing machines with disturbing ease. The remark highlights his fear of India being taken over by Muslims which is echoed by many other BJP leaders.
4. Jitendar Chattar (leader of a Khap Panchayat): “To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents (rape). Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance, evoking an urge to indulge in such acts.” He probably also believes that cows can fly. By far, the most abnormal view on rape.
With such deep-seated sexism in our political class, gender equality seems like a surreal concept, perhaps a concoction of female minds getting too naughty, eh? I’m sure Mamata Banerjee will agree.