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Common issues, different stages

Common issues, different stages

Switching from a liberal outfit claiming to be devoted to serving people since generations to a right-wing Hindu nationalist party might seem like a startling turn of events (or perhaps not so!) for a politician; but upon a second look, without seeing this through the prism of politics but as a very common phenomenon, this is the plight of another woman fed up with the offending patriarchal method of functioning at her workplace. All India Congress Committee Convenor and National Spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi quit the Grand Old Party, expressing dissatisfaction with the party on Wednesday for reinstating some leader who had misbehaved with her at a press briefing in 2015, and two days later on Friday, she joined Shiv Sena in Mumbai. Not only has Priyanka Chaturvedi been vocal about matters of women empowerment and safety, she makes her mark by standing out with her articulate assertions about what she upholds. And of course, she did pay the price for it from time to time – the way it happens in the advanced, modern world with social media just a click away – trolls and abuse would pour in, her family was publicly threatened, even some party leaders (from Congress) attacked her. Initially suspended by the party, their reinstatement is what made Ms. Chaturvedi feel let down by Congress. "I realised that I will fail several women if I continue", she said at a press conference. Indeed, this resonates with a lot of women who intend to work sincerely and diligently but preconceived notions pertaining to their womanhood invariably eclipse their capacity and performance.

The other prominent reason for her to walk out was being denied an election ticket from Mumbai (it went to Bollywood actor Urmila Matondkar) "Yes, I wanted a ticket but I knew it would not lead to bitterness if the decision didn't come my way. The reason has been that when we talk of women empowerment, we need to live by them." She is quoted as saying. Some clear dynamics we see here is that irrespective of the stage of performance, the story of a lesser-star employee (particularly if it is a woman) is roughly the same everywhere. Regardless of how effective a person might be in terms of work, they are essentially a means to further some cause of the organisation under the brand of which they perform. A political party is no exception – before being an instrument of democracy, it is an organisation the top priority of which is its own survival, secondarily, its people. Women-centric method of functioning comes with the purpose of marketing an idea for ulterior gains. Not to defeminise, but women need to be treated as individuals based on their competence and set an example of a level playing field. At its root, Priyanka's walkout is more of a social matter than a political one.

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