Millennium Post

Male chauvinism comes up through dated leaders

Male chauvinism has been arrogantly revealed in the 21st century by leaders who live in the past. These are the leaders who refuse to see the light of the day or realise that women have empowered themselves through excellence in education, sciences, arts, management and nearly all spheres of human endeavour. Nothing has come to them in charity. Even in many towns and countryside, women are breadwinners as men refuse to work and have been known to be addicted to alcohol and they buy it with the money women earn. Even on farms, women are known to till the land and grow crops alongside men or by themselves. The stark reality of this was brought out in the iconic film,
Mother India
, in which Nargis played a stellar role as a tireless struggling woman with sons.

The recent protests by young people, especially women, against the outrageous gang rape of a 23-year-old girl has shocked the nation and it is a sign of the times that the voting power of the new generation may be reflected in the battle box, as it may already have been, in elections to state legislatures, leading up to the general election for a new Lok Sabha in April and May next year.

Women have been strong rulers in many countries around the world. Indira Gandhi was internationally acknowledged and acclaimed as a powerful prime minister. Margaret Thatcher was even described as the Iron Lady of the United Kingdom and the reign of Queen Elizabeth II has already run 60 years. Women have crossed frontiers man has dared not tread: a young American woman with Indian parentage has walked in space a number of times and set a record in hours spent there. Historically, the Rani of Jhansi was a warrior of undiminished courage. Women pilot warplanes and civilian Dream Liners as well, besides being on the battlefield.

Women have also shown that they could defend themselves on a public platform as well as on the ground unless criminal minds overawe them sheer brute force. In the face of brutality even the male of the species would be helpless in self defense.

It is not and may not have been expected that the bosses of the RSS were waiting for an opportunity to take pot shots at women and blame them for the gang rape in Delhi last month and continuing cases of oppression of women in a number of places around the country even as many unreported cases of violence against women – and even weak men for that matter – continue unabated. For the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, to try to describe a woman as a contractual slave of her husband, an 80-year-old Madhya Pradesh Minister, Babulal Gaur, went a step further by insisting that there was no question of a contract between two unequal people, describing man as god and woman as a mere mortal and marriage as a one-sided bond weighted against the woman.

A ‘godman’ of sorts, Asaram, who is a commercial success but has been in the eye of legal storms, has blamed the victim of the rape for her misfortune. The Jat khaps’ edicts against girls choosing their own life partners out of caste have been supported by a non-Jat leader, Sharad Yadav, who presides over Nitish Kumar’s party, the Janata Dal United, which rules Bihar in coalition with the BJP. The RSS leaders’ comments, since ridiculed even by Smriti Irani, who was the BJP candidate from Chandni Chowk in Delhi for the Lok Sabha in 2009, were made at a huge rally of 1,00,000  Swayam Sewaks were present. The ever bachelor overlord of the RSS would like to take India back to the primitive times and he prefers a high flying obedient man married man, who wears only suits and safari suits, as his nominee to continue as BJP president and, if possible, India’s future president.

The man in question is none other than Nitin Gadkari, who is not known to be too conversant with Hindi, English or Sanskrit, a language that the RSS swears by. Karnataka’s Energy Minister, Shobha Karandlaje, who has been known to be the favourite of the deposed chief minister, Yedyurappa, that gang rapes could be prevented if men’s thought process could be pushed in the positive direction through yoga.

She conceded that women’s liberalisation remained a talking point. No RSS or BJP leader or any politician ever talks of the learned professions of a popular god man of the 20th century, Osho, who preached that human beings could attain super consciousness through sex even as he was a practitioner of meditation and dhyana yoga.

Many other people have come up with rigid dress code for girls and women for their safety.

The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has gone to the extent of demanding a ban on co-educational institutions. Time has come for political and spiritual leaders to stop ‘women bashing’ and concentrate on introspection to change the mind-set. (IFS)
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