Millennium Post

One more name in Cong hall of shame

Looks like even women politicians are not safe in Congress camp. Despite making all the right noises about women’s empowerment and coming down heavily on sexual violence of every nature, Congress has exposed itself as a party of habitual molesters and offenders. Acress-turned-politician Nagma had to go through the ignominy of being groped and felt in full public view by her senior colleague Congress MLA Gajraj Sharma at a rally in Meerut. The lady, who was about to address the crowd when this disgusting episode took place, left the rally in a huff, but thanks to mobile internet, the deplorable incident has ‘gone viral’ online. It is appalling how Congress has filled its rank and file with legislators whose record, both as public figures as well as office-bearers are suspect. But the party, which puts forward a progressive face, and claims to be batting for the rights of women and sexual minorities, has allowed such rogue elements to crowd its dirty corridors, without so much thinking how that reflects upon its own character. Nagma, a veteran actor who had starred in several South Indian and Hindi films, much to her credit, has decided to confront the event head on, without mincing words. However, if a party cannot guarantee safety of its women politicians, what can it possibly ensure that ordinary women on the streets be safeguarded and allowed to move around freely, without fear of sexual assault and other forms of verbal aggression?

Women’s rights to safety, whether at home or on the road, is integral to any civilised society. If the ruling party is unable to implement the legislation within its own rank and file, what can we expect from others? Incidents of rape, sexual molestation and harassment have become routine items in a newstream to the extent that society has inured and hardened itself to the enormity of the crimes. However, when the most secure among us, such as film stars, women politicians and sections from the affluent class are targeted, the message is driven home. It is extremely regrettable that such MLAs and MPs, who have criminal background or have serious allegations against them, are allowed to not just carry on undeterred but also contest elections. It is telling how male politicians consider their female counterparts as just entertainments and not serious contenders in the political arena, who must be respected and dealt with in their own terms.
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