Sharad Yadav, senior JD(U) leader, is in the news, and not for a good reason. Speaking at an event to celebrate the birth anniversary of former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur on Tuesday, the former national president of JD(U) literally compared a woman’s honour with votes. Not only this, Sharad also accorded more significance to votes than a woman’s honour. “Honour of vote is bigger and important than the honour of daughter. If daughter’s honour is compromised, it only affects the village or community but if the vote’s honour is compromised, it impacts the entire nation,” ANI quoted Yadav as saying.
As controversy erupted on Wednesday, Sharad refused to back-off from his comment. “I didn’t say anything wrong. We should love votes the same way we love daughters. Then country or government will be good,” he told ANI.
Coming close on the heels of Bengaluru mass molestation incident during New Year celebrations in the heart of India’s IT Capital, Sharad’s comments are sickening and show the place women occupy in the worldview of most of the Indian politicians.
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 25, 2017
Sharad’s comment is as obnoxious as the Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara’s comment in the aftermath of Bengaluru’s shameful incident. Instead of holding the police and culprits responsible, the Karnataka had put the onus of the incident on women, saying, “Such incidents do happen on NewYear day and on Christmas. We take a lot of precautions.”
Incidentally, this is not the first time Sharad Yadav has revealed his sexist worldview. While debating on Women’s reservation bill in Parliament during the UPA government, the JD(U) leader had said the bill would only help empower the “par-kati auratein” (well-off women).
Sharad is not the only leader who probably undermine women’s honour by habit, or perhaps they don’t even understand how their words effect the some of their chauvinistic, misogynist supporters. In Sharad’s company are illustrious leaders like Azam Khan, Abu Asim Azmi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Yadav and not to forget a number of small-time ‘sexist’ politicians roaming across the country free.