On a day when India signed agreements that would bring approximately Rs 5 lakh crore investments from UAE, Indian media spent most of its airtime discussing sexist remarks of two politicians.
On a day when the Government of India signed agreements/MOUs that would bring approximately Rs 5 lakh crore investments from UAE in various sectors, Indian media spent most of its airtime discussing sexist remarks of two politicians who don’t even want to apologise for their words.
Incidentally, the netas in question — Sharad Yadav and Vinay Katiyar — represent two poles of Indian politics. The former belongs to a self-declared “secular” and socialist party Janata Dal (United), the latter to the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is often accused of being a party of communal forces. Their allegedly sexist remarks came on a day when India is hosting Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a special guest for the Republic Day celebrations.
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UAE’s investments would not only strengthen the bilateral ties between the countries but also help in the development of India. In an ideal situation, development or India-UAE ties should have been the most talked about topic of the day, not sexist remarks by a few politicians. But can we blame media for this? And, of what use development would be if politicians like Yadav or Katiyar can’t give up their misogynic intellect and wake up to the present day where women enjoy same rights and same successes as men. Here’in lies the irony India should vow to get rid of this Republic Day.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 25, 2017
The other irony today was that some politicians across the parties expressed their selective outrage. In the season of elections, the Congress’ exploited Yadav’s comments on Priyanka Gandhi as an opportunity to attack the BJP and even went on to demand apologies from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
Congress’ logic for making such demand is beyond understanding. Why the PM should apologise for remarks made by an MP who is not even among the “star” campaigners of the party in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh? The Congress claimed that Katiyar’s words reflected the mindset of entire BJP.
By Congress’ logic, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should also apologise for Sharad Yadav’s words as the former is the JD(U) president. Moreover, the party should break-up the ties with JD(U) in Bihar as Yadav’s comments, as per the Congress logic, reflects the mindset of all leaders of Kumar’s party.
4/n ऐसे आचरण,व्यवहार व शब्दों के लिए पूरे भाजपा नेतृत्व को धिक्कारा जाना चाहिए I मोदीजी व अमितशाह देश की नारीशक्ति से माफ़ी माँगें।
— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) January 25, 2017
In Uttar Pradesh, the Congress is in alliance with Samajwadi Party, which has in its leaders infamous for their misogynist remarks made in past — be it Azam Khan, Mulayam Singh or SP’s Maharashtra leader Abu Asim Azmi. In its own house, Congress has a home minister in Karnataka who shocked not only India but the world for his callous remarks against the victims of Bengaluru mass molestation incident on the New Year’s day. Congress didn’t sack the minister.
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 25, 2017
Misogyny continues to prevail among some politicians in the country because parties never vow to fight against such leaders. They tend to expose their own selective sexism with selective outrages to reap electoral dividends. How long can India survive these ironies? Or, is blaming media for relentlessly covering sexist remarks by politicians the solution?