Monday, January 7, 2013

Putting Price Tags on Humans!

The nation has the right to be disgusted! How can the Chief Minister of a state stand up in front of a large crowd and talk disparagingly about the wife of a fellow minister, calling her a 50 crore girlfriend, the snide note in his voice and the sneer on his face giving out the same message... "I am invincible! Hence, I can talk rubbish and get away with impunity!" Maybe a new commandment needs to be tagged on within political circles - Thou shalt not insult thy fellow politician's wife! And this is not the first time the man has shot his mouth off. Earlier when a journalist asked him about why women in his state were malnourished, he aimed another salvo that bordered on idiocy, expounding on how girls were beauty conscious and not health conscious, and hence, resorted to dieting, by refusing to drink milk. What he forgot to add was the very same girls had no food to eat in the first place! Much akin to Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake!” retort! The aforesaid lady's suave husband reacted saying that his wife was priceless, and that only people who had love in their hearts could understand that. Promptly came a response from other quarters as another politician created a ruckus by hinting at a Ministry of Love Affairs to be headed by an international love guru so that the nation could gain from his experience! As Ben Franklin put it so succinctly, “The worst wheel of a cart makes the most noise.” Belittling women seems to be the trend of the day! One prominent actress turned MP was cautioned against giving her viewpoint with the derogatory comment that the subject under discussion was a serious issue, and not the subject of a film. Yet another politician sniggered as he spoke of wives losing charm over time, a remark that not only raised Cain, but also made many people wonder how such an unattractive man had the temerity to make such a disgusting and sexist remark! And whether his wife hauled him over the coals when he got home! Why do such ridiculous comments get thrown around in the first place? There is only one answer. The men who speak in this fashion have zero respect for women, an attitude that has been prevalent in a patriarchal society where women are only meant to bow down, breed children, and have no minds of their own. These male specimens do not realize that their breed is fast disappearing, especially now that women are standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. When we were young, the law used to be laid down very firmly by our parents. If we talked rudely or used bad words, we had to wash our mouths out with soap, which quickly put an end to the habit! Unfortunately, no such remedy seems to be forthcoming in the case of many of our politicians, as the filth is deep within their minds. Besides, it is patently clear that nation building and character moulding are nowhere in their minds, as all they are concerned about is how well they can grab the eyeballs to win the populist vote. Which makes the following quote so relevant: “The difference is that a statesman thinks he belongs to the State, and a politician thinks the State belongs to him.” Open Page, The Hindu Nov 27th, 2012

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