Perhaps there is little to be said about the retrograde attitude of the BJP towards women when Narendra Modi, he of the Beti Bachao Andolan claim, termed Sunanda Pushkar as Shashi Tharoor‘s “50-cr girlfriend“.
And Sonia Gandhi as a “jersey cow“.
Perhaps there is even less to be said of that great “cultural organisation”, RSS, when its sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat says a woman is bound by the contract of marriage to serve her man and if she fails, “he can disown her“.
When a BJP woman leader with an avowed RSS background repeatedly uses sexual potency as a metaphor for political action, it is time to sit up and take note of the deep-rooted misogyny that is the backbone of the Hindutva crowd.
And how vengeance, violence, blood and death are seen as a sign of male hood.
Exhibit A: Shobha Karandlaje, the loose-tongued BJP MP from Udupi-Chikamagalur, a close confidante of former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, says: “Are the people of Dakshina Kannada impotent to sit and watch whatever happens in the district?”
Exhibit B: The foul-mouthed former deputy chief minister K.S. Eshwarappa, once a close aide of Yediyurappa but now daggers drawn, says : “This is not a society of impotent people to sit and watch the murders taking place.”
The provocation for these comments is the ongoing violence at the ground zero of politically mobilised communalism in India: the west coast.
The killing of “RSS workers”, leading to the imposition of prohibitory orders to prevent more violence, is what riles the BJP leaders.
Perhaps these are just on-the-spur comments.
Perhaps Karnadlaje and Eshwarappa don’t mean what they imply. That more blood should flow as a sign of Hindutva prowess.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah has wisely refused to join the debate: “BJP leaders are asking aloud, ‘Are we impotent?’ It is for them to provide the answer. I do not speak that language.”
Exhibit C: Shobha Karandlaje again, this time alluding to Karnataka Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao: “Is the Congress working president married to a Dalit? Let chief minister Siddaramaiah reveal from whose house he brought his bride.”
Here, Karandlaje, executing the sangh parivar’s Dalit drive ahead of the next assembly elections, is seeking to score brownie points over the Congress.
Yet, she can barely resist the temptation to get communal about it.
Reason: Dinesh Gundu Rao, son of the former chief minister R. Gundu Rao, has been married to Tabu Rao nee Tabassum for over two decades now.
Tabu Rao responded in kind on her Facebook page:
“It is no secret that I was born a Muslim and my husband Mr Dinesh Gundu Rao, a Brahmin.
“We have been happily married for over two decades now and not once has the issue of community crossed our minds.
“We live a perfectly balanced life, though neither of us has converted…respecting all religions is a practice followed by us…
“We represent the unity in diversity that India stands for.
“As a homemaker and a mother of two daughters, I take strong umbrage to Ms Karandlaje trespassing into our private lives for her narrow political gains.
“The fact that she has derisively referred to our family in a totally unconnected issue indicates that her sole intention is to create communal disharmony in the society.”
Who Dinesh Gundu Rao or Tabassum marry is their business. How does Shobha Karandlaje come into the picture? Then or now?
Nevertheless, some things must be placed on record.
For the record, Siddaramaiah has two children (one of them recently deceased).
For the record, Dinesh Gundu Rao, has two daughters from Tabu.
For the record, Narendra Modi is childless.
For the record, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a bachelor, has a “foster son-in-law”.
And for the record, Shobha Karandlaje is unmarried.
Screenshots: courtesy Prajavani, Deccan Herald