Think Before You Speak

When the world was stumped or should I say trumped on 8 November, the unexpected happened, a man about whom we all joked for even running for the presidential elections had won it. There are enough articles, opinion pieces and memes about this event which was nothing more than a roller-coaster ride, which unfortunately dumped us all into a canyon. So this won’t be an article which questions his morality that is if he has any or his opinions which I am sorry to say he has more than enough.

Just like the rest of the world I am baffled by the results of this presidential election 2K16. The Prez elect made some derogatory and sexist remarks against women which made me think about the similar kind of remarks made by politicians in India. But often they go unnoticed because we are so used to hearing them or they have lost their shock value. Shouldn’t such remarks anger us the same way terrorism does?

The “beti bachao, beti padhao” campaign, the name suggests we should save and educate our daughters but wait till you hear what our PM said on 7th November 2014 during a rally in Jaipur “If we kill a girl child in the mother’s womb. Then what will happen to the world. If only 800 girls are born against 1000 boys. Then 200 boys will remain unmarried. Will government do this job?” He followed it up with ,” beti nahi bachaoge to bahu kaise laoge.” Okay, so I guess the only reason of my existence is to find a man and settle down and my education should only be limited to finding a good groom because who needs goals and ambition anyways. They are not sexy, right guys?

Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India on August 22, 2014 said, “One small incident of rape in Delhi advertised world over is enough to cost us billions of dollars in terms of global terrorism .” He later corrected his statement. Our politicians need to be more careful in choosing their words in the first place. But hey why care about rape or violation , harassment or crime against women when we can talk about anything else in the world.

Tapas Pal, Trinamool Congress MP “warning” CPM on July 2014 said, “If you insult the mothers and daughters of Trinamool workers. I will let loose my boys in your homes and they will commit rape.” Right, because teaching a lesson involves rape.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party Chief, on the strict Anti-Rape laws passed, April 10, 2014. “It is wrong to give death sentence for rape. Boys make mistakes.We will change the law. Boy and girls fall in love but due to differences, they fall apart later on. When their friendship ends, the girl complains she has been raped.” While boys get to be boys girls don’t get to be girls. Boys will be boys and locker room talk isn’t it all same, just excuses that’s what they are.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said ,”Earlier if men and women would hold hands, they would get caught by parents and reprimanded but now everything is so open. It’s like an open market with open options,” Okay so rapes happen because men and women hold hand. Faulty logic much.

Asha Mirje, NCP leader and Maharashtra Woman’s Commission Member, 29th January 2014 said that ,”Girls should be very careful about what they wear and at time they move out in the city. Their body language should not invite the attention of the potential rapists lurking around in the streets.” Potential rapists, how can one spot a potential rapist? Please do tell it would help all of us a lot. Are you saying that everyone that’s walking on the street is a potential rapist?

I can go on and on about these remarks because there are way too many. Think before you speak applies to everyone, does it not? Our political leaders need to think about what they speak because first they are our leaders, second they can’t afford to be so careless with their words and keep contradicting themselves later. It would serve all of us well if they don’t have such retrograde views. India has suffered from racism, castesim and discrimination, we don’t need advocates of these. Their unsolicited views about conducts of women, reasons of rape shows that they are not worthy of the position they occupy. What they need to do is try to enlighten themselves about the issues and not make such comments. They are public opinion influencer and role models and should behave as such following a proper code of conduct and maintaining the decorum of society.

Closed minds should come with closed mouths.

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