Selective feminism of liberals in India shields minorities and offenders who are part of their ‘ecosystem’

Recently, there was a huge hue and cry over Manohar Parrikar’s remark regarding consumption of beer by girls. A Twitter trend was started to ‘assert’ the freedom of girls. The Ramayana reference made by PM Modi during his address in Rajyasabha to describe Renuka Chowdhury’s laughter was also called as a instance of patriarchal attitude that prohibited women from laughing. Underneath this noise, there is a much deeper crisis among the liberals and ‘progressive’ figures in India.

Laughter , Beer , Dowry vs Triple Talaq , Nikah Halala , Polygamy

Nobody said that the act of laughing is a prohibited. Modi had taken a jibe at an irritating cackle that was intended to heckle, mock and disrespect the PM during his speech. This remark was interpreted as an example of patriarchy and fundamentalism.

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Parrikar did not ask girls to stop drinking beer. He said that he was concerned about girls drinking beer . “I have begun to fear now, because even the girls have started drinking beer. The tolerance limit is being crossed.” Further, he was speaking in the context of addictions of college students, and not adult independent people. Long winding opinion articles were also written about  Parrikar’s and Modi’s remarks. A flag of revolt had been waved by the liberated women of ‘secular liberal bandwagon’

However there is absolute silence from the same ‘secular liberal’ ecosystem on polygamy and nikah halala. Polygamy is a straightforward example of discrimination against women in Muslim society. The freedom to have four partners is available only to men.

Nikah halala , an Islamic law that requires a divorced muslim woman to marry and sleep with another man in order to return to her first husband, is even more disturbing. When they are not willing to speak on such issues can we expect a criticism of burkha from this ecosystem?

Though the petitioners in Triple Talaq case had asked the court to examine polygamy, nikah halala and triple talaq, the court examined only one of the social evils. There were no opinion articles or hashtags from the secular-liberal brigade on these issues.

Are they OK will oppression of women by a community as long as they are anti -BJP /anti-Modi ? Instead of condemning such practices, they emphasise on social evils in Hindu community like dowry.

Jail for pronouncing Triple Talaq is “unprecedented” but same punishment is acceptable for a Hindu convicted of bigamy 

The selective and twisted arguments among so called liberals to insulate Muslims from any reform , that too in the name of the constitution is amusing. For them, the idea of a uniform civil code is part of the communal agenda of BJP.

However, the constitution has listed this to be one of the goals of modern India under directive principles. Article 44 of the constitution says : Uniform civil code for the citizens The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India

This is one of the examples of a ‘secular – liberal’ defending Sharia.

Another example of deploying ‘logic’ to defend men who pronounce Triple Talaq is here. We had also reported about a Supreme court lawyer saying ‘punishment for triple talaq goes against freedom of speech’

The desire to reform only Hinduism and to block any progress on problems with Islam is a characteristic feature of liberals in India. Their argument on this topic oscillates from ‘let the reforms happen from within Muslim community’ to ‘this is blatant show of power by BJP on minorities.’ The contradiction in this attitude is captured in the speech of Modi in parliament recently.

These two examples are just a highlight of the wide ranging instances of hypocrisy in the ecosystem. The desire of the secular-liberal ecosystem to protect rape accused when the person is one of their own is well known in the Tarun Tejpal  episode. Apologetic tone in reports of a ‘liberal’ who sent sexually loaded messages to underage girls was also seen recently in the case Shamir Reuben is also well known.

One wonders if this debate is carried out only to score brownie points against political rivals. Hence this wide gap in scrutiny and criticism of patriarchy, harassment and anti-women practices in the ‘secular-liberal’ constituency is a matter of great concern to a neutral bystander in the debate.


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