For a man who aspires to be the Prime Minister of the country, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has a very limited emotional range.
While addressing a gathering of women in Koraput, Odisha, Rahul Gandhi displayed how far away from reality he is, despite coming from a family history of women in a powerful position, like his grandmother Indira Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi. Now with his sister also foraying into the political arena, one would have expected a little bit of nuance and general sensitivity toward issues faced by women.
Addressing women in Odisha on International Women’s Day, Congress President promised that if voted to power in Odisha in the upcoming state assembly elections as well as in the general elections, Congress party would make sure that if a rape takes place, the chief minister or the prime minister will come out and clearly put their point across.
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 8, 2019
This was Rahul Gandhi’s response to a question on women’s safety.
“One BJP MLA raped a lady in Uttar Pradesh and the Prime Minister who is supposed to give a direction to the country said nothing. That lady got no help. In India, if the prime minister does not give any proper direction at the right time, then a wrong message goes out to the country,” Rahul Gandhi said.
His statement seems to have come from the fact that when the Nirbhaya gang rape took place in Delhi in December 2012, the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh took as long as a week to come out and give a statement, that too under public pressure. Oh, and do not miss his ‘theek hai’ gaffe towards the end of his robotic speech.
Rahul Gandhi’s response to how his party, if voted to power, will ensure women’s safety, is ‘to give a statement’. Rather than improving the law and order situation and faster justice, his first reaction is to give a statement.
And that was not all. After the Nirbhaya case, Justice Verma committe was set up to get recommendations for comprehensive amendments to criminal laws. The then Congress President and UPA Chairperson, Rahul Gandhi’s mother Sonia Gandhi delivered her ‘suggestions’ way past midnight after the deadline for submissions was over. Almost as if an an afterthought. The same Congress now promises ‘zero tolerance’ after the prime minister and chief minister have made a statement on the crime.
Continuing with his legacy of insensitivity and cruel jokes, he adds that if women are beaten up or atrocities are carried out on them, they should not step back. They must fight for their place whether it is in the parliament or in state assembly or the homes.
He then even had a recommendation for men to consider women equal. This from a man who himself reeks of toxic masculinity. Behind the garb of feminism, Rahul Gandhi is just as sexist as any other ordinary man. Remember his ‘RSS does not let women wear a skirt’ and ‘Modi hid behind a woman’ jibes? Rahul Gandhi should know that equality, just like charity, should begin from home.
A lady then questioned him regarding Congress’ policies on how they will try to bring down the maternal mortality rate. Again displaying his consistency for complete randomness, he explained how Odisha as a state is not poor, but the people are poor because money never reached them. They are poor because the money was never put to creating hospitals. As an afterthought, he said maternal mortality rate can be brought down if women give births in hospital, but that is not happening because there are no hospitals. Congress will thus construct hospitals in every district in Odisha.
And then, as if on autopilot, Rahul Gandhi shifted his focus on ‘Rafale scam’ which he has been crying himself hoarse over. When a young girl asked him what would his party, if voted to power, would do for encouraging sports for girls. As of on cue, clueless Gandhi went on his Rafale tirade where he not only claimed that money that could have gone for coaching facilities and building badminton courts has now been given to Anil Ambani. The clueless girl let out nervous laughter at not being able to comprehend why Anil Ambani doesn’t want her to play hockey and badminton, two sports she likes.
Rahul Gandhi’s sexism is not something that is new. Rahul Gandhi had wondered back in 2017 that Sangh women don’t wear shorts. Addressing a rally in the then poll-bound Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi had said that BJP thinks as long as women stay quiet, they don’t say anything, they are good.
The man who judges women by the clothes they wear is today telling them that if they get raped, he will make sure that the chief minister and prime minister give a statement. His concerns are as misplaced as his sense of entitlement.
His address to women, on International Women’s Day, was embarrassing, to say the least.