What is it about some Samajwadi Party leaders that makes them so naturally sexist? Perhaps it comes from the top.
Remember when the party patriarch Mulayam Singh defending rapists and referring to rapes as ‘mistake’? During the run-up to the 2014 general elections, Mulayam Singh Yadav had opposed capital punishment for rapists because, ‘ladke ladke hai, galti ho jaati hai’ (boys will be boys, they commit mistakes). Of course, they do. Nothing boosts a woman’s confidence in a leader than a politician who is a rapist sympathiser.
All the family
Apple, unfortunately, doesn’t fall too far from the tree. During the run-up to the 2019 general elections, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan had attacked his former colleague and now rival BJP leader Jaya Prada and said she wears ‘khaki’ underwear. Addressing the people of Rampur, he said that they could not recognise her (Prada’s) reality in 17 years while it only took him 17 days. “Uski asliayat samajhne me apko 17 baras lagey. Main 17 din me pehchan gaya ke inke niche ka jo underwear hai woh khaki rang ka hai (It took 17 years for you to recognise her reality. But it took me only 17 days to recognise that the colour of her underwear is Khaki)”, commented Khan trying to suggest that Prada had links with the RSS and the allegations against him were an RSS conspiracy.
Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son, Akhilesh Yadav defended these outrageous remarks. Yadav said that Khan was talking about someone else and not Jaya Prada and that Samajwadis do not use such language for women. Akhilesh’s wife, Dimple Yadav, took forward her father-in-law’s legacy and said how Khan’s misogynist comment was a ‘chhoti si baat’ (a small thing).
The latest one
Today, Azam Khan lowered his own bar of indecency he could spew. In the Lok Sabha session today, Khan told BJP MP Rama Devi, who was the acting Chair of the Parliament, that he wishes he could stare into her eyes till eternity. He was continuing his session of ‘poetry’ when the acting Speaker asked him to look at her while talking, especially when he is addressing the Speaker. To that, Khan told her, “Main to aapko itna dekhu ki aap mujhse kaho ki nazar hata do.” (I want to stare at you so much that you have to ask me to look away.) He added, “Mujhe aap itni achhi lagti hai, itni pyaari lagti hai, ki main aapki aankhon mein aankhein daale rahon yeh mera mann karta hai.” (I like you so much, I find you so lovely, that I wish I could stare at you forever.)
As you can see in the above video, Akhilesh Yadav is laughing at Khan’s sexist rant. He later even came up to his defence and called his remarks as ‘poetry’.
In Azam Khan’s case, too, the apple has not fallen far from the tree. His son, Abdullah Azam, while addressing a rally, had referred to Jaya Prada as ‘Anarkali’. Abdullah Azam Khan said, “Ali bhi humare, Bajrang Bali bhi chahiye lekin anarkali nahi chahiye (We want Ali and also Bajrang Bali but not Anarkali).”
Unfortunately, neither this is the only time Samajwadi Party leaders have been so casually sexist nor is Khan the only one.
During the run-up to the 2019 general elections, Samajwadi Party leader Firoz Khan had said that Jaya Prada would henceforth adorn the evenings of the people of Rampur. He had said that Rampur residents will now be ‘entertained’ as Prada would visit for campaigning. Firoz Khan, not too surprisingly, is a close aide of Azam Khan.
Interestingly, Jaya Prada herself was with Samajwadi Party for almost two decades before shifting to the BJP earlier this year. Essentially, these men were having these kind of thoughts about their own colleague.
Continuing to deliver filth, Firoz Khan had even said that the people of Sambhal, an adjoining district, would also now like to spend their maximum time in Rampur since Jaya Prada would be present there.
Meanwhile, earlier today, yet another Samajwadi Party leader, MP ST Hasan said that it is better to give triple talaq to one’s wife who is having an illicit affair instead of killing her or setting her on fire. As reports, Hasan said that if a man comes home and sees his wife with another man, then he will get angry. In that anger, it is better he gives her a triple talaq instead of killing her or burning her to death.
Unsurprisingly, not the first time he has used derogatory language for women. Earlier this month, when film actor Zaira Wasim had taken sudden ‘retirement’ from the film industry because it was not ‘compatible’ with Islam, Hasan had said how actresses are modern-day ‘tawaifs’ (courtesans).
“Earlier Nawabs had ‘mujra’ at their places and a tawaif (courtesan) would come and perform and entertain people. Nothing wrong in it. If ‘tawaif’ may be an unparliamentary word so we could remove it and use the word ‘actress’ instead’. Tawaif is not a sex worker. She entertains people. Earlier they were called ‘tawaif’ now they are called ‘actresses’,” he had said.
Why so sexist?
What is it about these politicians that makes them believe that being so casually sexist is okay? That their problematic statements and views on women are not really problematic? Why are they not called out for their behaviour as often as they should be? Especially from the party leadership? How can something that gets considered as sexual harassment at workplace get dismissed as ‘poetry’ by the party chief and nobody calls that out?
And shockingly, when articles are written that ‘men are trash’, these politicians never make it to the list. When ‘woke’ Twitter feminist writes a thread on how politicians of a particular party are anti-women, these men will not be mentioned.
After all, ‘men will be men’.