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Silence of the Bachchans: When Samajwadi Party’s Jaya Bachchan kept quiet as her party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav justified rapes

It is disconcerting that why, Jaya Bachchan, who did not even think twice before rebuking the BJP leader on the double, has chosen to maintain a stoic silence every time her own party members have indulged in something unethical.

Veteran Bollywood actress, the wife of the Bollywood icon Padma Shri Amitabh Bachchan and senior Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan on Tuesday attacked BJP MP Ravi Kishan for raising the drug abuse issue which is quite prevalent in Bollywood. Speaking in Rajya Sabha, the SP MP tore into Ravi Kishan, also a Bhojpuri actor, damning him for criticising something that provides them with their livelihood. “Jis thaali mein khaate hai, usi mein chhed karte hai“, lambasted Jaya Bachchan in the upper house.

The veteran actor’s allegiance for the film industry is extremely touching. Though Ravi Kishan was not saying something which the general public is unaware of, as it is a well-established fact that Bollywood has always been closely connected to the drug mafia, the angry and irritated Jaya Bachchan blustered against the BJP MP, that too, for merely stating facts.

Samajwadi Party’s Jaya Bachchan and her selective outrage

Well, one thing which has emerged from today’s episode is that the veteran actor and the Samajwadi Party senior leader Jaya Bachchan is extremely outspoken and opinionated. But what is disconcerting and baffling is that then why, Jaya Bachchan, who did not even think twice before rebuking the BJP leader on the double, has chosen to maintain a stoic silence every time her own party members have indulged in something unethical.

One remembers Jaya Bachchan breaking down during a silent march held for the Nirbhaya gang-rape victim and expressing her condolences to the victim`s family saying she “understood their pain.” But when it came to speaking against the founder-patron of her own party-Mulayam Singh Yadav’s outrageous comment justifying rape, Jaya Bachchan remained tight-lipped.

For the uninitiated, in 2014, the SP founder member Mulayam Singh Yadav had been rebuked by practically every section of the society for his “Ladkon se aisi galtiyan ho jaati hain” remark when he was questioned on how justified it was to award death penalty to the three accused in the Shakti Mills rape cases in Mumbai.

The veteran Samajwadi Party leader had said: “Ladkon se aisi galtiyan ho jaati hain to iska ye matlab nahin ki phaansi de di jaye (Boys do make such mistakes but that does not mean that they should be sent to the gallows).” Mulayam had then opined that death penalty from rape accused was “unfair”, but then the so-called forthright actor had gone into hiding. Not a word of condemnation had come from her side.

Addressing a rally in Moradabad in 2014, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had said how girls first befriend boys and when they develop difference of opinion, the girls call it ‘rape’.

That’s not all. Jaya Bachchan chose to keep mum when her co-actor Jaya Prada was being badgered with sexist and misogynistic comments by her own party leader, it is simply unrighteous for her to speak now.

Where was the veteran actress when her co-star and colleague Jaya Prada alleged that her morphed, lewd pictures were being circulated by another Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan? Why did she not speak when Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and MLA from Rampur constituency Azam Khan stooped even lower than his usual low self by making utterly outrageous “khaki underwear” remark against the then BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Rampur, Jaya Prada? Why wasn’t Jaya Bachchan seen standing shoulder to shoulder with Jaya Prada when she alleged that Azam Khan had attempted an acid attack on her?

Jaya Bachchan also remained silent when Azam Khan recited sexist ‘poem’ for BJP MP Rama Devi. 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.

And then Samajwadi Party’s ST Hassan referred to former actress Zaira Wasim as ‘tawaif’. He had also 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

While the usual suspects from Bollywood are hailing and lauding Jaya Bachchan for lecturing BJP leader Ravi Kishan and standing up for the film fraternity, they seem to have conveniently forgotten her silence, where it was perhaps more important for her to speak up.

Guess, men will be men.

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