Share Button

Two months after a Kerala nun accused a bishop of raping her multiple times over two years, a politician called her a prostitute, questioning why did not complain the first time the sexual assault happened.

“Is there any doubt that the nun is a prostitute? 12 times it was pleasure, 13th time it became a rape? Where was she when it happened 12 times? Whom is she telling this to? Why did she not complain on the first time it happened?” asked PC George, an Independent MLA from Poonjar (in Kottayam district of Kerala), during a press meet in Thiruvananthapuram on September 8.

This outrageously sexist remark by a man about rape is not an isolated instance. Indian men, especially politicians, love to make cringe-worthy and misogynistic remarks against rape survivors. The slut-shaming of rape survivors or women in general is a regular feature of Indian politicians. They blame a woman for suggestive looks, her short dress or the time she ventured out for sexual crimes against her.

Maybe it gives them some kind of a vicarious pleasure. Maybe it’s the retarded patriarchy to blame for such pearls of their medieval mindset.

Getting back to the Kerala nun case, the lawmaker wasn’t the only one who used trauma of women to victim-blame them in public, a filmmaker also did the same.

Both men were forced to eat humble pie after outrage over their remarks.

Following George’s “prostitute” comment, some social activists started a #Vaaymoodal (Shut Your Mouth) campaign on Facebook, urging people to send cellophane tape to the legislator so he can keep his mouth shut. Many actors, activists and leaders trolled George, who is notorious for his controversial outbursts, with some saying his “gutter mouth needed a thorough cleaning to check foul smell.”

The Kerala lawmaker withdrew his comment this week, saying “it was It was a slip on my part and I should not have used the word and withdraw summarily what I said”.

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri was called out by actor Swara Bhasker, forcing him to delete his controversial tweet. Bhasker wrote on microblogging site Twitter that the director was “using the trauma of women who are rape survivors to slut shame and abuse in public a woman you don’t like”. “In the rare moments of sanity that may visit your brain – otherwise unhinged with hate – think about how low that is #scum,” her tweet continued.

Earlier, Bhasker, considered among the opinionated actors of Indian film industry, wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely shameful and disgusting!!!! Scum present across political spectrums and religious divides in India. Literally nauseating!” in response to George’s comment.

To this, Agnihotri made a controversial tweet: “Where is the placard #MeTooProstituteNun?” in a reference to #MeToo movement.

(#MeToo spread on social media as a hashtag to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. Several American celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence and Uma Thurman popularized the phrase through their social media posts.)

Bhasker reported Agnihotri to Twitter, which locked his account for violation of the Twitter rules. The account was unlocked after he deleted the controversial tweet.

Indian political spectrum is replete with male chauvinists, forcing us to think if we are a nation of misogynists or we elect such foul-mouthed men as our lawmakers. Pity is, they get away with such outrageous comments without much flak. There are TV debates on them, where such politicians get it in the neck. The news anchors and their guests want to wring their necks for making those comments. And then it dies down. Until some other loudmouth in some other part of the country exposes the dirt in his mind.

The best way to shame such men is to call them out. To keep reminding them that their minds are full of muck and they need to flush it out.

Here are some of the ugly gems:

Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi following mass molestation on New Year’s Eve in Bengaluru, 2016: “The more nudity, the more a girl is considered fashionable. Ants will swarm the place where sugar is.”

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav following the gang rape of a 22-year-old photojournalist at the Shakti Mills compound in Mumbai: “Boys and girls… later they had differences, and the girl went and gave a statement that I have been raped. And then the poor fellows, three of them have been sentenced to death. Should rape cases lead to hanging? Boys are boys, they make mistakes. Two or three have been given the death sentence in Mumbai. We will try and change such laws…we will also ensure punishment of those who report false cases.”

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister dropped another pearl in August 2015: “Often if one person commits rape, four people are named in the complaint. Four people are named for rape, can it be possible? It is not practical. They probably say one was watching.. another was there. If there are four brothers, then all four are named.”

His elder cousin and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav thought about women no better. Two teenage cousins were gang-raped and found hanging from a tree in Banda, Uttar Pradesh, in xxx. Yadav said: “In many places, when the relationship between girls and boys comes out in open, it is termed as rape. Uttar Pradesh is being deliberately targeted. Such incidents are happening everywhere.”

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat following Nirbhaya rape case in January 2013: “Such crimes hardly take place in Bharat, but they occur frequently in India. Go to villages, no gang rapes or sex crimes there, they are prevalent in urban areas.”

Finance minister Arun Jaitley in August 2014: “One small incident of rape in Delhi advertised world over is enough to cost us billions of dollars in terms of global tourism.”

Rapist Asaram Bapu: “The five or six drunken men were not the only ones guilty. The girl was also responsible… Had she recited the Saraswati mantra, she would not have boarded any bus after watching a movie with her boyfriend.”

Haryana chief minister Manhohar Lal Khattar in October 2014: “If a girl is dressed decently, a boy will not look at her in the wrong way. If you want freedom, why don’t they just roam around naked? Freedom has to be limited. There short clothes are western influences. Our country’s tradition asks girls to dress decently.”

Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ramsevak Paikra in June 2014: “No one commits rape intentionally. It happens by mistake.”

Share Button
Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY