We are accustomed to our politicians saying foolish things. For example, some have said that women wearing short skirts are asking to be sexually assaulted, or that if "boys" molest women, then, well, "boys will be boys." Then, of course, there are claims that cow dung cures cancer and that cows both inhale and exhale oxygen.
But if there had been an Oscar for sheer asinine comments, it would go uncontested to BJP MLA Vikram Saini, who so succinctly reduced the monumental decision to scrap Article 370 to its base level. Now, he said, excited Indian bachelors can rush to Kashmir and marry pretty and fair girls from the Valley.
It is not easy to combine sexism, racism and prejudice into one sentence, but Saini has successfully done just so. Here is India bracing itself for a backlash from certain quarters, witnessing its neighbour calling for a global condemnation, measuring China’s response and planning the steps towards easing tension in Kashmir. In the middle of all this, there is this unrepentant politician ranting on about men dashing off to wed Kashmiri women, as if the women were desperately waiting for Muslim men from the rest of India to come and marry them.
It is not even crass humour, because Saini is totally earnest about his advisory and stands by it, stating unequivocally that he said nothing wrong.
Of course, it is scary that people like Saini have political authority. Not only does his remark belittle the majority of Indians, who are dark skinned and non-Kashmiri, but it also underscores his dirty mindset and his complete lack of respect for women.
But what is even scarier is that people like him get away with such outrageous remarks. The BJP high command only chastises such people with a ceremonial and symbolic twig, and not with a cane. Such a person should be penalised and shunted out of the ranks. But it does not happen.
Read what he said and cringe. According to him, Indian Muslim men from other states are very excited that now, they can dash off on the next flight to Srinagar and find a fair skinned girl. Then he narrows it down for good measure. He then said that BJP workers who are of the Muslim faith should be celebrating, now that they can trot off and marry these "newly-liberated" women.
One could well concede that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is far too preoccupied to personally look into each damaging and absurd utterance by members of his party, as the number of such gross statements would call for a full time job. But surely there is a disciplinary panel in the BJP headquarters that can at least ensure that there are consequences for uttering such nonsense. After all, this man and his ilk make policy decisions in Uttar Pradesh. For at least this reason, they must be held culpable for their value systems, or the lack thereof.
Updated Date: Aug 08, 2019 17:45:15 IST