There's more to Assamese actress and BJP MLA Angoorlata Deka than her beauty

The commentary on Assamese actress Angoorlata Deka, the first time BJP MLA from Batadroba, has been sexist and ofensive

FP Staff May 25, 2016 10:55:29 IST
There's more to Assamese actress and BJP MLA Angoorlata Deka than her beauty

You might think that when a first-time candidate and political novice campaigns against a veteran MLA — and wins with a margin of over 6,000 votes — the coverage would be all about how she pulled off this feat.

Theres more to Assamese actress and BJP MLA Angoorlata Deka than her beauty

Angoorlata Deka. Image from Twitter

But in the case of Angoorlata Deka, the newly named BJP MLA from the Batadroba constituency in Assam, the focus has all been on her looks.

“Meet the BJP MLA who is famous for her beauty,” read one headline on Angoorlata. Another called her India’s “hottest woman MLA”. “BJP ki is mahila vidhyaka ke khoobsurti ke charche”, “A new beauty sensation in politics” — you’d be forgiven for thinking that Angoorlata had won a beauty pageant rather than an election, after reading these pieces.

Take a look at the Google searches that trended for Angoorlata Deka after her 19 May win:

Theres more to Assamese actress and BJP MLA Angoorlata Deka than her beauty

One website extolled how she was joining the “league of extraordinary ladies vis-à-vis beauty” in politics (a league that is apparently headed by Hema Malini, and counts Gul Panag among its members).

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma tweeted about how he was now interested in politics, thanks to beautiful women like Angoorlata.

Photos comparing Angoorlata’s look in her films and during her modelling day were positioned next to those of her as a BJP MLA, presumably to drive home the point about her beauty.

The rest of her achievements were either skimmed over, or ignored entirely.

Here’s what you do need to know about Angoorlata Deka:

Her opponent, the Congress’ Gautam Bora, had been the MLA from Batadroba from 2011. Angoorlata defeated him with a margin of 6,000 votes.

She joined the BJP in December 2015.

She was one of the only two women BJP candidates to win. The BJP had given tickets to a total of six women candidates in Assam.

Angoorlata’s filmography includes Junda Iman Gunda, Bakor Putek, Surjasta, Hiya Diba Kak, Jeeya Jurir Xubax.

And this is what Angoorlata Deka had to say about the comments regarding her looks:

“People may have gone to Mars but their mindsets haven’t changed…I wanted to use my celebrity status to serve the people and contribute to the development of the society. Such comments are uncalled for. People need to grow intellectually. Henceforth, I will not react to such comments.”

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