Mard ka dard

When 56 inch chest He Men are asked to #BeAMan, many are un­manned and yell man­hunt

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY - Sa­[email protected]

None other than the na­tional com­mis­sion of women, (not to be con­fused with the na­tional omis­sion of women) took um­brage that Con­gress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi de­clared that Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi who takes pride in his He-Man 56 inch chest should ask a ‘mahila’ or woman – namely de­fence min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man – to de­fend him and not him­self face ques­tions on the Rafale trans­ac­tion. Many said this shows that lev­els of po­lit­i­cal dis­course are un­manned and lead­ing only to a man­hunt.

Mind you, some women’s com­mis­sion mem­bers them­selves are drawn to the Tarzan type ma­cho man. Can we for­get the chair­per­son of the Ra­jasthan women’s com­mis­sion who once re­marked, there was a time when men had broad shoul­ders and thick chest hair. To­day, she lamented, there are no such broad-shoul­dered hairy men, only skinny boys wear­ing low waisted jeans who can’t pro­tect women. Thus the ques­tion must be asked, when the NCW oblig­ingly rushed to the prime min­is­ter’s de­fence against Rahul Gandhi were the sarkari fem­i­nists stand­ing up against gen­der stereo­typ­ing or sim­ply ar­gu­ing for their cho­sen Su­per­man? After all in to­day’s pol­i­tics those who win votes are da­banggs and bahubalis show­ing that in our democ­racy we’re de­vel­op­ing an un­healthy crav­ing for strong­men at the top. These strong­men need to get in touch with their fem­i­nine side and not live by the old-fash­ioned dic­tum mard ko koi dard nahin hota.

But the Con­gress pres­i­dent’s ‘Be A Man’ ex­hor­ta­tion was seen by many as sim­ply not be­ing man enough. When ‘hid­ing be­hind a woman’ is hurled as an in­sult doesn’t this re­in­force the ar­cane mind­set that the word woman im­plies weak­ness? That’s why nowa­days in­stead of ad­vis­ing stand up and be a man, it’s best to ad­vise stand up and be a woman. After all after cre­at­ing Man, God felt he could do so much bet­ter and cre­ated Woman.

Politi­cians fix­ated too much on the ‘mard’ im­age can some­times pose a dard for vot­ers. In our po­lit­i­cal mi­lieu al­most ev­ery man is a khaas admi and there’s dis­dain for those who are dubbed the short haired or ‘parkati’ woman. That’s why male po­lit­i­cal su­per­heroes must show some maya and ma­mata in their per­sonas and look on the voter as a me­hbooba. In any case why should the word man be tied with ag­gres­sion and dom­i­nance? In­stead male ne­tas should sing, admi hoon admi se pyaar karta hoon.

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