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