“O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above
And he is looking down to judge
So, be careful little mouth what you say.”
Our very own version of the song we grew up singing in schools holds so true for the public leaders of our country today, who have assumed that their power and position give them the liberty to express themselves in whatever manner they deem fit.
In the recent Bangalore molestation episode it was not only the incident that sent shockwaves across the nation, but also the callous reactions and defensive attitude of our officials. Harshest of all being by Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara, who said, “Such incidents do happen on New Year and Christmas, western style of dressing by girls and imitation of western culture are responsible for such incidents of molestation.”
When people sitting at the highest positions of our country’s administration make such crass comments towards female integrity while questioning their lifestyle choices, it makes their followers reciprocate the same attitude with amplified vigor. There is an absolute disregard and failure to comprehend that every negative word gets replicated and resonates to every ear it reaches, till it becomes a mass belief. Indian public is one of the most impressionable target audience, who uses less of their own intellect and relies more on their leaders’. Such crudeness by the leaders simply tends to justify such unacceptable horror throughout the nation.
This is the era of digital media, where varied social media networks and online news platforms spread the smallest of controversy like a wildfire to the farthest corners of the planet in microseconds. It’s not like before where a small snippet in print media would frizzle out soon. It’s a revolutionary information avalanche, where every piece of data whether good or bad, is there to stay and dangerously competent to break an age old image or project a fresh one. Hence arises the need for the country’s major influencers, be it film stars, politicians,sports personalities or celebrities from other walks of life, to be more sensible and sensitive towards issues that can be influenced by their responses. This is the need of the hour, not just for the greater good of the society but also for their own image as well as for our country’s image in front of the world. Being our elected leaders they symbolize us and their image goes a long way towards building a certain perception about the entire nation in front of the world; in this case making it seem unsafe, rowdy and uncivilized.
This is not the first such instance; for years derogatory remarks made by our darling leaders have displayed their hypocrisy and chauvinism. In this context we have collated three remarks, which we found extremely appalling–
• Leading the charts is Abu Azmi, a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader, who said,“Rape is punishable by hanging in Islam. But here, nothing happens to women, only to men. Even the woman is guilty,” he went on to say, “Molestation was bound to happen since women consider nudity as fashion. If a girl celebrates after dark she should go with her husband, father and not with strangers. There should be strict action against those going against our culture.”
• Following him is Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav who said, “It is impossible for four men to rape a woman. Death penalty for a rape is unfair, boys make mistakes.”
• Lastly we have JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav, who exposed his racist opinion on ‘saanvli (dark)’ south Indian women where he said, “The women of the south are dark but they are as beautiful as their bodies.”
Through such sexist remarks and actions, these men aim to project India as a patriarchal society where women are mere objects to be subdued. There’s no bigger irony than the fact that in a country that has been worshiping Goddesses since Vedic Era, certain people continue to treat women worse than livestock and are not ashamed to share their prehistoric ideology and crass views on public forums.
For all such people, we can just conclude with the closing verse of our song,
“O be careful little heart what and whom you trust
O be careful little heart what and whom you trust
As there’s a Father up above
He is looking down and will judge.
So, be careful little heart what you trust.”