Jaya Bachchan and Swati Mahiwal’s outburst in Parliament and outside can be understandable but also shows that our politicians have run out of ideas and they treat all these incidents of violence against women as a simple ‘law and order’ problem. Both of them would not speak against the culture which degrade woman and make them secondary to men. Why would they speak when they ‘celebrate’ so ‘joyously’ all the festivities where women celebrate their secondary status in the “Karwachowth’, Bhaiya Dooj, Rakhi, Sankat Chowth. Not only this read the ‘good books’ of Gita Press Gorakhpur by Goyanka ji who describe how woman should live, in his book ‘adarsh bharatiya naari’.
The seriousness of our Parliamentarian was that there were not many people to discuss this. You can count the number of those attending session that time, in your fingers. Where is the outrage ?
Just asking to hand over the ‘accused’ to the public and do the lynching is the worst kind of response from a law-maker. Can those sitting in parliament and assemblies really speak like this which is absolutely suggesting the culture of mob lynching. Yes, we have failed to protect our people. We have failed to take action but that is in every sphere otherwise all those whose name came in Panama papers would have been behind the bar but they enjoy not only popularity but also ‘respect’. Our criticism and campaign are very selective and targeted. When you speak about corruption, you will give name of Lalu Yadav but will not utter a word against the Ambanis or Bachchans.
We need to devote some time to think on these issues. Professionalise your forces and law enforcing agencies. As long as these agencies are just tools of the ruling parties to harass those who are opponents or civil society organisations, independent journalists, activists, they will never be able to look at these issues with a perspective of human rights.
Unfortunately, human rights became the ‘worst’ term in this country and the right wing men and women ( I include Patriarchal women in this) have abused human rights defenders and feminists. I can say that today that it will the Human Rights defence that we all need including those Hindutva champions who have often abused them. Once we respect the individual and her autonomy over her body, we will respect her right but that understanding will not come unless our leaders and those who are in public services and institutions educate themselves and their children, students that ‘Past’ is not always great and glorious. Times have changed. Women are not just your family guardians or care taker but are leaders and need equal space in all sphere of our life.
All public spaces will need women’s representation and deal women’s issue is not merely their issue but as a human rights issues. And the more women emerge from social movements into these structure, it would be better. I wish more and more women active on ground become our law makers so that we are saved from idiotic ideas of those who are symbolically brought out from the ‘powerful’ families in the name of ‘woman’. We dont need people from tinsel town to ‘represent’ us and in the last twenty years, more and more ‘brands’ are entering our Parliament which shows deep antipathy of our political towards people’s representative . Political leaders have made politics apolitical by bringing these ‘brands’ into public life who have no interest except for ‘serving’ themselves and protecting their ‘money’ and other ‘business’ deals. If parties are so interested in Women’s issues let them give fair representation to women from all segments including Dalit, Adivasi, OBCs, minorities, in these lawmaking processes but they wont give. Tragedy is that when Parties like Samajwadi Party ensure that Jaya Bachchan is in their Rajya Sabha seat for continuously for such a long period but never ask her what is her contribution towards the ideas that her party stand for. Either the party does not stand for socialist ideas or Jaya is not bothered about socialism and social justice but her own self. But the problem is that once she leave Samajwadi Party or the party is not willing to give her ticket, the others are ready to embrace them. This is the biggest scandal. It will never allow people to come from the grassroots or from the marginalised sections to be in power structure.
Indian law makers must come out of these lynch mob ideas and encourage the gender audit of our laws and all the institutions to expedite the cases of violence against women. The fast track courts are important apart from involvement of women in our police and other public services. As a parliamentarian, you cant show your helplessness when we have given all power to them. It is a clear indication of evading responsibility and accountability. Expedite the process, make your executive sensitive to the issue and fix a time frame towards outcome but dont jump to the idea of mob trial and mob justice. We already have lost so many innocent people to the lynch mob and mob trials, it is time we focus on sharpening our laws and ensure that police and other agencies do their work efficiently and take the cases to logical conclusion in a fixed time frame work.