Of Mann ki Baat and respecting women

I wrote this after listening to the joint radio broadcast by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama.

What’s ironic about Modi saying Obama’s life is inspirational is not just that it really is so, but that most of the BJP would probably gawp in horror at the idea of a single mother like Obama’s and a wife as independent as Michelle.
Consequently the Indian prime minister, deferring perhaps to BJP’s ingrained chauvinism, ignored those aspects and instead turned the spotlight on the comfortable and conventional: Obama being a proud father. In the process, Modi lost sight of the fact that valuing daughters begins long before a child is conceived. It begins with considering women to be more than childbearing vessels. If you don’t respect women, you will not value a daughter — it’s as simple as that. And therein lies the crucial contradiction that lies at the heart of the well-meaning meaning campaigns against female infanticide and promoting women’s health and education.

You can read the whole article here. Unsurprisingly, not to many right-wingers liked it, which meant a lot of abuse, threats and bile. But one of the last comments did catch my eye when I was copy-pasting from Firstpost to put it here.

“She [i.e. yours truly] is just misusing a public platform to write bullshit feminist concepts from her own imagination. She is continuing her work of irritating people with her absurd ideas. And she thinks she is bringing a revolution here. What a crap article man.”

I almost want to pat this commenter and give them a lollipop. A tart-flavoured one, that is.

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