Congress, misogyny, and sexism are often interchangeably used terms, and once again, a big senior Congress leader has shown that women are only subjected to blatant objectification in the grand old party of the country. The leader in controversy this time around is former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who during an election rally for candidate Suresh Raje, for the upcoming by-poll of the Dabra seat, made some tasteless remarks about BJP minister Imarti Devi, a Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist.
A video doing the rounds on social media platforms shows Kamal Nath saying during the election speech: “Our candidate is simple in nature. He is not like her… What is her name?” The crowd responds, “Imarti Devi.” “Kya uska naam lun. You all should have warned me. What an item,” he is heard saying in the video.
#WATCH: Our candidate is not like her… what's her name? (people shout Imarti Devi, who is former State Minister) You know her better and should have warned me earlier… ye kya item hai: Former Madhya Pradesh CM & Congress leader Kamal Nath pic.twitter.com/eW76f2z8gU
— ANI (@ANI) October 18, 2020
BJP didn’t waste a moment to take on Kamal Nath and accusing him of insulting Devi, and even lodging a complaint with the Election Commission for “making derogatory remarks against a Scheduled Caste candidate”.
MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was particularly outraged by Kamal Nath’s sexist comments and gave an earful to the Congress leader.
“Imarti Devi is the name of the daughter of a poor farmer, one who started working as a public servant in the village and is now supporting nation-building. Congress called me ‘hungry-naked’, and using the word ‘item’ for a woman has again exposed your feudalist mentality,” tweeted Chouhan.
आज कमलनाथ जी, आज आपने अपने ओछे बयान के द्वारा कांग्रेस की विकृत और घृणित मानसिकता का फिर परिचय दिया।
आपने श्रीमती इमारती देवी ही नहीं, ग्वालियर-चंबल क्षेत्र की एक-एक बेटी और बहन का अपमान किया है!
कमलनाथ जी, आपको किसी भी महिला के सम्मान के साथ खिलवाड़ करने का अधिकार किसने दिया? pic.twitter.com/1m91IkSHYm
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) October 18, 2020
Meanwhile, Congress came up with tame reasoning and tried to play down the entire incident by complicating the semantics.
“Kamal Nathji did not refer to anybody’s name while using the word ‘item’ during his poll rally in Dabra. He didn’t name Imarti Devi in his speech, as claimed by BJP. It is BJP that is naming Imarti Devi in the matter. The party should desist from creating controversy during the election,” said Congress state media coordinator Narendra Saluja.
This is not the first time that a Madhya Pradesh Congress leader has spewed pure misogyny. Former Congress General Secretary, Digvijaya Singh in the past has called his own party MP a ‘sau tunch maal’ (totally unblemished) — a northern colloquial that loosely translates into “a desirable object”.
“Our party MP, Meenakshi Natrajan, is a Gandhian, simple, and honest leader. She keeps going from place to place in her constituency. I am a seasoned smith of politics. Meenakshi sau tunch maal hai,” Singh had made these statement back in the day.
Recently, a group of Congress workers had thrashed a woman party leader in Uttar Pradesh for questioning the candidature for the upcoming by-polls of a man, whom she accused of being a rapist. According to a TOI report, the woman identified as Tara Yadav protested over the ticket given to Congress candidate Mukund Bhaskar Mani Tripathi. Tara Yadav claimed that the party gave the ticket to a wrong person who is a rapist.
Congress' Tara Yadav manhandled by party workers at an event in Deoria.(10.10)
She says,“I was thrashed by party workers when I questioned party's decision to give a ticket to a rapist, Mukund Bhaskar for upcoming by-polls. Now, I'm waiting for Priyanka Gandhi ji to take action” pic.twitter.com/MYYp8k1GLX
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 11, 2020
The incident was an example of the culture being fostered within the party where women are degraded and if one doesn’t have a Gandhi surname then she doesn’t deserve any respect, forget rising through the ranks.
The statement of Kamal Nath comes at a time when Congress is trying its level-best to politicize the issue of Hathras gangrape, without keeping in mind any interests of the victim or her family.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has once again gone back to her lavish lifestyle after taking a slight detour by visiting Hathras for the optics is nowhere to be seen during this controversy. Ms Vadra routinely takes jibe at the Yogi Adityanath government for its alleged treatment of women but when it comes to sorting her own house and the rotten mindset of Congress leaders, she observes a stoic silence.
Congress and its leaders, time and again expose themselves for the sheer misogyny they practice and if the Congress’ ‘coming of age leader’ Rahul Gandhi cannot reprimand his senior party leader for such crude statements, then he possibly shouldn’t lead his party.