First published on CNN
Recently in India, a woman activist has slapped a man in a live national TV debate.
For those who do not understand Hindi, the man Ezaz Khan wanted to make a point in the debate when she was continued to interrupt him. The debate was on his party’s stand on some social issue. When he could not get into the conversation he said to her “whether she wanted to cry like that or allow him to speak”. To this Sharma has said ‘Shut Up’ and started showing her temper. Then Ezaz raised his voice in reply and reminded her that “she was misbehaving with him and should behave herself first”.
Since Ezaz shouted on a lady on a national live TV debate, the anchor demanded an immediate apology from Ezaz. The Anchor who is clearly having a biased feministic view of empowerment did not consider that it was the woman in question who raised her voice first and said: “Shut UP”. With this Ezaz was not happy and refused to apologize. He said he has not used any wrong language in the debate but she has instead used ‘none sense’ against him. With this she got violent and he gets a tight slap from her on the live show.
Later in her media interview on this matter, Sharma claimed that Khan was misbehaving with her throughout the debate. She demanded that he called her ‘mentally ill’, ‘shameless’ ‘cheap’ and that she was ‘greedy for party ticket’ earlier in the debate and hence earned the slap.
Even though the entire video is not available to be viewed but for discussion purpose even if we consider her claim to be true that does not allow her to take the law of the land in her own hands. She could have filed a complaint and criminal case of “outraging the modesty” or defamation or whatever she wanted. In fact, this act of slapping itself puts her modesty in question and shows how much a woman can stoop to take all benefits of law and still claim oppressed.
It is also important to note that earlier she has also approached Indian Men’s Rights Communities and offered to extend her support to the groups if they had paid her. Point to note, here is Indian Men’s Rights Groups work on a voluntary basis where no activist is paid anything for their social work. It is also important to note that she claims to be a social activist who was earlier in BJP, parted her ways with BJP and joined AAP only to part her ways sooner and being a rebel.
From the incidents of her supporting a voluntary community for money, changing political parties frequently show how vague her claim to be a social or political activist may be apart from casting doubt on her stability and ethics.
It is important to note here for the international audience is that Mr. Ezaz Khan was defending the debate in favor of his own party AAP and Ms. Sharma (who has just come out of the party after a short stint) was accusing the party. It was but natural for Ezaz to try to put forward his points when he was not allowed to speak while he was continued to be violated. In fact, the anchor of the show allowed him to talk but Ms. Sharma continued speaking and did not allow him to speak up.
This incidence on national TV shows the state of feminism in India. It is long been projected to international communities that India with its patriarchal culture oppresses women. However, we have not seen a similar incidence happening against a woman (a man slapping a woman openly on national TV) ever. Instead, this incidence tells us how empowered women are in India today.
Today Indian women don’t even allow men to talk and have the audacity to slap a man without being charged with a criminal offense. It is also shocking to note the role of TV anchor who is a woman has asked the man to apologize when all he wanted was to speak up and talk about his party’s (remember he was defending in the debate) stand on the matter. From the video clip, it is found that it was he who was supposed to speak up on the issue but Ms. Sharma was not letting him speak and when he reminded her that she misbehaved with him and she has slapped him.
There is another aspect to this whole video. The anchor has shown extreme biases against men and never tried to stop the woman for overshooting her time or being immodest on a national TV, the same point for which she has asked the man to apologize. This shows clear disrespect for a man by her and by her TV channel as well.
This incidence also clarifies that Indian men respect their women too much and even in self-defense men do not retaliate. If Ezaz had retaliated in this case he could have been arrested immediately under different sections of outraging the modesty of a woman. In fact, this is the advantage Sharma took and she clearly told that in another social forum. This shows another bitter truth about India. It is not women but in reality, even the most empowered, modern and highly placed male political leader cannot save himself from violence by women. This raises a serious question that if men in India are really oppressive then why the so-called patriarchal Indian society never raised its voice strongly enough against this crime committed by a woman and made her apologize on a national TV.
This incidence was followed by another shameful and hurtful incidence. AAP has detached itself from Ezaz instantly. With that decision, AAP has shown great disrespect not only for their own partymen who support the party but also promoted violence against men, violence against minorities (remember Ezaz Khan is from a minority community) and denied justice to the victim based on gender. So in a way, AAP has promoted gender discrimination too. This shows the dirty Indian politics that in one hand talks of empowering minorities but in reality checks their vote bank before doing anything. Clearly here AAP supported a woman because women consist of 49% of the Indian vote bank.
This video also busts the myth that Indian women can’t be violent. In fact, it reminds us of the hard reality that if we consider women as equal and if we consider them as human beings, we also need to consider them as likely to be violent and abusive. Hence this shows a dire need to make all Indian laws gender neutral and punish all such acts of violence irrespective of gender. Just imagine if this can happen on a national live TV show, then what happens inside four walls of Indian homes.
This also reminds us of another bitter and hidden truth. Indian fathers today can’t save their own children from the wrath of their mothers, because of the fear of getting falsely implicated in criminal cases. Today our children suffer abuses silently in the hands of their mothers. This situation is aggravated by the fact that the children welfare is being looked after by the same ministry that looks after women welfare and there is no ministry or national commission to look after the welfare of men in India. So this shows how important and urgent it is to form a national commission for men and also to separate the Ministry for Children Welfare from the Women Development Ministry.
In a nutshell, this slap was not on Ezaz’s face alone but it was on entire Indian society. It shows how poorly we treat Indian men who have only upheld women sanctity and respect in all matters including this one. This busts the politics of women empowerment in India and shows Indian men do not have any justice from the legal system there. Here women criminals move freely and claim everything as their right and take law into their own hands. This is a slap that takes away respect from deserving women too as a potential misuse of the law. This shows extreme disrespect for Indian legal system and lawmakers to show they can be abused for one’s personal interest. Overall this is a highly shameful incidence that needs immediate and harshest legal punishment to the woman and the TV channel. Both are guilty of abetting a crime and shaming the entire country and her women.