Singer and performer Sapna Chaudhary has been in the news for the past three days because of her rumoured foray into politics. A few days ago, news agencies reported that the popular artiste of Hindi heartland has joined the Congress party, however, Chaudhary has denied this association. But before she could deny her entry into politics, and that she could fight an election against BJP MP Hema Malini, the Twitterati exposed the brazen hypocrisy that infests our society.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Rumours about the singer and dancer Sapna Chaudhary joining politics have been doing rounds on social media.
  • While the singer has denied joining the Congress party, this hasn’t stopped trolls from shaming her.
  • People are alleging that Sapna’s foray into politics is unacceptable because her dances and songs are provocative.

BJP legislator Surendra Singh has said, “Indian electorate will never allow a dancer to run the country.”

No sooner did the “news” of her joining the Congress party broke out, trolls on social media began aggressively dissecting Chaudhary’s career and performances, sharing videos and calling her a nachaniya. How could our politicians remain behind in this race to shame a woman for having an independent career, being self-made and wearing the very lifestyle and attitude on her sleeves, which the orthodox translates as loose, vulgar and shameless?  BJP legislator Surendra Singh said, “Indian electorate will never allow a dancer to run the country.”

Chaudhary is a folk singer and dancer, very popular in the Hindi speaking belt of India. Some may call her performances vulgar or provocative, but the truth is that she is a self-made woman. Besides, if you have a problem with her performances, ask yourselves who is watching them? When Sapna gyrates provocatively on the stage, who are the people, who go crazy and applaud? It is clear that the audience she caters to is male. Yet, we question the provider of titillation here, not the consumer.

It is clear that the audience she caters to is male. Yet, we question the provider of titillation here, not the consumer.

The men who are calling this woman a nachaniya or a bimbette, exposing their own hypocrisy, which we choose to overlook. Men can get away with leering at women and applauding at their suggestive moves. But female dancers have no escape from the tags such performances earn them. These women carry on with their lives with dignity. Their money is hard-earned, and their performances are a form of art, part of an age-old tradition of singing and dancing for entertainment. Why then do we question those who entertain? Why don’t we criticise those who consume this form of entertainment, all the while upholding a moral high ground to subdue and oppress these hard-working singers and artists?

Besides, how does her profession make her an unfit political candidate, if she ever chooses to join politics? We have seen people from various backgrounds and professions take up politics. Some have succeeded, while others have crashed and burned gloriously. Their background or previous profession gave them no edge, nor did it serve as a handicap. Politics is a knack, you either have it, or you don’t. To say that it is unacceptable for Chaudhary to join politics because she is a dancer, is purely based on our skewered take on morality. There is no logic here just plain sexism.

We still treat folk dancers and regional singers differently, because their art is infused with the kind openness, which is too bold for our sanskari sensibilities.

Chaudhary hasn’t joined politics as of yet, but this misunderstanding or rumour has cleared any airs of progress, when it comes to ending sexism in our country. We still treat folk dancers and regional singers differently, because their art is infused with the kind openness, which is too bold for our sanskari sensibilities. The language, the innuendos and those dance moves are a part of a cultural practice. But we love to degrade it and dismiss these female artists as lesser beings, because we would rather shield our men than embrace what these women do with honesty. If anything, that is vulgar here, it is the emptiness of our hypocrisy which stares back at us in the form of comments on social media. Not these women, not what they do.

Picture Credit : Twitter/ANI

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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