Jannayak Janta Party leader Digvijay Chautala has run into trouble with Haryana Women’s Commission for his comments on Sapna Chaudhary. The Haryanvi folk singer and dancer joined BJP recently and reacting to this Chautala was caught on camera saying, “Ab thumke lagane wali BJP ke liye votes layegi” (Now, a dancer will get votes for BJP). The JJP leader has stuck to his statement though. “I am being labelled a misogynist by the media since yesterday. But I will still stand by my statement. Sapna Chaudhury’s art is vulgar, these things are not in our culture,” he has said.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • JJP leader Digvijay Chautala is under fire for passing misogynist comments against BJP leader Sapna Chaudhary.
  • Chautala said that now a dancer will get votes for BJP. He also called her art ‘vulgar’.
  • However Chautala isn’t the only politician with affection to taking moral high ground.
  • While it is easy to point fingers at a dancer, do those who watch her aren’t accountable at all?

Chautala isn’t the only politician who has targeted Sapna for her profession. When the rumours of her joining Congress were rife, BJP MLA Surendra Singh made comments on similar lines.

But Chautala isn’t the only leader who has targeted Chaudhary for her profession. In March this year, right before the Lok Sabha elections, the rumours of Chaudhary joining Congress party spread like wildfire. BJP MLA Surendra Singh had then said that the country will never accept a “dancer” in politics. He even went on to suggest that Rahul Gandhi should consider marrying Chaudhary, just like his father married his mother, who was in the same profession as Sapna back in Italy. The moral of these sexist diatribes is that no political party in India holds copyright over making misogynist comments. We can allow men accused of grievous crimes like rapes have a prosperous political career, but heavens forbid if a dancer dares to become a neta.

The corner from which criticism for Sapna was emerging may have switched, along with her own political alliance, but sexism has remained constant. The onus of morality falls on a woman who performs suggestive moves on songs with equally suggestive lyrics. Men like Chautala spare no time in taking the moral high ground and labelling her art as vulgar. But then who is this ‘art’ being catered to? If Sapna is such a popular singer and dancer, clearly she has a massive fan following. We scowl at her moves, but then why don’t we frown at the audience which enjoys them?

But such questions find little place in Indian politics and in our society. It is women who must choose between living with what our society calls dignity, or get called vulgar, spoilt, immoral and whatnot. The gaze which objectifies them remains free of consequences and as it is on other occasions, patriarchy protects it from accountability. Whether or not Sapna’s dancing is vulgar isn’t the debate here, it is what gives Chautala the right to call her out?

If Sapna is such a popular singer and dancer, clearly she has a massive fan following. We scowl at her moves, but then why don’t we frown at the audience which enjoys them?

Chautala and Singh are mere interchangeable politicians who represent a general political mind set of opportunism in this country. A woman can be a ‘vulgar’ dancer or some who’ll bring votes to the party depending on which side she is. And yet we question the dignity of women, not the sly opportunism of our politicians. We all know who is doing damage to the country, Sapna’s moves or the political mind-set to even capitalise on morality.

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 author’s own.

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