While speaking at the Harvard India Conference, Sabyasachi Mukherjee infamous comment on Indian women’s ability to drape a saree had many heads nodding disapprovingly. Richa Singh writes on how Shaming Women is nothing but a business strategy.
From the fact that your laugh is too loud or that you enjoy a pint of beer a bit much, this week has been heroic when it comes to liberation of women in India. Latest in the line of ‘How to be an un-shameful woman’ is celebrated designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s
”Shame on you if you don’t know how to wear a saree”.
And the world was reeling under the after effects of his words, when in the same SPEECH he went on to talk about disconnect of youth with Indian roots and how we are rising to be a generation that is “socially insecure”.
For a good two seconds, my sense of admiration for Mukherjee sky rocketed. An entrepreneur myself, I appreciate a good business strategy when it comes along.
In a country where a saffron clad ‘Baba’ has become one of India’s richest businessmen, Mukherjee’s focus is clear. A rich clientele orgasming on ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ culture. And one cannot but admire the finesse with which he pulled it off.
Unfortunately for Mukherjee though, that before everything else I am also but a woman. Le sigh. And my admiration for his business acumen is unfortunately completely overshadowed by the puke I did over his sexism.
In a country that is 48.5 % India, the business of ‘shaming women’ is flourishing! From fairness creams to self preaching gynaecologists, from complexion to body clock – everything is getting sold over ‘un-shameful women behaviour’.
Then why would good old Sabyaschi remain behind? After all with recent GST changes, poor man’s clothes are finally getting taxed at a staggeringly high (but still only below average tax) rate of 12 % GST! That is a rich set of people cringing at the MRPs now.
What could Mukherjee deliver that could dull the pain of rising prices? Of course, a tasty cocktail of patriotism mixed with patriarchy.
But on a more serious note, the position of women in India is threatening the orthodox socio-economic structure of our society. The empowered lot does not need to listen to your pedantic rants of how we should laugh, drink or in fact wear our own nine yards. The so-called ‘society’s thekedaars’ can now take their opinion and shove it back into their businesses or election talks, we women are fed up of listening to what is your idea of an Ideal Lady in this country.
Speaking of Ideal Lady, a thirty-three-year-old works for me as my Woman Friday. She garners a good forty thousand a month purely by running small errands for all the women in our society. She is a single mom who has sent her son to one of the most expensive colleges of the region, all on her own. And she chooses to wear what she likes as she desires her life to be.
A few months back she was undergoing a rather smooth and mutual divorce, when she candidly told me one of the proceedings that took place inside the court. Where the lawyer on her ex-husband’s side casually remarked, ‘Woman’s ego is today responsible for rising number of divorce cases’.
Ha! Another businessman attributed his turnover to shaming of women.
Richa Singh is a TEDx Speaker and the founder of BlogChatter.
Pic Credit: India Today