Samajwadi Party candidate Azam Khan has made another shameful remark, this time against former colleague Jaya Prada. The earlier SP leader had recently joined Bhartiya Janata Party and is contesting from Rampur against Azam Khan. She had been a former Lok Sabha MP from Rampur from SP ticket. However, during the election campaign, Jaya had accused that she was forced to leave Rampur because of Azam Khan.
Azam Khan was caught on camera making disrespectful comments while railing against his BJP rival and former Bollywood actress Jaya Prada in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur constituency. At a rally on Sunday, he had said, “…the underwear beneath is of the khakhi colour” in comments that were widely interpreted as directed at actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada, his former colleague.
The SP leader remarked that “For 10 years the person sucked the blood of Rampur, I held that person’s finger and brought the person to Rampur. I made her familiar with the streets of Rampur. I didn’t let anyone touch her. No dirty words were used. You made the person your representative for 10 years. Hindustan waalon , uski asliyat samajhne main aapko 17 baras lag gaye (understanding the person’s real face you took 17 years). I realised in 17 days that the underwear beneath is of the khaki colour.”
Khan has now been charged in a police complaint and has also been asked for an explanation by the National Commission for Women.
As the controversy raised anger among people and the BJP party, Azam Khan claimed he made the remarks in the context of a “man” who had apparently said that “he brought 150 rifles with him” and if he sees Azam Khan, he would shoot him. Without naming who he was referring to Azam Khan said, “Now, it has been revealed that he has an RSS pant on his body. Shorts are worn by men.”
He spoke to news agency ANI saying that “I will not contest the polls if proven guilty…I haven’t named or insulted anyone and I know what I should say”.
“I was a nine-time MLA from Rampur and have been a minister. I know what to say,” the SP leader said in a retreat following outrage and condemnation of his comments.
This is not the first time that Azam Khan made derogatory remarks against anyone. Khan waded into another controversy in with his statement that appeared to suggest that Indian soldiers have been indulging in rape.
Addressing crowds at an event, Azam Khan remarked Jaya Prada as ‘naachne wali’. He said “Padmaavat was made. Heard Khilji’s character is very bad. Padmavati left this world before Khilji’s arrival. But now, a woman, a naachne waali (dancer), has made some remark about me. Tell me, if I entertain this ‘naachne gaane wali’, how will I concentrate on politics?”
Azam Khan’s statement came as a response to Jaya’s claim that Khilji’s character in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum-opus Padmaavat reminded her of Azam Khan that how he harassed her when she was in Rampur earlier.
It is believed that Azam Khan brought Jaya Prada to Rampur and helped her win her Lok Sabha seat from Samajwadi Party ticket.
Jaya Prada gradually moved to the Amar Singh camp, also a Samajwadi party leader. Since then, Azam Khan has made a series of derogatory remarks against the actor-turned-politician.
By 2009, the relationship became so bitter that Azam Khan supporters openly campaigned against Jaya Prada.
In 2010, Jaya Prada and Amar Singh were expelled from the Samajwadi Party.
The Samajwadi Party leader had said that ‘terrorists had been chopping off private parts of Army personnel to send ‘a strong message that should leave the entire nation ashamed.’
However, Khan reverted back by claiming that his statement was misconstrued by the media.
Azam Khan also raged controversy when he said that mobile phones are responsible for the rape of minors, saying misuse of these gadgets by the younger generation has led to an alarming rise in such cases.
“Rape cases have increased due to the misuse of mobile phones by the younger generation. They watch dirty films on the mobile phones,” he claimed, adding, “these films show objectionable things.”
This is not the first time that women politicians have faced disparaging remarks against them by their male counterparts. Politicians often disregard women in general through their comments signalling that Indian politics have downgraded immensely.
Congress MP and president’s son Abhijit Mukherjee on the Delhi protests against rapes “dented-painted women protesters in Delhi went to discotheques and then turned up at India Gate to express outrage.’’
Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam to BJP MP Smriti Irani, “It’s only four days of your entry into politics and you have become a political analyst. Aap toh TV pe thumke lagati thi, aaj chunavi vishleshak ban gayi (you were shaking your hips on TV, and now you have become a psephologist).’’
Like Azam Khan, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, on numerous occasions have cited remarks against women. In a public rally in Barabanki, he said that “Only women from the affluent classes can get ahead in life, but remember you rural women will never get a chance because you are not that attractive.’’
In April 2014, while opposing death penalty to three men convicted in a gangrape case, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had said, “boys will be boys, they commit mistakes.” He had even blamed the girls for rape saying that girls get friendly with boys and when they fight and have differences, they term it as rape.
JDU leader Sharad Yadav opposing the Women’s Bill said that the bill would only benefit the well-off in the cities, describing well-off women as, ‘‘par kati auratein’ (women with short hair).
In the 21st C, Indian women still face a lot of hurdles to be successful. When at someplace women are making a global reach, Indian men still believe that women cannot make up to men and men are still superior to the other gender. The country which was once led by a women Prime Minister, a women President and is having a woman as the defence minister, such remarks defy that some men will always believe that they constitute the superior gender in the society and that women shall always be the inferior one.