Dhaka, Bangladesh
The misogynist minister

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The misogynist minister

The Chandigarh stalking and attempted kidnapping case has exposed yet another BJP leader for harbouring a sexist, patriarchal mindset. This time it is Union minister Babul Supriyo who has embarrassed the party. Taking to social media to make light of the stalking incident where Vikas Barala – son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala – is an accused, Supriyo first questioned why a kidnapping charge should be raised in the case. This despite the fact survivor Varnika Kundu mentioned that the perpetrators tried to abduct her. Supriyo then questioned the logic of highlighting the political credentials of the accused’s father – as if he is entirely oblivious about politicians influencing police cases in this country. But what really took the cake was Supriyo’s tweet, “We all went to college and know, like reel, ‘Boy chase Girl’ exists in real life too”. Justifying a serious case of stalking and attempted abduction by comparing it to how college romances are depicted in movies is gross and downright deplorable. It’s precisely this dreadful mindset that percolates down to administration and police, loading the system against women in general and victims of sexual crimes in particular. That in turn enables more such crimes to be committed. Supriyo ought to know that stalking is a serious offence. And the Chandigarh incident was very far from a filmy lovelorn boy chasing a girl. Had the Chandigarh police not intervened in a timely manner, there’s no telling what Varnika would have had to face. At a time when the top echelon of the BJP leadership is emphasising the need to empower women, Supriyo should know better than to be utterly insensitive and callous about sex crimes. More so as a Union minister, from whom a bare minimum of social responsibility and basic courtesy is called for. —The Times of India

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