Mahesh Sharma, Save Your Advice For How Indian Men Should Act

Published: August 30, 2016 14:27 IST
Sharmaji, this is Pammi Aunty on the line. Whattttt? You don't know me? That's fine. I also wish I didn't know you. Chalo. Life hamesha equal-equal nahi hoti. I am calling to complain, ji. My bahu and I are fighting-fighting like anything about your skirt-wala comment. No ji, my bahu is not a foreign tourist, even if she behaves like one. And I don't allow her to wear skirt-wirt now that she is married to my beta. She is angry because she says, "Today this minister saab is discouraging female tourists to wear chhota-chhota kapda. Tomorrow, he may stop us also! We can't allow that, na, Mummyji?" She has a point. But a faltu one, as usual. She only wears salwar-suits, but argues anyway. My personal point is different. 

I think you should first advise Indian men on how to dress and behave with Indian women. Uske baad, foreign kudis. You should also advise them on how to behave when they go to foreign countries. My munda is not like those dirty loafers. But that's because I am his mother. Just see, Sharmaji - stand in any mall, station, stadium, airport, sabzi mandi, college, school...arrey, wherever there are kudis. Watch how our men behave. First they stare like their eyes have turned into potatoes. Then they scratch. How they scratch! Always their hands go 'there' only. I feel like giving Nycil powder to all the scratchers. But even that won't stop the habit. It is a national trait. Can you bring a law against it, Sir ji?

As it is, nobody is dying to come to India these days. Especially foreign kudis who think the minute they get off the plane, they will be raped. Haan ji! That is our reputation. Our own women don't feel safe on the streets, whether they are wearing skirts, sarees or salwar-suits - whether they are top-to-toe covered or showing legs vaghera. Indian men have a buri nazar...we all know that. 

So Sir ji, this Indian culture you keep talking about has to include all this first. I am a woman. If I want to go shopping in my nightie, what goes of anybody's father? Am I telling men in transparent dhotis, or pulled-up lungis that they should cover up? See...even grown men in khaki shorts are changing to long pants. But that is their wish! Not because women stared at their hairy legs and made them feel unsafe. We are also same-same. 

You suddenly did a double dholki and changed your words. You said your comment was meant for a proper dress code at religious places. But Sir ji, that applies to men also, no? Can foreign men walk into a temple/church/mosque/gurdwara bare-chested and wearing shorts? But you are not advising men. Yeh kya, Sir ji? According to you, men are not budtameez? Only women?

All this culture-vulture talk is bekaar ki baat. Respect for women does not depend on the length of her skirt. Respect is the real "mann ki baat" our society has to learn.

(Shobhaa De is an established writer, columnist, opinion shaper and social commentator, who is considered an authority on popular culture.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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