On January 19, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Sadhana Singh called Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) head Mayawati “worse than a eunuch”. Singh accused Mayawati of “compromising on her dignity for work”.
After receiving much backlash on such outrageous and vile words, Singh apologised saying that she did not intend to hurt anyone. Some BSP leaders have called Singh “mentally-ill”, others had placed a bounty on her head demanding apology. Since public memory is very short-lived, this comment is expected to be forgotten in some time. However, it is not the first time Mayawati has been at the receiving end of deeply misogynistic, sexist and even casteist abuses.
“Worse than a eunuch” and similar comments
“She (Mayawati) has no self-respect… she was almost molested earlier and yet… in history, when Draupadi was molested, she took a vow to seek revenge… but this woman, she lost everything, but still sold her dignity for the sake of power. We strongly condemn Mayawati ji. She is a blot on womankind. A woman who gulped insults for comfort and power… is a blot on womankind,” these were the words of Sadhana Singh, a legislator from Mughalsarai (Translated by NDTV).
#WATCH:BJP MLA Sadhna Singh says about BSP chief Mayawati, "jis din mahila ka blouse, petticoat, saari phat jaaye, wo mahila na satta ke liye aage aati hai. Usko pure desh ki mahila kalankit maanti hai.Wo to kinnar se bhi jyada badtar hai, kyunki wo to na nar hai, na mahila hai." pic.twitter.com/w3Cdizd8eR
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 19, 2019
It appears that Singh was referring to the 1995 incident where Mayawati was assaulted by Samajwadi Party workers at a guest house in Lucknow. This created a rift between the two parties, which was only repaired last year when they joined hands to beat BJP.
After the incident, where a mob of about 200 SP workers attacked her, an understandably shaken Mayawati later said that she feared being raped in the guest house that day. Responding to this, Mulayam Singh Yadav said, “Is she so beautiful that anyone should want to rape her?”
As reported by The Caravan, in 2009, the then Congress leader, Rita Bahuguna Joshi said that someone should rape Mayawati and then give her monetary compensation of Rs 1 crore. Joshi was referring to Mayawati’s decision to give monetary compensation to rape victims in UP.
In 2014, the BJP spokesperson Shaina NC had made a snarky comment saying that she was not sure if Mayawati was “a he or a she”, as reported by Deccan Chronicle. In 2016, BJP leader Dayashankar Singh compared Mayawati to a prostitute. He accused her of selling party tickets “like a prostitute”, as reported by The Indian Express.
The Logical Indian Take
Mayawati has time and again been shamed and insulted, as the above comments clearly show. Her appearance, her being a Dalit leader and not having a political lineage or a family has made her the target of many politicians, cutting across party barriers. As The Caravan cites a line from Ajoy Bose’s biography of Mayawati, titled “Behenji” he writes that she is under severe attack and criticism from “traditionalists in Parliament” since she was “the typical example of the deteriorating standards of parliamentary debate”.
It is not only disappointing that the representatives of the public, the leaders stoop down to such level, these comments also strip a human of the basic dignity. It is extremely shameful that basic decency is somewhere lost in the political wars and politicians indulge in such derogatory behaviour.