Memory is a fickle wimp, I’d like to believe. Because the alternative is too terrifying.
If we clearly remember the blood-curdling cries of #MeToo, we must not get lulled into inaction.
Are you as angry as you were a month back when the novelty of a cathartic moment hit you like a jab in the stomach?
Chetan Bhagat, accused of sexual misconduct ONLY a month back, was recently invited to speak at India Today’s “Sahitya Aaj Tak”, a three-day literary meet in New Delhi.
The diarrhoeaic trumpets that Bhagat’s comments have proved themselves to be in the past did not disappoint. AGAIN.
Let’s, for a minute, set aside the fact that Bhagat’s invitation to the festival does an extreme disservice to every woman attached to the #MeToo movement. Let’s first talk about what Bhagat actually said at the meet.
Apparently, he had asked his wife Anusha Bhagat to leave him after allegations of sexual misconduct were levelled against him. But she declined and, in response, remarked that the two of them are “like Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati” — “‘Ardhanareeshwar’ which is a composite androgynous form of Shiv and Shakti.”
"I saw a new aspect of my wife. She is stronger than me... Just imagine how I can face my mother-in-law, who is a South Indian and me a Punjabi." - Chetan Bhagat
It’s funny how a comparison with Lord Shiva is what it took for Bhagat to “change” his view about his wife. Anyway, first things first:
Here are two things that Bhagat can TOTALLY work on if he really sees Lord Shiva EVERY TIME he looks into the mirror:
1. The myopic vision of his “third eye”
Why? Because, unlike Bhagat, Lord Shiva had his “third eye” sorted. Also known as the eye of wisdom, it is supposed to signify a higher realm of being that perceives things beyond the tangible. You know, looks beyond worldly preoccupations and gets a sense of the deep stuff. (No, you can’t simply get your hair waxed to “figure out’’ a woman, Mr Bhagat)
The Big S has been known to be good at it, which probably kept him away from wayward comments that are inappropriate.
Also, good sir, please stay away from TMI. Especially the snippets that, in NO way, diminish or alleviate the gravity of the allegations that have been levelled against you. If you are trying to get us to sympathise with you because you have to face your South Indian in-laws, you need a reality check.
Here’s the deal: no one cares.
Nothing can possibly dilute the allegations that have come your way.
Now, getting back to the fact that Bhagat was even invited to this meet.
How have we reached this point so seamlessly? Aren’t we enabling an accused by giving him a platform to voice his colourfully illogical opinions?
Perhaps, we’ve heard too many debilitating #MeToo experiences being recounted in the past one month. And, as unforgivable as it is, a sense of familiarity has staled the incidents. A weariness has set in.
But no! I am not giving up this soon. Time to step out of the funk and pull out the smouldering ball of fire that has been receding to the far recesses of a news-cycle driven consciousness.
We’re losing this battle if we stop at just calling the perpetrators out. The social outrage seems to be already fraying off at the edges. We need to see this through to the end.
Here’s what I wanna know:
How are they making unadulterated amends?
Are we really helping them make amends by validating their positions of power further and asking the likes of Bhagat to come speak on a stage (literally) at a literary meet?
No. We aren’t. We need answers:
Why is Aziz Ansari on a “comeback tour’’ ?
Why is MJ Akbar a part of the updated Editor’s Guild member list?
Why is Bhagat scheduled to speak at three more prominent literary festivals?
Why was Vinod Dua given a platform to air EVEN one episode of his show despite the allegations levelled against him?
These are just three examples. There are many more.
It looks like we just can’t do WITHOUT these men. But why?
. Read more on Gender by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsWe Need to Stop Enabling Chetan Bhagat and the Woke Bro Gang . Read more on Gender by The Quint.