Sunday, December 7, 2008

Shobhaa Attacks Male Chauvinist Pigs “Yes, I do wear lipstick. But no powder”

Shobhaa De is one of the writer with marvelous thoughts is always on the top of my mind. She is the symbol for females in male chauvinist world. I thought Indian democracy has been catalyst in producing best political brains with mature open minds and hearts but it was sad to see male chauvinist Mukhtir Naqvi & his personal bashing of a female.

At times I think we South Asian are moving one step forward but two steps backward.

I am impressed the way Shobhaa fights back the stupid thoughtless Male Chauvinist Pig) politician, she is the South Asian hope……wish we had more female activists like Shobhaa.

She writes “Yes, Mr.Mukhtir Naqvi. I do wear lipstick. But no powder. And I do live in South Mumbai in what is considered an ‘elite’ locality ( though ‘elite slum’ is a more accurate description). I also frequent 5- Star hotels close by, notably the magnificent Taj Mahal. I unashamedly refer to it as my second home – for that it what it has always been.

My lifestyle can be loosely described as a privileged one, by most standards. So bloody what?? I have worked long and hard for these perks. I have earned them through honest means. I did not inherit a fortune and was raised in a middle class home. Like every Indian, my parents dreamt of giving their children a better life by educating them. We fulfilled their dreams…. and a few of our own. Is that a crime??I proudly pay my taxes…. and my bills. Which is more than can be said for most of your tribe - the real ‘elite’ today - politicians with zero accountability and all the advantages they criticize in others.

I refuse to be apologetic for the way I live. As they say, living well is still the best revenge! Unlike a lot of so-called netas, I do not have a criminal record. When I leave home, it is in a nice car, but not a mobile fortress with a cavalcade of state-paid gunmen to protect me. Traffic is not diverted along the routes I take, inconveniencing others. And I am frisked at airport, like everybody else. So…. Mr. Naqvi, how dare you put me (and other women) down by making such an impertinent and uncalled for remark ?We are professionals doing our jobs to the best of our abilities. Can you claim the same? Whether we apply lipstick, cake our faces with powder, wear wigs or fake eyelashes – that is our exclusive prerogative and business. It does not concern anyone else.

This remark only displays your pathetically biased attitude towards women – particularly a class of urban careerists who defy the stereotype as determined by the likes of you.The subtext of your remark ( and the remarks of other self-styled intellectuals who have discovered a new sport - ‘elite bashing’ ) comes at a time when our attention should be on more vital matters – survival under a siege.

To target people who belong to a more affluent\educated segment of our society, is to display a perverse narrow mindedness. My voice is as valid as the voice of the anonymous vegetable vendor – we are both citizens of India. Are you trying to say tv anchors sans lipstick\powder are better at their jobs? Should women in politics shun cosmetics in order to be taken more ‘seriously’ (by men, of course!) ? Should female public figures dress down so they can add to their credibility factor and look the part assigned to them by society?? Does lipstick take away from their contribution\competence? Must ask Condileeza Rice (a woman who tops the world’s ‘Most Stylish’ lists year after year). Must also ask Sonia Gandhi, who is nothing if not impeccably turned out at all times, and definitely wears lipstick. Oh…. and how can I forget my new best friend , Jayanthi Natarajan??


It is a great pity Naqvi brought gender into the present crisis and trivialised the issue . George Fernandes lost the plot when he decided to wage war against a cola. Perhaps Naqvi’s battle is against poor lipstick??


A pity that the nightmare suffered by Mumbai has been reduced to some sort of a class war, in which the elite are supposed to ‘defend’ themselves and say, “ No, no, no…. we are really not like that…. we feel equally for the lives lost at CST.” Come on…. grow up. Tragedy IS like that – it is personalized and intense when it hits home as ferociously as these attacks did.

Tragedy too, needs a ‘face’…. or an ‘image’ that encapsulates collective grief. It so happens, the Taj Mahal Hotel became that image…. that icon, symbolizing the horror of this incomprehensible tragedy that has left the nation reeling in its wake.Why bring class divides into it? Don’t our politicians insist on the best rooms (gratis), at 5-star hotels?At least, the rest of us pay the hefty tariffs ourselves. Don’t India’s unwashed, scruffy jholawala intellectuals quaff gallons of moofat Scotch, whenever and wherever?? First pay your own booze bills, guys, then save the world. It is believed Narayan Rane’s sons drive around in a Bentley with eight commandos to ‘protect’ them. Who pays?? Suckers like us . It is our Billionaires and Bollywood stars we flaunt internationally when we need to boost our country’s image.

It is also the elite who donate generously towards rehabilitation efforts in a crisis. I am sick of being told off by the likes of Naqvi. I am sick of attempts to somehow make me feel ‘guilty’ for being who I am, looking the way I do.


Sorry, Mr. Naqvi. Read my lips : Much more lipstick! Darker and brighter! You are welcome to borrow some…"

1 comment:

Fortune Park Hotels Ltd said...

Inflation is hitting and it’s hitting hard. Apart from the retail industry relatively, almost all other industries are suffering dearly in the face of the global inflation and recession, more so the US economy. The US hospitality industry is suffering loses in three key parameters in the financial year 2008-09 as compared to the previous year. As per STR the industry’s revenue fell 13.2% per available room as compared to that of 2007. The occupancy rate also fell 11.6 % and the average daily rate dropped 1.7%. Interestingly the budget hotels in the countries like India are not suffering to this extent, as these hotels also fulfill the business parameters and business is only growing in India, thanks to industrialization and foreign investment. As for example, the rising number of hotels in Bangalore the IT capital of India shows that the business or the budget sector of the industry is not suffering that much. The Bangalore hotels also have a certain advantage owing to the climate conditions and growing business.