Thiruvananthapuram: Prominent economist M. Kunhaman has decried the dominant political narrative that is feudal and patriarchal even now.
“The anti-woman rema-rks made by LDF convener A. Vijayaraghavan against Remya Haridas, Congress candidate in Alathur, and by BJP state president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai against Priyanka Gandhi, AICC general secretary, emphasise the need for democratisation of the polity,” said Kunhaman, professor at the School of Rural Development of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Tuljapur campus, Maharashtra.
“Both Remya and Priyanka belong to different social classes. Priyanka is from an influential political family with social privileges, but Remya is a dalit without social privileges. Even Priyanka’s privileges could not prevent her from being targeted with anti-women comments,” Kunhaman told this paper over phone.
“The two women were attacked by male leaders using language unfit for political discourse. Even prominent politicians did not exhibit the basic democratic mindset expected of them. Both Vijayaraghavan and Sreedharan Pillai speak such language from a privileged social location,” he said.
The women are much younger to both the leaders, may be of the age of their daughters. This added to the gravity of their attack, he said.
Such language is not limited to the two leaders only. Many male leaders who think they have more privileges than their female counterparts have used such language in the past, Kunhaman said.
The most vulnerable are women who do not have privileges of class and caste for historical reasons. In a democracy, everyone has the freedom for political differences. However, this is not for abusing the opponent, he said.