Are you defending high profile sex offenders, Mr Abdullah?

Farooq Abullah made a sexist remark from the Parliament premises when he said that he cannot think of talking to a woman for the fear of landing in jail.

Senior leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah has landed in a bitter soup over a sexist comment he made from Parliament premises. While talking to media, Abdullah had said that the politicians can now not think of hiring women secretaries for the fear of landing in jail over any untoward incident.

He was speaking about the sexual harassment case against Supreme Court Judge AK Ganguly.

He further said that the rapes and sexual harassment cases have reached to such a level that the pressure on the other side has increased.

Lashing out over his remark, BJP leader Smriti Irani said that she was extremely surprised over his remarks as to how women should be treated at workplace. She said that it was not expected from such a senior leader over a sensitive issue from the parliament steps.

Interestingly, defending Abdullah, Congress leader Ambika Soni said that the leader “must be joking” because the sexual harassment cases were on rise. But she agreed that the statement was uncalled for.

It should be noted that Abdullah and his son, current chief minister Omar Abdullah, had a bad time when their name was associated with a sex scandal which was hushed up later on. His statement today defending justice Ganguly and denigrating position of women only christens him as a misogynist.

By saying that he cannot think of talking to a woman for the fear of landing in jail gives us a flawed judgment on the sensitive issue of sexual harassment. It shows that rather than stopping sexual harassment at work place by giving women a safe environment and empowering women Abdullah would prefer ending the women employability.

It also reflects what he thinks of high profile sexual harassment cases. It can be easily inferred from his later statement that he thinks many sexual harassment cases are just a result of high profile people on the other side. He is putting women in the dock for complaining against atrocities at work place.

The genralisation that Abdullah made today also reflects a regressive mindset. Instead of looking into and curbing the male mindset, Abdullah asks women not to complain through his statement. It is telling women directly that you won’t be employable if you complain against your employer.

Even though Abdullah said that he was not questioning the position of girls and not blaming them, the statements that he made do not become less demeaning.

His statements, and his own associations with such cases, only make us remember the old digressed words of men in power who advised women to remain silent if they wanted to keep their jobs and position in the society.

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