10th October 2018, New Delhi
India’s very own #MeToo moment took a dramatic twist when the area of focus shifted from media and film stars towards politicians. At the forefront of this twist is the National President of All India Congress Committee who faces a dilemma given the emphasis his speeches make on women empowerment.
With Chirag Patnaik and Fairoz Khan facing severe charges, the inaction by the Congress President has resulted in several feminists calling out for the sheer hypocrisy displayed by the party. A New Delhi based policy analyst, Gunja Kapoor has written an explosive letter to the Congress President Rahul Gandhi exposing his hypocrisy on women empowerment. In the letter, she asks two specific questions to the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi.
Her question on the inquiry on allegations against Fairoz Khan is:
If there is an inquiry in place, why has the accused not stepped down from his position to facilitate a free and fair probe?
While on Chirag she asks:
Why was Chirag not sent on indefinite leave, when the matter surfaced? Why was the victim’s complain while in office ignored/trivialised?
The letter highlights the hypocrisy of the Congress in dealing with such matters and it urges Rahul Gandhi to take tough action against the perpetrators of such heinous crimes against women who wish to make a career in politics. “The lack of timely action taken by the Congress on these two leaders indicate their sheer apathy towards the daily hardships that are faced by women in India” says Kapoor.
She adds in the letter that the victim had resigned post harassment by Chirag and had lodged a formal complaint against him and mentioned even Divya in the complaint, however, no action was taken while Divya launched a full-fledged campaign to save Chirag and her leadership.
“I expect more women to stand up against this culture of harassment that prevails within political parties like the Congress, I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg as I expect more names to come out in the coming days” adds a political analyst who refused to be named.
In a surprising turn of events, Sadhvi Khosla, an eminent public figure has also echoed the exact sentiment given in the letter. In a tweet she has demanded for resignation of NSUI president highlighting that it’s the first day of Navratri so doing so would send a symbolic message that the Congress stands for women empowerment.
The key question today is, will Rahul Gandhi take action and bring to an end the culture of harassment that plagues his party or will he just do mere lip-service towards the cause of women empowerment.
With Congress’s own #MeToo moment just a month before it goes into elections in four states, the revelations are bound to seriously hit the prospects of the party in urban areas.