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Friday, November 9, 2012

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(Published in on 9 November, 2012, retrieved from

“Our Gods haven’t had an easy time of it recently.”
“Yeah, first there was Sexy Radha, and now poor Ram gets it. This freedom of expression isn’t a good thing, you know.”
“It’s this whole feminism issue.”
“Let’s not talk feminism. I don’t think this has anything to do with feminists. Because calling Radha ‘sexy’ is empowering, no?”
“I don’t think feminists see it that way. They’d call it objectification.”
“Whoa, that sounds like a scientific procedure. Was it feminists who sued Karan Johar and Gauri Khan?”
“I don’t think so. But I wouldn’t blame anyone for suing them after watching that film.”
“I actually thought it was offensive to men. The film, you know. I mean, the camera was constantly focusing on tiny swimming trunks. On men. That’s never pretty, dude. They shouldn’t have done that.”
“Yes, I see it’s upset you terribly.”
“What could happen now? Will they stop them from making movies?”
“Maybe they’ll make them change the ‘Sexy’ to ‘Baby’.”
“That wouldn’t make much sense.”
“It would be in keeping with the spirit of the film, then.”
“Yeah. So, when you mentioned feminists, you were referring to the whole Ram being a bad husband thing?”
“Yeah. It’s like it doesn’t matter that he went all the way to Sri Lanka from Uttar Pradesh...”
“No, no, it wasn’t all the way from Uttar Pradesh exactly. They were in the forest already, remember.”
“Well, yeah, wherever it was. They took a while to build bridges and dig ditches and get across. And then they went to a lot of trouble doing the killing and rescuing and stuff.”
“I never figured why they didn’t just build boats and sail across.”
“My point was, you think people would give him some credit for his chivalry.”
“By people, you mean feminists?”
“I suppose so. But they don’t like chivalry, do they? I remember we spoke about some article that called opening doors for women ‘passive chauvinism’.”
“I think fighting a war qualifies as less patronising than opening a door, no?”
“I’m not too well-versed in the passive chauvinism slab.”
“Hold on. Are you calling Ram Jethmalani a feminist?”
“I’m not sure about that.  But I think Lord Ram was the only one who learnt a lesson from the running-after-the-deer incident. You know, if he’d put his foot down back then, instead of indulging the wife, chances are the Ramayana would have been a lot shorter.”
“So your theory is that putting Sita through the agni pariksha and sending her off to the forest was payback for the deer incident?”
“Maybe he didn’t expect her to obey, you know. Her track record for that sort of thing wasn’t great. If you look at what she did with the Lakshman Rekha and all that.”
“That’s a good point. Why is it no one has thought of that?”
“Because that would mean Lord Ram called his own bluff, no?”
“I don’t think it means that. Maybe Sita called his bluff.”
“No, dude, that’s dangerous territory. You’re making a victim of oppression sound empowered. Feminists don’t like that.”
“That said, ‘Bad Husband’ has a sort of cool ring to it.”
“Like it could be the name of a sitcom?”
“I was thinking more along the lines of a band.”
“No, man, with a name like that, the band could only be a cover band.”
“I was thinking it could be a sort of bhangra pop thing.”
“You reminded me of Navjot Sidhu now.”
“You’ve been watching Bigg Boss?”
“No, I’ve just been reading the reports. And every day, there’s a picture of Sidhu dancing or drumming or something. Apparently, he may leave the house to go campaigning for the BJP.”
“They’ll probably need something to distract from the bad-husband comment.”
“I think they’d be following the wrong strategy then. They should just confront it.”
“They should get that lady in the Bigg Boss house, Sampat Pal Devi, and her Gulabi Gang to go around canvassing against bad husbands.”
“How do they operate, exactly?”
“They beat abusive husbands up.”
“I don’t think it would be a good idea to get them to speak on Lord Ram, then.”
“Maybe we should set them on the people who objectified the boys in Student of the Year.”


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