View: This time around, don't blow up Azam Khan's 'sin'


Azam Khan is a past offender when it comes to making straightforward offensive, misogynistic remarks in public. Most infamously, the Samajwadi Party leader had made a truly offensive jibe against former SP and current BJP politician Jaya Prada in April during the Lok Sabha election campaign about her wearing ‘khaki underwear’ all the while she had been with SP.

This time around, too, Parliament and beyond reacted with disgust and anger when Khan, on Tuesday, during the debate on the triple talaq Bill, directed the following remark at the acting Speaker of the House, Rama Devi: Aap mujhe itni achhi lagti hain ki mera mann karta hai ki aap ki aankhon mein daley rahoon (I like you so much that I feel like keeping my eyes immersed in yours). This was after Devi had directed Khan to address the chair — her — while speaking, and not other members of the House.

Once again, Khan’s past utterances hardly give him much room to defend himself when it comes to his quite well-articulated attitude towards women. But with the context and tone in which he made this ‘flirtatious’ comment on Thursdsy, perhaps one should refrain from blowing things out of proportion. Instead of tut-tutting his cheeky comment — not quite the offensive remark as those he has made in the past — many parliamentarians may have gone into an overdrive, using the occasion to display their ‘pro-woman’ credentials. BJP politician Aftab Advani’s reaction to Khan, ‘requesting the government of India that his head be chopped off and be left hanging from the door of Parliament’ and the need ‘to kill [Khan] like a mad dog” certainly eclipses Khan’s original sin.

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