Haramkhor: A person who lives off undeserving means. The word was recently used for a woman by a political leader in a state that prides itself over its erudite demography. The city of Mumbai cradles a popular industry that is bustling with eloquent, assorted, fancy, designer, empowered feminists. At least they assert that they are… the aforementioned, feminist.
In this city, a political leader, on live television, calls a woman, Haramkhor. He then proceeds to drag her father in his rant in front of journalists – the fourth pillar of our beloved democracy. The abusive tirade was telecast for every Indian to see on their televisions, their laptops, and their smartphones.
However, the Gucchi-flashing feminists of the industry seem to have missed that obnoxious remark. The garrulous feminist who is on Twitter round the clock, shelving out befitting replies to trolls goes silent on this. The feminist, who, with her evident political influence, gets a random twitter user arrested within a day for the usage of profanity on a virtual platform, chooses to go on hibernation when an eminent political leader calls a colleague Haramkhor. This is the reality of the much-touted feminism the gang of assorted and flashy feminist manifest.
Not one placard goes up, not one hashtag gets trended by these empowered women in support of a lone woman who was being targeted and tormented by the ruling directive for voicing out her concerns. “Main bhi Haramkhor”? “Me too Haramkhor”? Nope! Nothing. The kitty party club that can’t advocate for “Freedom of Expression” enough, witnesses the repeated attacks on this woman for the sin of keeping her views, and overlooks like nothing ever happened.
Faking accents on talk shows, tweeting, and re-tweeting the same template forwarded by higher-ups, standing with a uniform agenda-driven placard, and using one’s celebrity status to shut a commoner when asked valid questions do not define feminism. These self-proclaimed feminists who claim to be flagbearers of women-empowerment of the 21st century are paper-tigers roaring only in the Twitterverse. Bereft of valor, backbone, knowledge, and voice, they appear to be mere puppets who can only peddle paid-agendas. They find empathy for a colleague or stand in solidarity with a fellow-industry person, only when their weaknesses are on the verge of being exposed.
We love these people. Our parents lined up to see them cry and frolic, and we followed them. There’s no denying that our food, fashion, other aspects of lifestyles are guided by the choices of these people. However, it is imperative for the youth and also for the mature audience to make an informed decision while picking an idol from this batch.
We want a prudent and bankable generation to take over our society when we take the backseat. Those who choose to get guided by loud volume oozing from hollow vessels will only find futility ahead. This generation needs exemplary icons, icons that have the fortitude to fight out injustices and wrongs in the real world. Their victory is not paramount here, their intention is.
As I said, Haramkhor is an expletive used to abuse a person who lives off underserving means or wealth. A lone girl walking into a concrete jungle, fighting packs of wolves and jackals, and transforming into a woman of substance, repute, success, all by her own labour, is certainly not a Haramkhor. However, if we rummage through this dark, dense jungle, we may find many who are so. Let that be a discussion for another day.
Just a reminder before we wrap – Choose your icons wisely.