Article 370: Misogynism in Social Media – Have Indians Lost It?

Abstract: After article 370 has been revoked, social media had jumped at making sexist and misogynistic jokes about kashmiri women as if a treasure trove has been opened at their disposal.

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The fair complexion Kashmiri girls are being portrayed as their objects of desire. Even some politicians are making some sexist jokes like they would fix sex ratio in some states by bringing women from Kashmiri. This is sad. Women are being deprived of their agency.

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Soon after article 350 was revoked, jokes and memes started circulating on different social media sites about ‘gori-chitti’ Kashmiri women. Social media started jumping at the fact that finally, they have a treasure trove at their disposal. Women from another state have finally been made available to them. People showed their bestial desire to devour the women of Kashmir as objects. As if the gate for importing Kashmiri women has opened, to be traded in the form of marriage, which had remained closed for half a century. But, let me remind you that Kashmiri women were not deprived of their right to marry a man from outside their state. There are ample examples of Kashmiri women being married to a man from other states. Congress leader Sachin Pilot married Sara Abdulla, daughter of a prominent political leader of the valley, Mr. Farukh Abdulla. Late Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was a Kashmiri.

Then why is this surge of marrying Kashmiri women? This is a naked exertion of masculinity. It feels as if the women were deprived of any human agency- the objects of their desire. Anyone who desires to have a Kashmiri woman as a wife, can marry one. At least, the social media frenzy seems so. This is a travesty that misogynistic statements are made in the garb of hyper-nationalism. Even some politicians are encouraging the same. This is a disturbing trend.

A few days ago, a BJP MLA from Muzaffarnagar, Vikram Saini echoed the same thoughts. He wanted his party workers to marry ‘gori kashmiri’ girls. Social media. Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattarmay have ‘joked’ about bringing girls from Kashmir but one has to understand the sinister meaning that the seemingly harmless statement may imply, especially when it is stated by a tall leader like him. He says…

“On the topic of sex ratio, Haryana’s sex ratio used to be around 800-something
per 1000 men. We’ve increased this to 930+ per thousand men. Earlier, O.P
Dhankar used to say that we’ll have to bring girls from Bihar to fix the sex
ratio, and now some people are saying that Kashmir has opened, we can
bring girls from Kashmir as well. Jokes apart (mazaak ki baat alag hai), we
may even exceed this ratio, but fixing the sex ratio is a subject that the
state

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Mr. Khattar might have joked. But a responsible leader should know what he is joking about. Women’s lives are not jokes because their lives matter too. They are active members of the society whose contribution is rarely recognized. His statement stinks of the fact that he does not condemn the idea of bringing kashmiri women in marriage. Our minds are still not completely free. They are colonized, sexist, racist, misogynistic and patriarchal. The recent social media trend is proof of that. May I suggest Mr. Khattar: Sir, if you are fond of jokes, then please make jokes that are actually funny. Please don’t make jokes that hurt sentiments and wounds the self-respect of women-Kashmiri though they are.



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