Madam President!

Finally, Pratibha Patil made it. I watched as the brigade went on and on about how unfit she is. I have written enough if you scroll down...right now I can only say that it is great to have a woman and I hope she concentrates on many issues and not just those of women. It is anyway the men that need to be enlightened in my country.

I reproduce below my letter the The Asian Age on this offensive cartoon that had appeared around a month ago...

July 22, 07 Pallu vs Jeans


Sudhir Tailang’s cartoon (Here and Now, June 20) taking a swipe at Pratibha Patil, presidential nominee, was offensive. It showed her with her head covered and the pallu reaching down her forehead while a TV anchor in trendy westernised clothes shoves a mike at her. She is shown saying, “After 60 years of independence, we must end the purdah system.” If the idea was to highlight the irony of the situation, then it does not work. Ms. Patil covers her head as do many women in several parts of the country. Her so-called remarks about the veil notwithstanding, the cartoon polarises women like her against the jeans-clad rookie reporters who seem to sit in judgment these days on important national issues. Are we to completely ignore the contribution of the ‘saathins’ in Rajasthan who cover their heads but fight against sati? What about the milk co-operative movement in Gujarat that has many women and they do cover their heads? The problem with us urbanites is that we look at things in such a narrow fashion. Dr. Zakir Hussein always wore his fez cap, so did Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. Many male politicians use the Gandhi cap. Covering the head is a part of cultural attuning in some parts of the country and world and does not necessarily reveal a lack of enlightenment. Scrape the clinging garments of some of these lycra ladies and you will find a conservative as deep as their cleavage.

<--Another one from around the same time.

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