So I had taken a break from blogging and was busy studying. But the Vice President of BJP Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi made me come back to express my opinion. He said “kuch hamari behne..mahilayen..lipstick aur powder laga karke aur mombatti le karke aur paschimi sabhyata ke saath waha par aa karke politicians ko gaali de rahi thi. Ye theek waise hi kar rahi hai jo Jammu Kashmir me algaavadi jo hai wo bhi yehi kaam karte hai…blah blah blah”. Translation – “Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to streets in Mumbai and are abusing politicians, spreading dissatisfaction against the democracy. This is what terrorists are doing in Jammu and Kashmir”. You can see him commenting at this link. Sigh! One would expect politicians to be refined, educated, progressive and most importantly to have good PR skills or at least a PR officer. Though BJP has distanced itself saying “These are Naqvi’s personal views and the party had nothing to do with it”; he has found support in RSS now. On NDTV, Sharmila Tagore requested to women that they should ignore Naqvi’s comment and that he is a nobody. By making this an issue we would be giving him way too much importance. I beg to differ because there are some things which I just have to express. And by keeping quiet we let these politicians get away with such so called gaffes.
Now I had no idea that the J&K terrorists and women speaking up against our good-for-nothing politicians are comparable. I mean I cant imagine how on earth one could even compare them? It is so so ridiculous. How can we expect such politicians to lead India and make it a superpower someday when their inner beliefs and thoughts are so archaic, orthodox and chauvinistic? For your information, Mr.Naqvi, one of the results of “India Shining” is that even my household help and many very much Indian women like her can afford to buy cosmetics (even if fake). Sadly that in your opinion takes away her right to speak up against the people she elected to represent her interests. Mr.Naqvi, kindly clarify first what exactly is the western culture aspect in the protests? Is it the candle lighting or the makeup of women protesters or the act of protest itself? I think you meant the makeup. And I suspect Mr.Naqvi’s comment was for the women wearing jeans too.
I have had it with this constant complain about western culture and Indian women following it. Who said applying make up or using cosmetics is something western? Indian women and men have been using henna and kohl (kajal) since ages. In fact the history of cosmetics spans at least 6000 years of human history and evidences can be found in Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Chinese civilizations. As for the lipstick, it is known to have been used around 5000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia, when semi-precious jewels were crushed and applied to the lips and occasionally around the eyes. Women in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization applied lipstick to their lips for face decoration. And the best fact about lipstick – During the Islamic Golden Age the notable Arab Andalusian cosmetologist Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis) invented solid lipsticks, which were perfumed stocks rolled and pressed in special molds, and he described them in his Al-Tasrif. (Source Wikipedia. More about history of lipsticks at this link). All these are ancient civilizations and not western (which I think means America and Europe). Moreover please enlighten me as to why and how wearing cosmetics makes me less cultured as any other Indian such as you, Mr.Naqvi?
Further, why does wearing jeans make us women less Indian ? Even after so much of progress, women and girls wearing jeans draw more attention or rather get more ogled at than those in salwar kurta or sari. I still remember the expressions on the faces of my male colleagues when I first wore jeans to an informal dinner party. Later I came to know that one had even commented that I should not have worn jeans infront of them!! WTF!!! I really don’t get it that if a woman is wearing a decent (not too revealing) top and jeans then how is it different from a sari which by the way exposes more than salwar kurta or jeans-top? You would rather have a woman be uncomfortable wearing sari than give her the freedom of choice,movement and comfort. I want to know that why does wearing jeans make me less Indian and again less cultured?
And if by western culture Mr.Naqvi meant that women should not come out on streets to protest and to speak up at all, then God help us!! I don’t want to express my thoughts at such absurdity and make my blog move from G-rated to A-rated. And for India’s sake I hope and pray he didn’t mean the candle lighting as western culture.
I wonder what our Honorable President Mrs.Pratibha Patil or Mrs. Sushma Swaraj of BJP has to say about this? I wont count Sonia Gandhi as she would of course have something to say as she represents Congress. Lastly, I would like to know the number of women in Mr.Naqvi’s family, the condition of their life and their monthly expenditure on cosmetics.
Ok rant over. Back to studies. You people keep giving me feedback at this post if you haven’t done it already.
Does lipstick make me less Indian? by Phoenixritu