#Men Too movement and its absurdity
There is no publicity that is bad publicity. ‘Publicity’(good or bad) brings focus. Karan Oberoi, an actor of little fame or no fame in many parts of India, instantly became a known one because of his personal trauma of going to jail, which he invited upon himself by having a (physical) relationship with a woman, whom he later found to be a maverick, claimed to have some supernatural powers of witchcraft etc. According to the interview (he gave to the newspapers) he said that his father and mother fell ill because of her (his girl friend’s) possessed witchcraft powers. Believably or not, he felt that it could be of her handiwork.
In the interview when Mr Karan was asked by the interviewer: ‘How and where did you first meet her, and at what point did your association turn sour?’ He said as an answer: ‘ We met on a dating app, where she introduced herself as a healer and astrologer. Then we shifted to WhatsApp and slowly got talking. She did not tell me that she was into witchcraft and voodoo, but I soon realised that something was amiss…’ . This man Karan seemed to be a product of modern day world (intrinsically western) for his viewing of dating Apps and obviously for not minding dating women. At the same time, even if that woman told him that she was a healer and astrologer, a practitioner of orthodoxy, he did not mind to continue the friendship in WhatsApp (a la’ Pak Imran who married a soothsayer)! When this whole episode of his arresting came to light, the woman in question, publicised that he frequented to her house and they had a much deeper relationship. Oberoi allowed the friendship for some more time, being considerate to her to have to design his home as she wanted to take up another profession. He thinks he is humane by being so. But that sounds hollow.
Pooja Bedi, a known celebrity, came to his rescue when he was jailed. She advertised her new realisation and her revelation that men could also be harassed! The Liberals were stoically silent on this matter which is a creation that came out of their own world view. But for Pooja Bedi’s efforts, Oberoi’s plights would have been different.
Historically, women being the weaker sex, they are being exploited. So, laws are in protection of them and in their favour. Misuse of law cannot be an excuse for not making the law. #Men Too, by its very tag, says that men are also exploited lot. That’s not true. In no way (physically and mentally) men are vulnerable. In olden days, they used to say that a man is like a butterfly that goes from flower to flower for nectar. It shows they are unemotional. In Oberoi’s case, the fault lies with him for falling into a bad company. As far as that particular woman is concerned, she is: like she is. One swallow cannot make summer. The behaviour of the woman in Oberoi’s story is an aberration not a norm. So, #Men too is a defeatist game.
The woman Mr Karan Oberoi befriended made allegation on him of rape and saw that he was put behind bars. Hers was a wrong and vengeful act. It’s highly condemnable as his reputation was damaged. She did it as he turned against her wishes, is obvious. His expressed feeling: that unknowingly he got into her relationship, though understandable yet unpitiable. For a grown-up man like him, to have an ill-founded affair, is morally wrong. For a society within the society, which has long forgotten morals, anything is fine.
These two persons of the story are truly two individuals with no binding of marriage. They wanted to time-pass that way like the westerners do. In West the society is open. For them, this : dating one, leaving the other are routine. Of course, they do not have much animosities after leaving one another. For them, every thing is contractual and unemotional. In India, the polished high class would like to replicate the West. If something goes wrong, they make a big hue and cry.
The Liberals’ overemphasis on individual rights, brings to this pass. This works for the global elite but ordinary individuals view things differently. The ideas of freedom and constitutionalism are misused by liberal elite, when in crisis, they fall foul of the state and police. The arrest taught Oberoi that men are at weak wicket not the ‘misuse of freedom’. Personal freedom (of Liberals) in India and elsewhere in the world, has ended up in the mainstreaming of pornography, alcohol and drug abuse and repression of religious good. As you sow, so you reap!
#MenToo: Karan Oberoi – The rape charge was more damaging to my mind than my career
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I am Indira Garimella living in Hyderabad. I hold a Master’s Degree and M. Phil (in English) with M.Ed. I worked as PGT in English in Government run Residential Schools. I have been associated with Pragna Bharati, Hyderabad. I am one of the office-bearers in the Organisation. I have been a keen observer of National Politics and also write letters and articles to the English and Telugu newspapers from time to time.