It appears that it’s called Aam “Aadmi” Party for a reason.
Delhi Chief Minister Delhi has urged Delhi’s women to consult with “men” before they cast their vote. “I appeal to all women — just as how you take care of the home, you now need to take care of Delhi and the nation. I urge all women to go out to vote, and take their husbands along too. Please consult with your husbands around whom you should vote for,” he tweeted on the day Delhi is going to polls.
Kejriwal’s tweet is a like watching a train wreck in slow motion — the longer you read it, the worse it seems to get. Kejriwal starts off by implying that women in Delhi seem to do nothing else other than take care of their houses, which is an enormously ill-informed statement to be making in the 21st century. If Kejriwal took time to step out of his office and mingle with his electorate, he’d know that Delhi’s women now run businesses, work corporate jobs, and like a certain Sheila Dixit did before him, run entire states.
But Kejriwal then rams his foot further into his mouth — he goes on to say that women should consult with their husbands so that they can decide whom to vote for. It’s a breathtakingly condescending position to take: Kejriwal doesn’t seem to ever ask men to consult with women before they cast their vote. To ask women to consult with men before they vote implies that he believes that women don’t have the intellect, understanding, or agency to decide who to vote for by themselves.
It’s impossible to tell if Kejriwal is playing to his core vote bank, which is known for subjugating women, or if this is how he really feels. But one thing is clear — education is not a solution for fixing India’s internalized misogyny. Kejriwal proudly claims to be from IIT, and had cleared the Civil Services Examination, but even as the Chief Minister of Delhi, he seems to hold opinions that squarely belong in the 15th century.