Priyanka Chopra meets Narendra Modi: What ‘sanskaari’ trolls tell us of battle over women’s bodies
Recently, I was at the Queer Film Festival in Mumbai Kashish in 2017. The closing ceremony was organized by actor Asif Ali Beg-and Radio Jockey Rohini Ramnathan. Asif, who was in the drag, asked my friend Rohini if it was a woman – what she directed his gaze towards her cleavage. Rohini’s mother, Kala Ramnathan, sitting on the front row, laughed. The mother-daughter duo did not think twice about what nobody thought. Why do I mention this? Because Priyanka Chopra’s legs speak of the city.
“How dare you expose your legs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi?” Requests us too.
I know that Priyanka is the pride of India. But the Priyanka body is not a national property. Priyanka Chopra’s legs are her legs. Not yours, not mine or the nation’s. There is no additional respect if the covers, not least, if you do not. It can be used to walk, or to kick some. And he does it in style. She responded to these trolls instagramant a photo with her mother – in which her legs play a starring role. And anyway, how is a woman supposed to sit? If you sit with your legs apart, request. If you cross one leg to the other, it is improper.
I think people really have problems is that a woman sits down. Because in many cultures of India, a woman does not sit when a man is there. Priyanka unintentionally challenges everyone.
If you think it’s just the story of famous characters in theater, television and film, you’re wrong.
My friend Sheetal has breasts. She is proud. She has heavy legs and weight around her hips. She is proud. Take what you like. Sit as she wants. It is what it is, the other way around. She is not afraid of her “breast bhakts.” If someone appreciates their “melons” (as some like to call them libertines) with the right spirit, she would smile and say “thank you”. When I ask her to hide the uncomfortable bra strap coming out of her shoulder, she puts me telling me – if she shows it, you leave it. When I told her that they look ugly, she replied, “It’s not for me.” She is rebellious to many. Her breasts – she is not at war with them. They are given more attention than they deserve. She has “thunder thighs”, but she did not bother much. They are yours. It says right to your body and you feel comfortable with it.
There are several Rohinis and Sheetals and Tanias and Noor Jahaans among us who do nothing. But for those who do, and trawling the internet ‘vitriol’ling trawling could be devastating. Besides guarding the modesty of a person like sanskaars, these guardians of morality are also the mentality of a patriarchal society. Also, joining the cacophony of different voices, they also create an online band that could even push someone to the brink of mental trauma – sometimes even the suicide path.
Also, I do not think the interest of their “sanskaars”. How many of them had a man flown by his pointed nipples, or were they ashamed to have adjusted his crotch in public? Our dictates are directed towards women. Women should dress with decency and “respect” is another way of saying “if you do not live, you will be asked.” No one passes the dictates of men.
To be fair, Narendra Modi has not asked Priyanka to wear a fully covered salwar kurta with a dupatta covering the head, which looks like an Egyptian mummy. There he has not asked to wear a nine-yard shiny sari, like an aluminum film, either. I did not expect to rub the forehead with sindoor without taxes. In fact, he celebrated his talent. These trolls give Modi a bad name.