When Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan opens his mouth, you know something hilarious is going to come out of it. Last month, in response to a case where two women were molested by over a dozen men in Rampur, he asked people to keep “their women” indoors and not to let women go where there is a “naked dance of shamelessness”. Dude clearly lives in a fun neighbourhood.
Now, he’s made some more statements that have people wondering what to make of him. On Wednesday, he said that army excesses in Kashmir, Jharkhand and Assam are causing women to beat and cut off the genitals of soldiers as a form of action against army rapists.
After the BJP raised a hue and cry over the statements, Azam Khan issued a clarification that clarified nothing: he said that his statement had been misconstrued, and that he is the BJP’s item girl, which is why they can’t stop talking about him.
We’re not sure what any of that is supposed to mean: the BJP’s reactions were a really predictable response to the kind of statement Khan made, and considering the reactions people as far removed from politics as Gurmehar Kaur have received from the BJP for making statements even vaguely connected with the army, it’s not surprising at all that they reacted badly to Khan, so it feels really unlikely that they did so because he’s their item girl.
Azam Khan in his clarification did bring up a good point though: he said he’s a nobody, so how can his statements affect army morale? I mean, it’s a fair point. Considering the frequency with which we invoke the army’s presence and its glory and its imagined insults, it’s actually important to remember that most of the squabbles we drag the army into have very little to do with them, and it’s not unfair to imagine that soldiers have better things to worry about than the things we continuously drag them into.