Air India urination case: Kathak dancers do not have bladder problems, say enraged artistes

ByTanmaya Das, New Delhi
Jan 13, 2023 09:41 PM IST

Top classical dance exponents assert the claim of Kathak dancers having bladder “issues” is “bizarre and unfortunate”.

How far can one go to defend their client? This question has become important since the Air India urination case, in which accused Shankar Mishra’s counsel claimed that the woman complainant had a problem with “incontinence” and urinated on herself. In the counsel’s words, the woman is a Kathak dancer, and “80% of Kathak dancers have this issue”. 

 (Photo:Shutterstock (For representational purpose only))
(Photo:Shutterstock (For representational purpose only))

This generalisation has enraged many exponents of classical Indian dances, across the country. “It is an unfortunate case and one of the most bizarre reasons I have heard that 80% of kathak dancers have such problems,” says Kathak exponent, Padma Shri Shovana Narayan. “In Shankar Mishra’s case, a woman’s modesty is compromised, and this is absolutely wrong. We must sympathise with the woman,” she adds.

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Rashmi Vaidialingam, a lawyer and a Kuchipudi dancer, opines, “This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. How can someone think of something like this? There must be a medical check-up to confirm, and it seems like the man was under the influence of alcohol and couldn’t control himself. Shame on the passengers, crew and all the eyewitnesses who are not reacting strongly to this incident. This is what happens when you live in a patriarchal society. The man and his lawyer have come up with a ridiculously defensive statement. Dancers always have control over their bodies, and what does the lawyer know about this?” 

Another Indian classical dancer, Daksha Seth, says, “This has nothing to do with the vocation or profession. When a human gets older, the bladder gets weaker, so in such unfortunate circumstances, things like this may happen. But Kathak or dance has nothing to do with this!” 

Author tweets @tanmayadas7133

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