Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 14, 2018-Wednesday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Hot under their collar: Women's panel takes on Kumar Vishwas

The Delhi Commission for Women could use its time better if it were to take a look at the problems women face from predatory men in public spaces.

ht view Updated: May 08, 2015 09:24 IST
Lalita Panicker
Lalita Panicker
Hindustan Times
Kumar Vishwas,Delhi Commission for Women,Aam Aadmi Party

The Delhi Commission for Women either has a lot of time on its hands or it has got its priorities very wrong. Women are being molested and harassed all over the city, but the ladies of the commission seem far more bothered about some footling marital dispute involving AAP songbird and poet Kumar Vishwas. It appears, for those of you who have not been following this gripping Santa Barbara-style saga, that a woman AAP volunteer has asked the irrepressible Vishwas to publicly deny any affair with her as she has been thrown out of her home by her Othello-like husband who suspects the worst. And it appears that Kumar's spouse too is somehow involved in the besmirching of the volunteer's fair name.

This sounds like a marital spat to me. The woman's husband had declared that he will not accept his wife unless Vishwas makes his position clear. For once, I can sympathise with the unlikeable Vishwas. Why on earth should he publicly say anything about his personal life, he is answerable only to his wife or any other person he may hold in high esteem. And as for the aggrieved husband, the woman in question should have shown him the door rather get into Sita mode and try and prove her innocence.

But what puzzles me most is the DCW getting all hot under the collar on this one. The plot takes on an even more bizarre twist when one member, Juhi Khan, whom we are now reliably informed has sympathies with AAP, went public saying that this was a plot to tarnish the sterling reputation of Vishwas. And this just after the DCW chairperson Barkha Shukla Singh had finished her fiery peroration on the subject at a press conference. And horror of all horrors, Vishwas is now planning to go to the US. Can the US trip not wait, thundered Ms Singh, when a woman's reputation is at stake.

Has the DCW suddenly become the local agony aunt? What on earth is its role in a personal and rather silly spat? How will a public denial by Vishwas make anything better and does the DCW have the powers to demand such a denial?

So stop using public money and wasting our time with inane press conferences that may have some interest for the prurient minded but is unlikely to set the Yamuna on fire. The DCW could use its time better if it were to take a look at the problems women face from predatory men in public spaces, harassment at the workplace, violence at home and discrimination in the labour force. If they would like other issues, we can always supply them with more. But, as of now, the fight between the DCW dissenter and the rest of the ladies will probably occupy their mindspace. And the dramatis personae in the Vishwas saga will have to find another intermediary for their crushingly boring and vacuous little squabble.

(The views expressed are personal.)

First Published: May 07, 2015 17:51 IST