Isn't it revolutionary that Indian homemakers/nurturers, almost invisible behind the four walls of households, are coming out in the open to claim their position and take on political heavyweights in Gujarat Assembly Elections 2012? Shweta Bhatt's name figures prominent in the list.
Shweta, Indian women salute you for the bold move. I am sure they are proud of you, even if they don't express it openly. For they (women) know, even many seasoned male politicians won't dare to take on Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is almost invincible in Gujarat's political turf. When all are scared to face an imminent defeat, you made it a point to give some amount of fight to Modi.
Shweta, you have your own reasons to break the shackles of being a mere homemaker and metamorphosed into a challenger of reckon in Gujarat. Your critics might have signed you off even before the "real contest" is over. Your detractors are screaming hoarse that you are someone who is sure to lose the contest against mighty Modi in Maninagar constituency, a BJP stronghold.
Moreover, you have been mocked for being a proxy of your husband Sanjeev, who is fighting a battle against "BJP strongman over the most-sore point in his career - Gujarat riots of 2002". And Congress, who could not find an eligible candidate to stand against Modi, shrewdly used your "image" as a "patibrata bharatiya nari (a loyal Indian wife)" who stood by her husband during his thick and thin.
Don't you think voters of India are not interested in a homemaker but rather an astute politician who can guide them like a true leader? Moreover, you too have fallen into the "trap" of your own image.
"My husband, family, daughter and everybody have been harassed. If they are troubled, why should I, as a housewife, not come out and raise my voice?" Bhatt said in an interview.
When asked what made you fight this election, you said the decision was the result of harassment inflicted on your husband and family members by Modi government.
"This decision goes back a year or so. At that time, my husband was fighting against Modi. In fact, he is still fighting against him. Modi had then used various tactics to prevent him from speaking the truth. My husband was even put in jail on wrong charges and harassed by all means and ways. He was denied bail and we fought for 17 days, whereas bail procedure gets completed in barely 20 minutes. I did not sleep for those 17 days; otherwise, I love my sleep and usually get up late. Worse, they raided our house thrice after Sanjeev's arrest. The instructions to the policemen were to harass Sanjeev's 85-year-old mother, myself and our 20-year-old daughter to an extent that my husband gives in to their demands. From that day, I decided to fight, whatever the case may be," Shweta told to Mint newspaper.
Does not your justification looks akin to the oft-repeated dialogues of a female protagonist from a television soap, who is fighting against evil forces to safeguard the family? Protecting or safeguarding your family is nothing wrong. But you missed the point. Elections are not fought to score personal points. Elections should be fought for issues and rights of "aam aadmi", the same people whom your party Congress promised galore but failed them miserably.
Nowhere during campaigns, Shweta you've brought to the forefront issues and concerns of electors. All your rhetoric revolved around Modi and his wrongdoings. This is no sign of a mature politician. It is true you have just taken your plunge into electoral battle. True politicians are not made in a day or two but it takes years of grooming. Moreover, you need to work among the balloters that help transform a novice into an astute leader of honour.
As a 48-year-old neophyte, as you take on the might of Modi, you yourself had admitted candidly that "losing is not a big deal". Yes, Shweta, in a contest, winning and losing are part of the game. But why this election should not be your first and last election? It is true that you jumped into the political battlefield with little preparedness. It is the rivalry between your husband and suspended IPS officer Sanjeev which forced you to question Modi's supremacy in Gujarat.
You have proved yourself to be a loyal and brave wife, mother and daughter-in-law. Now, it is time to prove yourself as a smart politician. Don't let your political career end after the defeat. Start from the scratch. May be in next five years, your critics would be forced to change their opinion and admit that "Modi faces a threat in Shweta".
And for that to happen, you cannot go back to household chores which you perform so well. You have to work among the people of Gujarat. For it's the voters who will decide the future course of action in Gujarat's democratic process.