The good, bad and ugly of debate in LS

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New Delhi, March 20: Even the best of the parliamentarians can be insensitive to gender issues as exhibited by members in Lok Sabha on Tuesday evening.

During the debate on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 or anti-rape bill, the LS witnessed heated exchange of words as JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav made some crude and sexist remarks while mentioning issues ranging from 'sex starvation' of Indian society to item numbers in Hindi films like 'Shiela Ki Jawani' and 'Munni Badnaam Hui'.

While objecting to provisions of law that makes stalking and staring a crime, he said it can be misused.

"Now that is doing great service to the youth of India. We have all followed women around in youth. And women don't talk to men first, we men have to follow them and get them to talk. So, now will you put all young men in love in jails? There aren't enough jails." "Who amongst us have not followed girls," Sharad Yadav said to illustrate his point.

This did not go well with his namesake's kin. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's daughter and NCP member Supriya Sule was furious. " I saw even in this frame of the House that there are a lot of men sniggering when there were comments passed about women. It is funny when you are talking about Sheila ki Jawani. But I am sorry to say this. What it would be once it is your daughter or your wife or your daughter-in-law?"

Supriya Sule castigated the MPs and said the MPs should not mistrust the intent of women by doubting abuse of the legislation.

Speaking on the mindset, actress-MP Jayaprada asked "what will so many laws do if the mindset of our country is not changed? Right now someone spoke about clothes... so what will young girls do? Wear saris and not skirts and frocks?" she wondered.

There were some homely truths told by BJP's Sumitra Mahajan. She told the LS that it is human beings who have sex on their minds all year round. "Animals and birds have a mating season. Unlike human beings, they don't have just one thing on their mind all year round Lalu ji," she said and Lalu Prasad Yadav just nodded.

Making his stand clear, Mulayam Singh Yadav said he was against the law as he felt it could be misused. "There is no need for this law. You are giving all rights to police. We (men) would be wrongly implicated," Mulayam said. He said that there was no inadequacy in the existing law to deal with rape convicts.

As a solution to gender conflict, Mulayam Singh even suggested abolishing of co-education institutes to point that the law could put boys in trouble. Not to be outdone, Lalu Prasad Yadav said the nation needed to do something about the naked sculptures at Khajuraho and Konark. "Should we cover them," he asked.

Incidently, Sharad Yadav have been selected for the 'Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the year 2012. The Indian Parliamentary Group had instituted the award in 1994 which is conferred each year.

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