It’s ugly when a ‘leader’ heckles a woman at an election rally and shouts, ‘Didi, oh Didi…’ -

It’s ugly when a ‘leader’ heckles a woman at an election rally and shouts, ‘Didi, oh Didi…’

In West Bengal, chief minister Mamata Banerjee was his target. Most of us tune out his taunts, and besides we can count on Ms Banerjee to lob them back in her inimitable style. However, his latest attack on her will be lodged in my memory. He showed the nation that you do not have to be a dignified statesman to be prime minister—you can just be your natural self, like those ads tell you to. He shouted “Didi, oh Didi! Didi, oh Didi! Didi, oh Didi!” while misogynists in the hired crowd cheered, and reminded every woman of the horrors of being heckled on the streets.

His termite-obsessed sidekick, however, is a little more refined. No startling remarks from him, only his usual insults. It seems he has this weird thing for insects. He has claimed that Dengue and Malaria are Ms Banerjee’s friends, and swears he will throw them out along with her. Psst: He failed to mention that Delhi is India’s dengue and malaria capital, he’s lived there for seven years now, and fat lot he’s done about that!

Leaders set the tone for their party, and the BJP’s West Bengal party chief did not disappoint. Dilip Ghosh said that Ms Banerjee “insults” Bengali culture because her bandaged leg (a terribly sore point for the BJP) is visible, and added, “If you want to display your legs, why a saree, wear a pair of Bermudas so everyone can have a good look.” The best comeback to this came from journalist Salil Tripathi on Twitter: “She isn’t with the RSS that’s why she won’t wear shorts.”

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