The Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), K Durga Prasad, recently took up an analogy that blatantly reeked of violent misogyny when he was asked a simple question by a reporter -- 'When will you stop using pellet guns on Kashmiri protestors?'
Prasad's answer was a classical paradox.
"This is like asking, 'When will you stop beating your wife?' or 'Have you stopped beating your wife?'" Yes, or no, no matter what the answer to that question is, it implicates the one answering. Prasad's quip exposes the misogyny deeply ingrained in Indian mindsets. He implied the job of maintaining peace in Kashmir is the equivalent of the patriarchal control of women, by the rod, if need be.
In an interview published in the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, quoted by the Telegraph, the CRPF chief said "We are tackling unruly crowds. There's no such pressure (from the government)." The CRPF has come under severe criticism from human rights agencies for using pellet guns that have blinded dozens of young protestors in Kashmir in the protests following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. The government is now now looking at an alternative to the guns for crowd control.
Prasad soon followed up with an apology after outrage over his comment.
"I did not mean to offend women or denigrate the dignity of women in any manner. I realise that my words were inappropriate. I apologise for the same," he told reporters.
The analogy endorses the casual sexism that is a part of Indian society and will not help break the silence of millions of women subjected to domestic violence.