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“Get Married to a Dalit Girl to Propagate ‘Hum Do, Hamare Do’ Slogan:” Union Minister’s Advice to Rahul Gandhi

“Get Married to a Dalit Girl to Propagate ‘Hum Do, Hamare Do’ Slogan:” Union Minister’s Advice to Rahul Gandhi

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Feb 17: Even though the Congress “prince” Rahul Gandhi, a confirmed bachelor, has so far showed no inclination to tie the nuptial knot, the union minister Ramdas Athawale has come up with an advice for him to get married to a dalit girl if he really wanted to propagate the slogan “Hum do, Hamare Do.”

Apparently missing the point why Gandhi had recently used the jibe in Parliament, Athawale told a section of the media on Wednesday, “Hum do, Hamare do slogan was used earlier for family planning. If he (Rahul Gandhi) wants to promote this, he must get married. He must marry a Dalit girl and fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of eliminating casteism. It can be used to inspire the youth.”

He also went on to add that his ministry would provide Gandhi a purse of Rs 2.5 lakhs under the government’s scheme of promoting inter-caste marriage.

While speaking in the Lok Sabha during the Parliament session last week, Gandhi had used the slogan to hit out at the duo of prime minister Narendra Modi and his home minister Amit Shah for allegedly promoting capitalism through the union budget. Accusing the government of enacting the three farm laws to benefit a couple of big corporate houses, Gandhi had said the present government was being run by four people in the country and working on the premise of “hum do, hamare do.”

However, Rahul Gandhi’s jibe didn’t go down too well with the BJP who hit back at the Congress leader saying he was spreading lies on the farm laws.

Replying to his attack, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her address later that Congress too follows the ‘Hum do, hamare do’ approach where it takes care of Rahul and Sonia Gandhi along with Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra, who she called “daughter and damad.”

Athawale’s advice to the “Congress prince” has come on a day when Gandhi on his two-day visit to poll-bound Puducherry told the young students that he disfavoured patriarchal system of the society and advised women to “stand up for themselves.”

The former Congress president held a number of public meetings in the Union Territory, interacting with students and the fishermen community. Addressing students at the Bharathidasan College for Women in Puducherry, Gandhi said, “If somebody is harassing you, if somebody is not giving you what is your due, you have to face them and challenge them.”

Asked what he thinks of patriarchy, Gandhi responded by saying “I don’t like it.” The student goes on to ask Gandhi how women can counter patriarchy. “By standing up for yourself” was his reply. He went further to state that men also have a role but he is “totally against patriarchy”.

He also narrated some of his experience as a MP from Kerala. “I am a Member of Parliament from Kerala and Kerala used to have a matriarchal system. In Kerala, they told me, I don’t know if it’s true or not but they told me that in certain communities if the woman is tired of the husband, she has to only put his shoes outside the house and he has to leave. You’ve heard of this? I think this is a good system,” he said.

About women running the family, he said, “I think women should have power in the family. My experience with work I did in Uttar Pradesh is if a woman controls the finances of a family, her vision for the family is much longer-term. She plans much more effectively for the family than a man. So I’m all for empowering women in the family,” he said.



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