That ‘Age-old’ method of mocking another’s uselessness or inefficiency is back again. For Mohali councillors, wearing bangles is a kosher way to attack rivals for not doing any work. Never mind if that is demeaning to women.
Hardeep Singh Sarao, the BJP councillor of ward 28, came to the House wearing a garland of bangles on Tuesday in protest against the slow development in his ward. “There is no development in my ward. I entered the House with a bunch of bangles and asked the officers to wear those if they do not want to work,” said Sarao. He alleged that all development work had stalled ever since the Congress came to power in the state in 2017.
“When someone does not work properly, carrying out a protest against such people by wearing bangles is an old method, it is symbolic,” said Sarao insisting it was an accepted form of protest and he did not want to hurt anyone. He added that there were many methods of protesting and wearing bangles or offering to wear bangles was just one of them. “Hun asi putla fookde han isda matlb eh tan nahi k oh banda mar gya (When we burn burn effigies [for protests] it does not mean that the man [whose effigy is burnt] is dead),” said Sarao.
Bangle protests are usually carried out to show the other side as effete. “As bangles are worn by women, it is clear what is being sought to be conveyed – weak like a woman,” said a woman professional in Chandigarh who did not wish to be quoted.
The BJP councillor said he had been demanding cleaning of drinking water tanks in his ward which included Phase 9, a part of Phase 10 and Phase 11. “People park cars in parks. I raised the issue but nobody listened. The water tanks were not cleaned. Now, when I am protesting, these people are saying that I am creating a nuisance,” alleged Sarao.
Regarding Sarao’s manner of protest, Mayor Kulwant Singh said every member of the House had the right to take up issues and protest but they must maintain decorum. He added that there were other ways of submitting memorandums to highlight the problems. During the meeting, the mayor warned Sarao of legal action against him. But Kulwant later said that he would request the councillors to protest in a decent manner.