Instead of rising, Shaktiman has taken a plunge into misogyny with desperate remarks on women's liberty
Every other 90s kid would recount how Shaktimaan, played by Mukesh Khanna, defined their childhood. His superpowers often 'saved' the world. Now, this superhero has taken a fall from grace after making a tasteless remark on women doing rounds online. "Aurat ka kaam hai ghar Sambhalna" because men are labeled as the bread earners having the liberty of snatching the liberty from their better halves. What's more ironic that it's Mukesh Khanna only who's identified for playing Bhishma Pitamah, a father-like dutiful warrior in BR Chopra's 1980s classic Mahabharat.
Mukesh Khanna faced severe backlash for his comments on the #MeToo movement and women To see this childhood hero turn to dust is a cautionary tale of how living in the past glory is dangerous. His attention-seeking words reek more of desperation than concern. The ever cultured Bhishma Pitamah wants to get validated by more misogynistic men and be hailed as a hero that he never was.
Woman's 'modesty' brings honor
However, his outright sexist comments are reflective of this society's obsession with 'modesty attached to the female gender'. From deciding what women should wear to how they should sit, it's mind-boggling that even the Indian laws revolve around 'modesty and honour'.
Only 6% of the rape cases are reported as stated by NCRB. Furthermore, the conviction rate in reported rape cases is as low as 27.8%. This shows how Khanna collectively disregards the experiences of survivors who built the courage to come out and narrate their horrors when the Indian #MeToo began. This in turn encourages the perpetrators to continue the pattern of sexual assaults as they know they'd escape the prosecution quite easily.
Are these crimes selective? A big No
When you hear a 4-year-old kid being raped by her cousin or an old lady being mauled by a group of men, do you blame women's autonomy and will to work outside as the cause behind such crimes? You're good enough to know that the above-mentioned women are oblivious to the concept of #MeToo or the need for gender equality. Why do they have to suffer? How long will India hold onto its gendered traditions of tying women to kitchens? Aren't people like Khanna the exact cause of #MeToo? With men vying for dominance over women through physical violence and abuse to fulfill their sexual desires?
Women are depressed for a reason
Studies have found that within women, diagnoses of depression and anxiety became significantly higher as inequality and marginalization increased. This suggests that lived experiences of gender inequality multiplied by socioeconomic inequality contribute to poorer mental health for women.
Does it threaten men if women work outside? A big yes
Khanna shamelessly blabbered in defense about women being the caretaker of men, children, and the household. The question is: How many women have the luxury of coming back to a neat and cleaned room after leaving for office in a hurry, having their laundry washed folded and ironed, and food being served to them while they watch a movie? No such luxury if they don't have a house help for sure. Men are worshipped as the 'Shaktiman' possessing superpowers (read: misogynistic superpowers) while women have come with preloaded software that says household chores are for women only.
Having varying needs and biological differences does not make one person less than another. It's time for Shaktiman to drop the guard and watch Mahabharat to finally learn how Draupadi getting molested isn't a gone era. But the question is: Could he save the world from men like Mukesh Khanna?