Melbourne, July 12: Pity Eddie McGuire stirred the hornet’s nest – and an incoherent stretching has begun, to suit ‘violence of man against women’ and ‘family violence’ campaigns.

At Q&A, audience member Tarang Chawla (Nikita’s brother) asked an emotional question about male violence – his sister Nikita Chawla, a talented dancer and choreographer was savagely murdered with a meat cleaver in her own bedroom.

Tarang became Our Watch ambassador after Nikita’s violent murder.

While it is imperative that he promotes the case against domestic violence (he terms it as male violence); belittling his sister’s murder framing it with Eddie’s remark is shocking.

I could not believe that ABC had allowed that very serious issue to be paired with Eddie’s off the cuff remark.

“Sam Newman has courted controversy yet again for defending Eddie McGuire who joked about drowning Caroline Wilson.

“Male violence is a leading cause of death and disability for women under 45 in Australia. My sister Nikita was stabbed to death by her partner in January last year, with a meat cleaver. She was 23.

“How will politicians and the media play a better role in bringing about long-overdue cultural shifts, so tragedies like what happened to my family are not normalised?”

Really? I thought Nikita Chawla’s murder had been let down, royally.

For one, Parminder Singh, Nikita’s husband had been in Australia only 8 odd years in his 31 years of life and would be culturally more an Indian than an Australian, so to use this case as an example of Australian male violence is wrong.

Second, dunking is an Australian tradition and Eddie’s joke (nee anti feminist comment) was related to that.

Third, does anyone remember those days when ‘dunking your teacher’ was not offensive, even if your teacher was female? How about when you dunked your female boss and she only laughed?

Was that Violence? Or even Violence against Women?

But times have changed and we cannot take anything for granted. Today we only dunk who we have permission for.

Eddie and Caroline (Wilson) work in the same field and thus are more colleagues than strangers; yet Eddie as a celebrity in public space should have been more careful with his words and he apologized which he should have, when Caroline found his joke offensive.

But to stretch it on and further by more and more commentators is beyond proportions.

As Rebecca Maddern said, “I do agree in part with Sam on this, that the men involved are all good men. I know how they feel about violence against women….

“These men made a mistake. They have acknowledged they made a mistake. They have apologised for that mistake, and that apology has been accepted. So we’re at a point now where all we can do is move forward. We need to move forward in a positive way.”

Newman and Price indeed believed that the issue had been stretched.

What Nikita endured was indeed REAL extreme violence and pairing this with Eddie’s ‘mistake’ (for which he apologised) was an ambush of sorts.

Van Badham’s teary emotion for Nikita was but natural, yet her ‘ovaries’ remark smacked of ‘argue-with-me-not-for-I-am-a-woman’.

How Van saw herself as a “potential victim” is beyond comprehension. And if we all were to see ourselves as potential victims, Steve’s outrage as a man will have to be fully justified and Steve on Q & A called it for what it is – hysterical.

“Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you’re the only person who can get upset about this,”

“Men can be just as upset about these things.”

And when Van said “Steve, you’re proving my point very excellently, about the attitudes that create this kind of problem,” she proved that men and women are not equal.

Women today, it seems have a higher platform.

Would any commentator care to explain Steve’s attitude that was disrespectful of Van? It was a discussion that had turned into an argument – no more.

It seems obvious some women today stand on a pedestal of ‘touch-me-not-for-I-am-a-woman’ attitude; and any debate can quickly turn into a gender-violence issue.

Would it be such a furore if Caroline had joked about dunking Eddie?

Little wonder then that there was not even a whimper when Channel 9 called for a vote on ‘whether Eddie should stay under after being dumped in the water’.

Commentators have been outraged toning it as violence against women because Caroline was at the end of the joke, but jokes and sometimes even serious remarks about violence against men is ok.

Guardian columnist and feminist Julie Bindell claimed in an article sometime back, that all men should be placed into “some kind of camp” where their relatives could come and visit them and take them out to enjoy them for short periods of time, like a library book.

I do not remember any commentary huff after her story was published. Imagine if this comment had been about women…

The act of deliberate comparison of an entertaining Australian custom of dunking to the violent murder of Nikita without any doubt stretches the logical intellect to ridiculous proportions and ABC’s moderators have to hang their heads in shame.

Nikita’s murder could have been avoided and should have brought on a debate on social education amongst young people – on relationships and emotional attachments.

Rather it became banter on ‘husbands as violent murderers’ and funding and more funding by the government in an utter political-righteousness state.

Tarang Chawla listens as Steve Price responds to his question on Q&A. Photo: ABC
Tarang Chawla listens as Steve Price responds to his question on Q&A.      Photo: ABC

It was reported that Parminder Singh had murdered his wife, Nikita as a jealous and controlling husband.

Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said the murder was a “catastrophic response” by Singh to having had his fears of his wife’s infidelity confirmed.

When Parminder was in India in 2014, it is understood that Nikita went out on a few dates. We now know that Nikita was planning to leave her husband, but she had not yet revealed her plans to him or chosen to walk out on him; and her husband in the ordinary course of things, expected full fidelity from her without that knowledge.

No one can argue that Parminder’s savagely violent response was unjustified under any circumstances and he should have known better than to think that he could control Nikita’s choice about who she wanted to share her life with; and this is where social education could have helped.

Bear with me; I am a woman and I too believe family violence is real and that it has no place in a modern educated society, and I truly believe that nothing can justify Nikita’s murder.

But ABC and Q&A’s casual association of Nikita’s murder with Eddie’s joke was gross, at the least. This is tax payers’ money being used to trivialize a very serious and grave issue.

Righteousness – rather political righteousness stand on the extreme today and any stretch is welcome.

Victimhood is serious business, even if that means watering-down a grave issue that otherwise demands lot of uplifting work, like social education.

Extreme feminists demand special rights and quota for women, but whether that prospect is necessarily accompanied with due competence for that job, is anyone’s guess.

The gender gap and male violence ideology usually benefits only a few rather the larger women folk. Unfortunately social justice is not what we profess, but many times, work towards oppression of men, expecting them to behave like the only white knight around.

The days of the white knight are gone and so are the days when women were unequal to men.

Nidhi Mehta

also read: 22 years for Nikita’s muder

Similar Posts by The Author: