Shaktimaan Actor Mukesh Khanna Says Women Asking For Sex Are Uncivilized. Maybe It Is None Of His “Dhandha”?

There are a lot of things I don’t think I will be doing as an adult. One of them is thinking about or talking about Shaktimaan. But this morning, I saw something so blatantly outrageous that I was forced to talk about the yesteryear Indian superhero. Or rather, the actor who plays the role, Mukesh Khanna. I came across this video of Mukesh Khanna talking about women who want to have sex and my oh my do I feel blindsided.

In the most random turn of events, I am starting my day talking about our very own Shaktimaan, Mukesh Khanna after I came across a video where he is essentially shaming women who want to have sex. He starts off the video by saying that if a woman tells a man that she wants to have sex with him it is her “dhandha”. Now, this is 2 tier problematic statement so let’s maintain our sanity and try to dissect this, shall we? Firstly, what does it mean that a woman who communicates her desire to have sex with a guy is doing “dhandha”? This is the wildest example of jumping to conclusions I have ever seen. Can you imagine how much more horrifying dating apps would be if men actually started believing this? 

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Furthermore, he says that no woman from a “sabhya samajh” would say such things. Not the “sabhya samajh” can be loosely translated to a civilised and refined society. And pray tell me how our very sabhya Indian society has managed to have such a vast population if not for people having sex? So is sex the social evil or is it women being open about wanting sex? Because I didn’t see him having an issue with men wanting sex or even being open about it. Is it because we have societally accepted that it is okay for men to be vocal about sexual desires as compared to women? And if that is the case, why are women being shamed for owning their sexualities or wanting control over who has access to their bodies and when?

Also Read: Mukesh Khanna Tried To Clarify How His #MeToo Comments Were Not Sexist. Sorry Shaktimaan, You Just Made It Worse

The second issue is the fact that he is implying that women whose “dhandha” this is are outcastes. My personal interpretation of this is her alluding to sex workers. Firstly, there is nothing shameful about being a sex worker, especially if it is consensual and safe. Secondly, why is a woman an outcast solely because sex is her source of income? How a woman consensually chooses to use her body should be no one’s business but her own. Why Mukesh feels that it is okay for him to throw judgements about which women are “worth” associating with is beyond me. I feel like it is not his place to be commenting on who adult men associate with and moreover, shaming women for having the onus of their own bodies. 

Maybe Mukesh Khanna needs to expand his mind a little and see how far things have come since his Shaktimaan days. Men don’t need to be taught how to “protect” themselves from women who are uncivilized. And can we not blame women for wanting to own their bodies and sexuality? Whether they choose to do sex work or not, is literally no one’s “dhandha” but their own.

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Priyadarshini Malavia

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