By Tanaya Patnaik*

The adage ‘behind every successful man, there is a woman’ is a famous one. But ‘women are responsible for men being corrupt’ – this is something new we learnt from you. What a revelation!


As a woman, I can’t help but feel extremely important and flattered right now. It gives me an immense sense of satisfaction to know that women have such power and influence over men. When the entire country and even the world is talking about women empowerment – the men of our state are walking the talk. They are out to give the world major relationship goals! Our men love their wives and girlfriends so much that they are willing to go to any extent to please their partners. A lot of people are criticising you for your ‘unfortunate’ remarks, but I would like to sincerely offer my thanks to you. Feel really empowered!

As empowered as I feel, I can’t help but think how weak these men you’re talking about must be. Their incapability to tolerate their wives’ dissatisfaction is so large that they are willing to adopt corruption as their means. Doesn’t matter if it’s universally acknowledged that corruption is one of the largest diseases plaguing our nation. Doesn’t matter if there are anti-corruption laws. All that matters is the wife’s happiness. Wow, what dedication!

Women being responsible for corruption, reminds me of something else women are often accused of – sexual harassment, assault, rape and other crimes. Men never really have any ill intentions towards women. It’s only when women wear revealing clothes like ‘jean pant top’ or ‘minis’ that men lose it. Totally the woman’s fault! Seriously, how dare she? She must be aware that men are so, so weak that they totally lose control seeing a bit of skin. Tsk tsk tsk.

Along with being weak, the men you are talking about also seem like big-time hypocrites. Your suggestion, if true, reeks of hypocrisy. I refuse to believe that men are so influenced by their wives that they resort to corruption to fulfil the desires of their better halves. And even if they do, the question that bothers me is what about all those desires that are left unfulfilled by men?

That a man should be a good son, a good husband, a good father, a good brother. That a man should refrain from alcoholism and the abuse that follows. That they should quit smoking for their own lungs’ sake. That they should respect women and treat them as equals and sincerely believe that they deserve equal treatment, that they deserve equal opportunities. That they should be honest, loving and caring partners. That they should stand up for them through thick and thin. What about all these desires? Why do men never feel pressurised to fulfil these wants and make women happy?

Moreover, there are so many women officers who are corrupt. Who do they blame? Their husbands? And what about unmarried but corrupt souls? Who do they blame?

Honourable Dr. Patasani, I would humbly like to suggest that you have probably not understood the phenomenon of corruption at a deeper level. Corruption is a choice. It is an extremely personal and conscious decision one takes. There are so many people living lives of deprivation and misery yet are untouched by corruption. Then again there are others who lead good, comfortable lives but have made corruption a regular practice. Blaming women or anyone else for one’s own actions shows lack of courage.

We know you have this ancient habit of saying things in jest. But I’m sorry, this is no joking matter. Also a shout out to the many officials (well educated, well respected) who were sniggering at your comments in the audience gallery. Well done! Can we hope in future that our leaders will not take issues such as corruption so lightly and not make irresponsible statements? Or is it too much to ask for?

Honourable Dr.Patasani, I wonder how many of the men you represent share your thoughts. I doubt there would be many.

Our cities are being labelled as Smart, our people are getting smarter, high time our politicians should up their smart quotient, no?


*The writer is the Executive Director of Eastern Media Limited. She can be contacted at:

email: [email protected]


The article was originally published in Sambad – Odisha’s No 1 vernacular daily.