Even as young people across India fight hard to change the society’s mindset in wake of the December 16 Delhi gangrape, some leaders, mostly from a generation before, continue to shock with their statements. And, even their family is in no mood to forgive them. The latest to spur outrage is Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi, who has left his actor daughter-in-law Ayesha Takia and restaurateur son Farhan red-faced at what he said.
“Women should not go out with men other than relatives. This is why the number of rapes is higher in urban areas compared to rural parts of the country,” Abu Azmi said. “The censor board must not clear movies having explicit scenes which embarrass families,” he added, even as Takia’s films have often featured such scenes.
“My father in law is the head of r family ,v all lov n respect him alot. I have my own mindset which dosent hav 2 match with every1 ... Comments made by anyone, even sumone close to me, when they r regressive, do not reflect my thoughts n mindset. Im an individual n have my own mentality (sic),” tweeted Ayesha Takia in retaliation. Son Farhan, too, was quoted as saying, “I apologise to the people... the remarks have deeply disturbed me and my wife Ayesha. For the first time, I felt the person making those statements is not my dad.”
This comes soon after President Pranab Mukherjee’s MP son Abhijit referred to women protesters as “dented and painted”, a remark his own sister, Sharmistha, condemned and apologised for. Experts feel such behaviour reflects polarisation within families.
Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar says, “Abu Azmi’s stupid comment reflects somewhere that he disapproves of his daughter-in-law, a Bollywood star. It is good that Ayesha is clearing her stand.” Lyricist-activist Javed Akhtar says, “I respect Farhan, Sharmishtha and Ayesha for their courage.”