Calling superstar Salman Khan’s controversial remark on rape as “highly defamatory of women” and not satisfied with his response, the National Commission for Women on Thursday summoned him to appear before it on July 8.
The commission, in its summon letter to the Bollywood star said, “….The explanation offered by you after making such an irresponsible and callous statement, that …‘I don’t think I should have said that…’ does not amount to apology. Your reply is, therefore, not satisfactory. The statement is highly derogatory not only about victims of sexual assault but is derogatory and defamatory of women as a whole.”
Lalita Kumaramanagalam, NCW chairperson told HT that if Khan does not respond to the summon the commission will take appropriate action as it deems fit.
During a media interaction Khan had remarked that the gruelling workout for his new movie ‘Sultan’ left him feeling like a “raped woman.”
The commission said that it strongly condemns the use of such “objectionable and sexist language” which “refers lightly to and undermines the seriousness of one of the most heinous offences against women.”
“Any voluntary activity such as you were involved in cannot be compared to rape….As the commission has already conveyed to you, your statement undermines the experience of sexual assault against a woman which results in extremely serious physical and emotional/mental consequences for her. Such remarks only seem to further desensitize people to the plight of these women,” NCW’s letter to Khan states.
However, if Khan does not turn up on July 8 there is not much that the NCW can do. It does not have the power to arrest a person who fails to turn up after being summoned in a case. The Union women and child development ministry had proposed to amend the NCW Act but it is yet to be cleared by the cabinet.
The Maharashtra State Commission for Women had also issued summon to the actor to appear before it on July 7 after he failed to turn up before it to on Wednesday to offer explanation for his rape analogy.