Squeeze your private parts tightly and urinate forcefully after intercourse to keep AIDS at bay, is Rajasthan MLA Devi Singh Bhatti’s prescription for people.
The BJP MLA from Kolayat constituency in Bikaner district imparted his knowledge to a shocked gathering — which included HIV-positive people — during a sensitisation workshop for lawmakers on the assembly premises on Thursday.
Climbing onto the dais without being invited, Bhatti dispensed his advice, even as speaker Deependra Singh Shekhawat struggled to rein in legislators who were interrupting speakers. The HIV-positive people in the audience could not hide their disgust.
“What can we expect from common people if elected representatives behave in such a manner on the issue? But I am optimistic that awareness will change their mindset,” said Brijesh Dubey, president of the Rajasthan Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS.
The one-hour workshop — a joint effort of the Forum of Parliamentarian on HIV/AIDS and Rajasthan Legislators’ Forum on HIV/AIDS — saw repeated disruptions. More than 170 legislators, 10 HIV-positive people were in attendance. The legislators left the venue when a technical session was to commence.
Earlier, another BJP legislator, Hanuman Beniwal, interrupted Manipur legislator N Bijoy Singh during his speech and asked him to sit. “Birajo aap. Bahut sun liya aapko (Take your seat. Have heard you enough),” Beniwal told Singh with folded hands from his seat. Shocked, Singh ended his speech.
Later, he said, “It seems they are not serious and need sensitisation. Legislators can bring much-needed change in the society, but here the message could not be conveyed.”
Amid the drama, the event’s organisers could distribute only 50 sets of questionnaires on HIV/AIDS awareness. Of the five filled up questionnaires the organisers got back, only three were from legislators.