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MQM chief Altaf Hussain lands in soup with speech on sex education

world Updated: Mar 01, 2016 17:13 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain. (HT File Photo)

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, who lives in self- exile in London, has landed himself in a controversy with his comments about human reproduction at a public gathering.

In a televised speech from London to his supporters at the MQM headquarters in Karachi, Hussain explained about “the fusion of sperm cells from a male with an egg cell from a female as a result of copulation”.

He told his audience, many of whom were visibly uncomfortable with the topic, that “this process takes place due to human biology inside a female body, which is called fertilisation. After fertilisation, a single zygote is formed, which after multiple divisions of cells start the process of embryogenesis.”

A woman who saw a video of the speech complained to police, who registered a case against Hussain.

Hussain claimed he was explaining everything about sex to his supporters because he felt many of them did not know where babies came from or, more importantly, how the process takes place. He also said he wanted to make the point that everyone was created equal.

The bottom line of his 90-minute speech, he said, was his argument that if everyone, regardless of their class and ethnicity, is a product of the same embryogenesis, why are people treated differently? He accused his opponents of discriminating against the ‘mohajirs’ or migrants from India.

One MQM supporter, who blogged her thoughts on a newspaper’s website, said she did not see anything wrong in having a discussion on sex. “Why are we so paranoid about this,” she argued.

Read | MQM chief Altaf Hussain sentenced to 81 yrs in jail by Pak court

Farheen Rizvi, in her blog, blamed cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s supporters for making fun of Hussain’s speech. “Let it be known that before he even brought up the subject, he asked if participants were uncomfortable, and if so, he would change the topic. Only after getting nods of approval from the audience did he start the discussion,” she added.

Rizvi said, “I think a political leader should play a role in this regard and openly talk about every topic with his workers – with mutual consent, of course.”

Another MQM leader told the media that Hussain “simply explained human biology. What was so vulgar about it? And what can be done about such narrow minds and mentality?”

Hussain’s speeches have been banned from local TV channels after he criticised and challenged the military leadership. He was also critical of the judiciary. The MQM is seen as one of Pakistan’s most outspoken secular parties but detractors say it has “fascist” tendencies and should be banned.

Also read | Terrorism case lodged against MQM chief Altaf Hussain