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Women invite harassment: MP Cong leader

"No man will harass a woman till she looks at him in a suggestive manner," Satyadev Katare, a former minister, said at a Congress rally in Madhya Pradesh's Bhind district.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2013 19:51 IST
congress mp,sexual harassment,satyadev katara

A Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh has landed himself in a controversy by making sexist remarks that women invite trouble by looking at men in a suggestive manner, drawing flak from BJP.

"Jab tak mahila tirchi najar se nahi dekhegi, tab tak purush use nahi chedega" (No man will harass a woman till she looks at him in a suggestive manner)," Satyadev Katare, a former minister, said at a Congress rally in Bhind district.

The rally was organised earlier this week by the Congress in Bhind as part of the party's campaign to regain power in the year-end assembly polls.

Efforts to contact Katare on the issue proved futile.

BJP spokesman and MLA Vishwas Sarang said the statement is highly derogatory towards women despite the fact that the president of the Congress party is a woman.

"It reflects the mentality of Congress leaders and specially in the aftermath of incidents of rape in Delhi," Sarang said.

Rape is an issue which needs to be dealt with tact and sensitivity - but our leaders may need a crash course in diplomacy. Similar derogatory remarks made by the prominent ministers dominated the media space and initiated major discussions over the social media.

President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee stoked a major controversy by describing women participating in Delhi protests against gangrape of a student as 'highly dented and painted', triggering angry backlash.

"Those who are coming in the name of students in the rallies, sundori, sundori mahila (beautiful women), highly dented and painted," Abhijit Mukherjee, an MP from Jangipur seat which the President had vacated before his election, told a news channel.

"Giving interviews in TV and showing off their children. I wonder whether they are students at all," he said, adding, "what's basically happening in Delhi is something like pink revolution, which has very little connection with ground realities." "We were also students. This section doesn't appear and behave like students," Mukherjee said.

Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee had apologised for his remark that women protesting against rape were "dented-painted" and there was no scope for action against him, the party said on Friday.

Two days later as the comment drew sharp reactions from different sections of the country, Mukherjee promptly retracted his statement. Read more... conducted an online poll asking its viewers "do our politicians get away with insensitive statements?"

A majority of 85.09% of the respondents agreed saying that the politicians do get away with insensitive statements.

Nearly, 13.2% of the voters disagreed with the question, whereas, a small percentage of voters remained undecided.

Here is a list of leaders who have been in the news for unleashing waves of scorn by their comments.

Anisur Rahman
Former CPI(M) minister and a front-ranking party leader Anisur Rehman said at a rally in North Anisur Rehman Dinajpur that victims of atrocities against women in the state are unlikely to get justice as chief minister Mamata Banerjee had already put a price on rape.

"She has said that rape victims will be compensated. She is indirectly encouraging rapists. I ask, 'What is the price of rape. How much is the CM worth'."

Parliamentary affairs and industry minister Partha Chatterjee even filed a complaint with the Speaker of the Assembly - Rehman is a member of the House - seeking breach of privilege.

On Thursday evening, Anisur Rehman was called to the CPI(M) state headquarters in Alimuddin Street, where senior leaders censured him for his remarks. He was asked to tender an unconditional apology. Read more...

Narendra Modi
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's potshots at Union minister Shashi Tharoor's personal life has drawn sharp reaction on social networking platform Twitter. "There was a Congress leader who was a minister in Parliament. He was accused of amassing wealth from cricket. He had said in Parliament that he is not connected to the Rs. 50 crore that in the lady's name," Modi said, asking "Have you ever heard of Rs. 50 crore girlfriend?"

Gujarat chief minister apparently referred the IPL controversy linked with Sunanda Pushkar, which resulted in Tharoor's resignation from the council of ministry as junior external affairs minister.

Union minister Shashi Tharoor and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in this combination picture. (File photos)

A day after Gujarat CM Narendra Modi referred to Union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar as a "Rs. 50-crore girlfriend", Tharoor chose his favourite medium - Twitter - to hit back. Tharoor's tweet, "@narendramodi My wife is worth a lot more than your imaginary 50 crores. She is priceless. But you need2be able2love some1 2understand that," which was retweeted over 1300 times and favorited by nearly 300, led to a Twitter fight between supporters of both the politicians. Read more..

Mamata Banerjee vs Ghosh Dastidar
In February, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had termed the incident as concocted and alleged it was cooked up to malign her government. Later transport minister Madan Mitra also questioned the morals of the woman, who would befriend strangers at 2 am at a discotheque. But before Ghosh Dastidar none suggest the victim was a sex worker.

Incidentally, Kolkata Police has already filed a chargesheet confirming gangrape on the woman.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee interacts with media in Kolkata. PTI Photo

Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar came the nearest to calling the Park Street rape victim a sex worker when she described the February 5 incident not as a rape but as a 'misunderstanding between a lady and her client.' Ghosh Dastidar switched off her phone after the comment was televised. Till late evening, none of her party leaders condemned the comment. Read more...

Sanjay Nirupam
Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam made controversial remarks against TV actor and BJP member Smriti Irani during a debate on a news channel on the Gujarat assembly election results. The Congress MP questioned the credentials of Irani to analyse poll results given her background as a TV actress.

He said "till some time ago you were dancing on the TV screens and now you have become a psephologist."

Congress disapproved of its minister's reportedly using defamatory and indecent language against Irani during a TV debate, saying it was "very regrettable".

Announcing boycott from attending news channel debates in which Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam participates, BJP called for a public apology from the leader and the party.

BJP workers staged a protest against the minister for his reported derogatory remarks against TV actor and BJP member Smriti Irani. Activists of BJP's youth and women's wings took out a morcha and demanded an apology from Nirupam for his remarks against Irani, who is also a member of Parliament. Read More...

Sriprakash Jaiswal
At a kavi-sammelan in Kanpur, Union coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, while discussing corruption including coal block allocations, said, "Issues are like old wives that lose charm as they grow old".

In face of vehement protests for his "sexist and derogatory remarks against women", Jaiswal apologised. But he said his comments were "taken out of context".

A file photo of Union coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal

A case had been filed against Union coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal in local court in Varanasi by a BJP woman worker, seeking action against him for his alleged sexiest remarks during a poetry meet. BJP worker, Meena Choubey, on Friday moved the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Amarnath Kushwaha and sought action against Jaiswal for "insulting" women by his remarks during a poetry meet in a women's college in Kanpur recently.

In Kanpur, the BJP women's wing held a march and burnt Jaiswal's effigy. The CPM followed suit. Mahila Manch president Neelam Chaturvedi said the minister's comment was derogatory to women. Read More...

Mulayam Singh Yadav

SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav kicked up a row with his remark that rural women will not benefit from the women reservation bill because they are not as attractive as those from the affluent class.

"Only girls and women from affluent class can go forward...remember (rural women) will not get a chance...Our rural women did not have that much attraction," he said at a rally in Barabanki.

Mulayam made the remark while claiming that if the bill is passed, women belonging to the affluent class will march ahead while those from poor background will be further pushed back.

Later, he softened his stand on the women's reservation bill saying that if the bill served the "interests and welfare of the dalits, Muslims and other backward classes", he would have no problems with it. Read more...

First Published: Apr 24, 2013 11:44 IST