DK Shivakumar, the Congress’ Karnataka president, apologized to women on Friday, a day after KR Ramesh Kumar caused a stir with his controversial statements on rape.
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, Shivakumar wrote that he was “deeply saddened” and promised that he would ensure that similar remarks are never made again.
“I am profoundly grieved, as President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, that such sentiments were spoken by a Congress MLA.” I apologize to all the women of Karnataka, and I will make sure that such remarks are never said again,” Shivakumar stated in a tweet.
The Congress party, he added, has rejected the comment, calling it contrary to the party’s beliefs. “The Congress party strongly rejects the remarks made by one of our own legislators in the Karnataka legislature. The inappropriate remarks about women run counter to the values of gender equality championed by the Congress party.”
He also stated that men in politics must abandon their sexist attitudes toward women.
“While we appreciate the legislator’s apologies, the episode in the assembly serves as a reminder that all of us men in politics need to do better to overcome our natural sexist attitudes toward women,” he continued.
The appalling “enjoy rape” statements made by a Karnataka Congress legislator have sparked uproar all the way to Delhi. KR Ramesh Kumar, a Congress MLA who apologized in the assembly and on Twitter, has embarrassed his party, which has been chastised both inside and outside of parliament.
Smriti Irani, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, brought it up in parliament when she was interrupted by opposition demonstrations over central minister Ajay Mishra’s son, who is accused of running over farmers. Smriti Irani slammed the Congress as protesting MPs blocked her vision with placards while she was speaking.
“If you honestly believe in the cause of women, stand here and denounce the legislator who said that if you are raped, you should enjoy it as a woman in the country.” “Those men who are standing in this Well today, return to your political organization and bring such a man to justice first, then we will see who speaks for women and children in this country,” she stated.
During a discussion on farmers in the Karnataka assembly yesterday, the Congress MLA made the remark. The Speaker worried how he could lead the session if every MLA was allowed time to speak in the midst of a clamour among members to have their word.
“I’ll say yes to whatever you decide.” Let us take advantage of the circumstances, in my opinion. I have no way of controlling or regulating the system. My concern is about the business of the house, it has also to be covered,” Mr Kageri said.
The Congress MLA responded: “There is a saying that when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it. That is exactly the position which you are in.” Shockingly, there was laughter in the state assembly in response. In a video, the Speaker is seen chuckling.
Hours later, facing a huge backlash, Mr Ramesh Kumar put out a statement on Twitter, controversially terming his comment an “off-the-cuff” one. Amid protests by women MLAs in the Karnataka assembly this morning, the Congress leader offered a revised apology, saying: “If it hurts the sentiments of women, I’ve no problem apologizing. I apologize from the bottom of my heart.” The Speaker then said: “He has apologized, let’s not drag it further.”