DK Shivakumar: ‘Enjoy rape’ comment row; Congress condemns ‘words spoken by one of our own legislators,’ says Karnataka party chief DK Shivakumar | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Amid the row over “enjoy rape if it is inevitable” remark by a Karnataka Congress MLA, the party’s state unit has condemned the statement, saying, “the insensitive remarks against women are contrary to the values of gender equality the Congress party champions”.

“The Congress party condemns the words spoken by one of our own legislators in the Karnataka assembly. The insensitive remarks against women are contrary to the values of gender equality the Congress party champions,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president DK Shivakumar tweeted on Friday.

The Kanakapura MLA added, “While we note that the legislator has tendered an apology, the incident in the assembly is a sign that all of us men in politics need to do better to shed our inherent regressive attitudes towards women.”
The apology
Earlier, senior Congress MLA and former Karnataka assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, who had courted controversy by saying “when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it”, apologised for his ‘off the cuff remark’ on Friday.
As the proceedings of the Assembly began, Kumar stood up and said he made a statement (in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday), which people found outrageous.

“However, my intention was never to demean the prestige of this House or behave in an inferior way. I will not defend myself. I tender my sincere apology for my utterance during the proceedings of the house if it has hurt people from any part of the country,” Kumar said.
Quoting Confucius’ famous saying: “To own a mistake, ends up in a single mistake. To deny a mistake amounts to multiple mistakes,” Kumar said, “people have already given their verdict and accordingly I am begging pardon.”
He also apologised to the speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri for his statement, which made him laugh and thereby attracted criticism.
The speaker too accepted his apology and appealed to the members, especially women MLAs, not to drag the matter further and make it (a) big (issue).
However, a few women MLAs wanted to raise the issue but Kageri did not allow them to do so and took up the question hour.
Earlier, Kumar had tweeted in this regard after he drew widespread criticism.
“I would like to express my sincere apologies to everyone for the indifferent and negligent comment I made in today’s assembly about ‘Rape!’ My intention was not trivialise or make light of the heinous crime, but an off the cuff remark! I will choose my words carefully henceforth!” Ramesh Kumar tweeted.
The controversy


During the discussions on rain and flood related damages in the Karnataka Assembly on Thursday, many MLAs wanted to speak to highlight the plight of people in their constituencies.
Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri found himself in a fix as he wanted to wind up the discussion at the earliest whereas the MLAs were insisting on the time being extended.
“I am in a situation where I have to enjoy and say ‘yes, yes.’ That’s it. This is what I feel. I should give up controlling the situation and take the proceedings in a systematic manner, I should tell everyone to continue your talks,” Kageri said laughing.
He explained that his only grievance is that the business of the House is not happening.
Ramesh Kumar intervened and said, “See, there is a saying – when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it. That’s exactly the position in which you are.”
The former minister came under fire from various quarters including the MLAs from his own party for his statement.
The Congress party’s Khanapur MLA Anjali Nimbalkar took a strong view of it.
She tweeted, “The House shall apologise to entire womanhood, every mother, sister & daughter of this nation for such an obnoxious & shameless behaviour.”
Another Congress MLA Sowmya Reddy too denounced the statement in her tweet: “This is just NOT ok. There needs to be an apology.”
The chairperson of the National Commission for Women Rekha Sharma flayed the statement in her tweet.
She said, “It is extremely sad and unfortunate that we still have public representatives who are misogynists and have a horrible mindset towards women. It’s really disgusting. If they sit in assemblies and speak like this, how do they behave with women in their lives?”
With agency inputs

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Sagar Biswas

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