New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee's son and Congress's sitting MP from Jangipur Abhijit Mukherjee has sparked a storm by calling anti-rape protesters at India Gate 'dented-painted'. From family members to politicians, people are slamming Abhijit for his remark demanding a public apology.
Social activist Ranjana Kumari said his comment was similar to the ones heard at street corners. "It's disappointing to hear a comment from the President's son, his comments are similar to the ones we hear at a paan shop," she said.
CPI leader Brinda Karat demanded a public apology from Abhijit Mukherjee and said, "Does he have any idea about the anger among people? He has insulted every woman in the country. There should be a code of conduct against elected representatives."
Plan panel member and former National Commission for Women member Hameeda Sayeed said, "Dented-painted women comment is patriarchal and sexist. I reject this."
Earlier, Pranab Mukherjee's daughter Sharmishtha Mukherjee expressed shock at her brother's remark on anti-rape protesters and aplogised for it. "I'm utterly shocked and shaken and I really apologise on my brother's behalf." Sharmishtha said.
Sharmishtha said she was highly embarrassed with this remark. "I don't know in what context my brother said that, it's highly insensitive. I'm embarrassed," she said.
When asked whether her father would have approved of the remark, Sharmishtha, "My father certainly would disagree with my brother's view. I humbly apologise on my brother's behalf. I'm disappointed," she said.
Abhijit Mukherjee said that dented and painted women protesters in Delhi went to discotheques and then turned up at India Gate to express outrage over the gangrape in Delhi. He also said that they were not in touch with ground realities.
"What's basically happening in Delhi is a lot like Egypt or elsewhere, where there's something called the spring revolution, which has very little connection with ground realities. In India, staging candle-lit marches, going to discotheques - we did all this during our student life too, we were students too - I know every well what kind of character students should have. Those who claim to be students - I can see many beautiful women among them - highly dented-painted (sic) - they're giving interviews on TV, they've brought their children to show them the scenes. I have grave doubts whether they're students, because women of that age are generally not students," Abhijit Mukherjee said.
However, after being repeatedly questioned by CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose, Abhijit Mukherjee agreed to withdraw the 'dented-painted' sentence and apologised.
"I withdraw the particular sentence 'dented and painted' women. I have no intention to insult any woman," he said while speaking to CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose.