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Dec 21, 2012 at 10:50pm IST

Sanjay Nirupam sparks debate over politicians being sexist

New Delhi: Even as waves of protests continue across the country over the brutal gangrape of 23-year-old paramedical student in New Delhi, Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam has added fuel to the raging debate by making derogatory remarks against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and TV actress Smriti Irani on a television show.

Reacting angrily to it, the BJP has demanded an apology from the Congress party while the actor-turned-politician has decided to file a defamation suit against Nirupam. In a TV discussion on ABP news channel, Nirupam attacked Smriti with references to her stint as a television actor.

He had said, "I don't have to listen to you. It's been four days since you have entered politics and you already think you are a great political analyst...till yesterday you were dancing on television and today you have become a politician."

According to the BJP, Smriti Irani will file a defamation suit against Nirupam. The party has also demanded an apology from the Congress president. BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "We demand an apology from the Congress president...she must apologise herself for what her MP has said."

Sanjay Niupram's comment is the latest in the series of derogatory observations from male politicians about women.

During the Himachal Pradesh assembly election campaign, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had kicked up a storm when he targeted Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, calling her a Rs 50 crore girlfriend.

Union Coal Minister and veteran Congress leader Sriprakash Jaiswal had also passed a similar comment against women. Addressing a public gathering, he had said, "Like a new victory, a new marriage has its own importance, but as time passes, like the victory, a wife loses her charm."

Haryana politicians even advocated lowering marriage age for women as a solution to stop rape. Former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala pointed that earlier, girls were married off early to protect them from abuse.

However, it did not stop at making comments. BJP MLAs in Karnataka were caught watching porn in the Karnataka assembly. According to the think tank association for Democratic Reforms, as many as six Parliamentarians face charges of rape against them. With minds of male politicians so set against women, justice and liberation seem quite a distant dream.