In a shocking statement, Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi on Tuesday blamed ‘short dresses’ of women for the incident of mass molestation in Bengaluru on the New Year’s Eve. In an offensive sexist remark, Azmi claimed, “It was bound to happen. Woman call nudity fashion. They were wearing short dresses,” according to TV reports. Asking women to ‘follow Indian culture’, Azmi said, “Women must step out with family.” Azmi said that “it won’t be right for my sister or daughter to go out at night without male members of the family.”
Notably, Azmi is not the first one to blame the women for the unfortunate incident. Karnataka Home Minister G Parmeshwara reacted in a shocking manner to the incidents on Monday saying, “Such incidents do happen on New Year day and on Christmas. We take a lot of precautions.” Meanwhile, commenting on the incident, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, “Protecting modesty of women is duty of state government.
Taking strong exception to Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara’s remarks that youngsters’ “western ways” were reason behind the incident of mass molestation in Bengaluru on the New Year Eve, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has issued notices to the minister and state police. NCW has taken suo motu cognisance of the incident. More than 15000 police officials were on duty on streets of the country’s technology capital and yet they failed to stop the hoodlums, saying they were outnumbered. This allowed hooligans to maul women who came to celebrate New Year with impunity.
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Yesterday, NCW chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam sought Parmeshwara’s resignation and apology to the women of the country for making such remarks. “Such remarks from the Home Minister is unacceptable and regrettable. I want to ask this Minister are Indian men so pathetic and weak that when they see a woman in Western clothes on a day of revelry, they get out of control? When will the Indian men learn to respect women? The Minister should apologise to the women of the country and resign,” Kumaramangalam said.
However, Abu’s verbal spat and inherent misogyny dates back even further. A year prior to that, he had said, “Women are precious like gold. If you expose them, they’ll be looted. Women should not move around like men late night. They are weak, so they should think before they venture out.”
“When villagers come to big cities they see women with lesser clothes and make-up… that’s why such incidents happen in the country,” he went on to say.
Earlier that year, weeks after the unfortunate Jyoti Singh rape case, Abu had issued a similar horrendous statement, “If you keep petrol and fire together then it will burn. There should be a law to ensure that there should be no ‘nangapan’ (nudity). Those who wear less clothes should also be banned.”
At that time, his son Farhan, another SP leader, had condemned the statement by saying, “I retract the comment on my father’s behalf, it is highly condemnable and I apologise to all the people in the country. The remarks have deeply disturbed me and my wife Ayesha and my mother and even my father is embarrassed.”