The Tamilnadu affiliate of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD), is lodging police complaints in all districts of Tamilnadu seeking lodging of FIRs against film actress turned politician Khushboo Sundar for insulting & humiliating persons with disabilities.
Speaking to the media on October 13, 2020 at the Chennai airport, Smt. Sundar has used derogatory terms like “mentally retarded” to attack the party she left. This has been widely reported in the media and Smt. Khushboo Sundar has not denied having made the remark.
While Khusbhoo Sundar has every right to politically take on her opponents, usage of terms that invoke a negative portrayal of disability are unacceptable. Time and again people holding public offices tend to invoke such negative terms to tarnish the image of political opponents, lending them legitimacy. This cannot be tolerated.
The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) strongly condemns the insensitive remarks made by Sundar.
The country and people like Kushboo need to be reminded that such insults and humiliation are also prohibited by law. As per Section 92 (a) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, “Whoever”, “intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a person with disability in any place within public view” shall be “punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than six months but which may be extended to five years and with fine”. The Tamilnadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently-Abled & Caregivers is seeking registration of FIRs against her invoking these provisions.
Proceeding against high profile people should act as a deterrent and would help in sending across the message that insult and humiliation of the disabled and their negative portrayal would to be tolerated.