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Farooq Abdullah's sexist remarks leaves women fuming, him apologising

Saturday, 7 December 2013 - 7:45am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Union minister Farooq Abdullah on Friday joined the league of politicians who have passed unsavory comments on women and trivialised their predicament. He later apologised for the same. However, there were no takers for his apology which came when his son also ticked him on the Twitter.

Abdullah had said men were now scared to talk to women as they feared that they may end up in jail. He was reacting to the plight of former Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly. Abdullah said: “Women should get their respect. I apologise if something has been said which I did not mean. Things have gone haywire. We all are against rape; we are all against putting women low. If there is something that I have said which has hurt sentiments, then, I am sorry.”

Earlier in the day, Abdullah said: “I’m scared to talk to a woman these days. I don’t even want to keep a female secretary. Who knows, I might end up in jail because of a complaint. No, I’m not blaming the girls, I’m blaming society itself. The society has reached this point, where now, after one direction, it’s putting pressure on everyone.”

Women activists feel that an apology is not enough and the need is to look into a more serious issues that such comments will lead to.

Criticising Abdullah for his comment, women rights activist Madhu Kishwar said that it is very easy for politicians to get away with such comments. Kishwar said that Justice Ganguly’s episode has again highlighted the need tighten the loopholes in the rape law.  “The reality is that with such incidents, the employability of the female workforce will come down. No organisation will want to recruit women fearing being easily framed. The rape law should be strengthened to pro tect the interest of men,” she added.

Abduallah is not the first politician to have passed a sexist statement. Earlier, Congress’ Digvijay Singh, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav have made sexist comments on women and have easily got away with. “Making a statement and then saying sorry is not enough. It has become a habit for the politicians. Instead, their membership should be cancelled,” said Ranjana Kumari, director of Centre for Social Research.

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