The Indian National Congress finds itself in a deep malaise which is perfectly embodied by Mullappally Ramachandran, the President of Kerala Congress. In a shocking statement, Ramachandran claimed that women with self-respect, if raped, will die or prevent being raped again. While the self-proclaimed champion of women empowerment is yet to take any punitive action against Ramachandran, the latter was forced to ‘express regret’ after being panned for his comments from all quarters.
Mullappally Ramachandran, a former union minister and seven-time MP, currently heading the Kerala Congress, revealed his medieval mindset during a protest meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.
Irked by a woman involved in the solar scandal who accused a Congress leader of rape, Ramachandran quipped, “Every day when she wakes up, she claims she was raped. A woman who says she was raped across the state, she’s dressed up and made to stand behind the curtain. She keeps asking when she should come out. Chief Minister, your game will not work here. This blackmail politics will not work here. The people of Kerala can understand it. As you (CM) drown and die, if you thought you can bring a prostitute and make her cook stories, Kerala is tired of hearing it…we can understand if a woman says she was raped once.”
He then went on to add, “Any woman with self-respect will either die or prevent being raped again. But, she keeps crying she was raped again and again all over the state. Senior police officers told me that you are planning to play politics by keeping such a woman in front.”
However, this is not the first time where Ramachandran displayed his misogynist mindset as earlier in June, he claimed that KK Shailaja, state women and child development minister, was fighting for the label of ‘Covid rani’ and ‘Nipah Rajkumari.’
KK Shailaja slammed Ramachandran’s comments as she stated, “He says if women who are raped have self-respect, they will kill themselves. Is rape a woman’s fault? Are women not committing suicide because they lack self-respect? A woman subject to rape is not a criminal. The people committing rape are criminals. They must be punished. Women experience great physical and mental trauma. To say that they must kill themselves speaks of a person with a dangerous mind. This is completely wrong.”
After the backlash, the seven-time Congress MP hasn’t explicitly apologised and has just tendered his ‘regret’. “If these remarks were characterised as being aimed at anyone in particular, I express my regret. If these remarks were misrepresented as anti-women in certain quarters, it is not right. I said it only to prove the depths to which this (LDF) government has fallen,” said Ramachandran.
It is important to note that Rahul Gandhi during the campaign trail in January 2019, had claimed that the “Congress Party respects the women of Kerala.”
Congress party respects women of Kerala and at the same time respects the traditions of Kerala. We do not agree with the violence carried out by BJP and CPM: Congress President @RahulGandhi #SwagathamRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/QgdIea0FuV
— Congress (@INCIndia) January 29, 2019
Perhaps all the promises are forgotten since the elections are over.
Ironically Ramachandra’s misogynist statement came close on the heels of Rahul Gandhi stating that “Respecting women as important as revering a goddess,” on the occasion of Navratri. Evidently, Rahul Gandhi’s memo didn’t reach the party leaders
आज के युग में नारी का सम्मान करना देवी का पूजन करने जितना ही आवश्यक है।
Best wishes on Navratri.
नवरात्रि की शुभकामनाएँ।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 17, 2020
While Priyanka Gandhi was busy with Hathras activism, Congress leaders were busy insulting women. Leading the pack was Former MP CM and senior Congress leader, Kamal Nath who labelled Imarti Devi as an “item” during one of his speeches on the campaign trail. Imarti Devi was a minister in the erstwhile Kamal Nath government but then jumped ship to BJP which saw the advent of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. What’s worse is the fact that Kamal Nath chose to brazen it out and refused to apologise.
Recently, Congress Jalaun District Chief, Anuj Mishra was thrashed with slippers by two women after he tried to molest them.
Congress love and respect for women at the display. – Congress Jalaun Dist Chief being thrashed with sleepers by girls after he tried to molest them.pic.twitter.com/ffg5jLeIiH
— Vikrant ~ विक्रांत (@vikrantkumar) November 1, 2020
The Indian National Congress needs a deep introspection and takes punitive actions against its leaders who time and again disrespect the modesty of a woman due to their medieval mindset.