December 21, 2014

Delhi Gang Rape: Remarks by president’s son create furore

By Sajad - Thu Dec 27 2012, 8:08 pm

Abhijit MukherjeeThe Indian president s son landed himself in hot water with his own family on Thursday for denigrating women who took part in mass protests over a gang-rape as being middle-aged and caked in makeup.

“Those who are coming in the name of students in the rallies, sundori, sundori mahila (beautiful women), highly dented and painted,” Abhijit Mukherjee, an MP from Jangipur seat which his father, President Pranab Mukherjee had vacated before his election, told a vernacular news channel.

His statement has created a furor from all sections of the society, including Bollywood, Times of India reported.

Shabana Azmi tweeted, “Should Abhijeet Mukherjees sexist comment about women protesters being ‘dented and painted’ be reciprocated with ‘damning and shamming’?”

Farhan Akhtar posted,”Abhijit Mukherjee, the Presidents son, says students should not wear make up and/or go to discotheques!! #alltimelow” He also wrote” U can’t blame the President for his sons comment but I think as his parents, they should ground him and start home-schooling him again.” Sandhya Mridul reacted saying, “Maybe but can’t help but wonder that this is what he leant from his parents growing up…?”

The phrase “dented and painted” is used by mechanics who mask the bruised bodywork and rust on second-hand vehicles with liberal coatings of paint.

Among the most vocal critics was his own sister Sharmishtha who described his comments as “a bit of a shocker” and said her father, President Pranab Mukherjee, also disapproved.

“It is definitely something that we as a family definitely don t agree with,” she told the NDTV network.

“It s not just one protest, it s accumulated rage over the way women are being treated, raped, molested… my father is absolutely with me on this.”

Mukherjee later issued an apology. “My intention was not to hurt anyone,” he told NDTV. “I apologise to all those people whose sentiment got hurt by these sentences and these sentences are withdrawn.”

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