After the “Enjoy Rape” Shocker, Karnataka Congress MLA’s apology


Congress MLA KR Ramesh Kumar has apologized for the comment.

Bengaluru:

A few hours after his reprehensible “enjoy rape” remark triggered massive outrage, a senior congressman in Karnataka on Thursday apologized for what he called his “indifferent and negligent” comment in the state assembly. Controversially, he described it as an “outside remark” in his clarification.

“My intention was not to downplay or shed light on the heinous crime, but a remark outside the cuff! I will choose my words carefully in the future!” Congress MLA KR Ramesh Kumar wrote in a tweet last night.

That outrageous comment was made during a discussion on farmers’ issues, as Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, chairman, questioned how the session could be conducted if time were set aside for all.

“Whatever you decide on – I will say yes. What I’m thinking about is let’s enjoy the situation. I can not control or regulate the system. My concern is about the business of the house, it must also be covered.” he asked.

To this the Congress MLA said: “There is a saying that when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it. That is exactly the position you are in.” Shockingly, others in the state assembly laughed in response.

But the comment was later met with huge criticism. “The comment is unpleasant and outright disgrace. He is a serial killer while he was chairman of the assembly, he had made a similar comment. Now again he has repeated it. Congress, which has always claimed that it is there for women’s safety. And security, shall take immediate action against this serial offender. ” BJP leader S Prakash noted.

In the State Assembly today, the congressman said: “If it (my comment) hurts women’s feelings, I have no problem apologizing. I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”

The apology was backed by the chairman, who was seen laughing at the comment: “He has apologized, let’s not drag it any further.”

Just minutes before he had refused to comment when journalists tried to question him outside the assembly, a video tweeted by the news agency ANI showed.

Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala, who slammed his party colleague, tweeted this afternoon: “The Congress Party rejects the exchange of highly offensive and insensitive teasing between the chairman of the Karnataka Assembly and the Sr. Congress MLA in the House. (Sic)”

This is not the first time that Mr Kumar, 72, has made such a reprehensible comment. In 2019, he had compared himself to a “rape survivor”.

He pointed to repeated references to accusations against him for being part of some controversial audiotape, saying that his “situation was like that of a rape victim, as they are also allegedly being questioned about the incident repeatedly”.

Earlier this year, Karnataka Interior Minister Araga Jnanendra is questionable reaction to the Mysore rape case, which sparked major protests, had also led to criticism. The gang rape victim and her male friend should not have gone to the deserted place, he had said.

The interior minister slammed the congress to make it a political issue, saying: “Rape has happened there (in Mysuru), but the congress tried to rape me, they are trying to rape the interior minister. They are trying to win political mileage.”

The insensitive comments from elected officials come as the country continues to see an increase in crimes against women.

Data released by the National Crime Records Bureau earlier this year showed that India had registered an average of 77 rape cases daily by 2020.

In Karnataka, state police data showed that 1,168 rape cases were reported across the state between January 2019 and May 2021 – an average of at least one rape a day.

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