“If It Hurts Women’s Sentiments…” Cong MLA Apologises For ‘Enjoy Rape’ Remark

Congress Leader's Rape Joke, Congress MLA Enjoy Rape Remark, MLA KR Ramesh Kumar, KR Ramesh Kumar, KR Ramesh Kumar rape joke
After massive backlash built against him, senior Congress MLA K R Ramesh Kumar apologised for his sexist ‘enjoy rape’ remark made in the Karnataka Assembly on Thursday. “If it hurts the sentiments of women, I’ve no problem apologising,” Kumar said, in what many on social media are saying is an unsatisfactory apology.

When Karnataka Assembly leaders requested house speaker Vishweshwara Hedge Kageri for an extended question hour on December 16, and Kageri flagged time concerns, Kumar said, “There’s a saying… when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it. That’s exactly the position into which you are.” More here.

The remark evoked laughter from the Assembly, including from Kageri. A video of the proceedings went viral on social media, prompting widespread outrage from netizens and opposition leaders claiming Kumar’s statement and the laughter that followed was reprehensible and trivialised gender crimes like rape.

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“I apologise from the bottom of my heart,” Kumar said in the Assembly a day after the controversy, as reported by ANITo this, Kageri reportedly said, “He has apologised, let’s not drag it further.”

On Twitter, Kumar issued an apology, writing, “I would like to express my sincere apologies to everyone for the indifferent and negligent comment I made in today’s assembly about “Rape!” My intention was not trivialise or make light of the heinous crime, but an off the cuff remark! I will choose my words carefully henceforth!”

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Congress MLA Enjoy Rape Remark: Reactions From Opposition

Women from opposition parties have strongly condemned Kumar’s ‘enjoy rape’ comment, urging Congress to take action against him. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and the Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani said in the wake of the controversy, “Congress should first suspend their leader before talking about women empowerment and raising slogans like “Ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon” in Uttar Pradesh.”

The slogan Irani mentions is Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s women-centric election slogan for the upcoming political battle for power in UP in 2022. More on that here.

Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party, meanwhile, called Kumar’s remarks “shameful.” She added, “The party must deal with them & take very strict action so that it’s an example for others not to even think of such things, forget talking about it in the House.”

As per reports, a Delhi-based NGO has filed a complaint against Kumar, demanding his disqualification as an MLA.