However, the question here we ask today is that isn’t it irresponsible on the part of lawmakers to make such misogynistic comments while the party itself is promoting “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”?
Ram Kadam, a BJP MLA in Maharashtra, found himself at the center of a controversy after a video of him allegedly promising to abduct women, for men who seek his help, went viral. The MLA, from Mumbai’s Ghatkopar constituency, made the claim at a dahi handi event on Monday night after which it went viral on Twitter.
The video, shared by NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad on Twitter, shows Kadam allegedly talking to the men in the crowd. The MLA offers his telephone number to the men and says they can call him for help at any time. The MLA then says that if any of the men have proposed to a girl and are facing problems, he would speak with the man’s parents. If they also approve of the marriage, Kadam says he will kidnap the girl for them.
“You can call me… if you call me saying I have proposed a girl and need your help… I will definitely help you… I will call your parents and ask them…If they say they like that girl then… I will kidnap that girl and give it to you… now take my number”, Kadam says in the video to the thousands gathered for the event.
Kadam was severely criticised for his remarks on social media. NCP MLA Awhad tweeted questioning how the women of the country would be safe if a member of the ruling party boasts about kidnapping them.
After the video went viral, Ram Kadam drew flak from every section of society. However, after the tweet went viral, he apologized for the comment via a late night tweet saying that his statements are being taken out of context in a deliberate attempt to vilify him.
However, the question here we ask today is that isn’t it irresponsible on the part of lawmakers to make such misogynistic comments while the party itself is promoting “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”? HW News Brings you reactions from across party lines:
Shaina NC, BJP Spokesperson:
“I condemn it in totality. I think we need to rise above politics of shielding wrongdoers. Clearly, there is no kind of explanation for objectification or suggesting that women are to be viewed as some kind of item. So, I condemn it. I think it’s not just about him, it’s about people in the public space and politics irrespective of which place or party it belongs to. If they come into public space, any legislature or any representative or for that matter anybody, whereas when Mulayam Singh Yadav said, defending rapists that boys will be boys and rapes will continue to happen, we must forgive them for such a misdeed (Ladke to Ladke Hain, Balatkar to Hote Hi Rahengay Hume Unhe Maf Kardena Chahiye) for anybody else. It needs to be condemned and unequivocally.”
Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:
“BJP MLA, Ram Kadam while addressing a crowd on the occasion of Dahi Handi on Monday said that if a boy likes a girl then he must come to him(Ram Madhav) and if his parents comply then he(Ram Kadam) will help him elope the girl from her house with or without her consent and will also help him marry her. The way he spoke and the statement he made reflects the true image of a Ravan of BJP party men. If a man like him speaks of eloping a girl without her consent shows that laws against such crimes are not stringent and women are not at all safe in this country. This is the reason why we as a party will call Ram Kadam a Ravan. Ram Kadam must apologize soon to everyone to hurt their sentiments and I urge, if no apology comes from him soon, please feel free to address him as Ravan Kadam.”
Chitra Kishor Wagh, NCP Women Wing’s President:
“Ram Kadam’s first name is synonymous with the name of Lord Ram but his behaviour and opinions synonymize with that of demon lord Ravan. With the name of Lord Ram, his attributes should at least have been like him(Lord Ram) which obviously hasn’t come to him or his conscious. Any form of disparage will be less to the disgraceful comment that he has made. Women’s safety in the state has only gotten vulnerable and for a person like him commenting on such a sensitive issue is not acceptable. Crimes against women are increasing and it seems as if the authorities are loosening the noose of criminals. While there are numerous abuses and assaults that happen on women at the very time irresponsible and disgraceful comment like such is unwelcoming and should be barred.”
Preeti Sharma Menon, AAP Spokesperson:
“BJP MLA Ram Kadam is seen in a video where he brazenly says he will kidnap girls. He tells the boys in the audience that if a girl rejects their advances, but if their parents agree with their choice, then he, MLA Ram Kadam, will abduct the girl for them! This statement is wrong on so many levels. He is openly threatening to commit a crime. Despite being an MLA he is seen as endorsing abduction of women who do not give consent. He, therefore, believes it’s okay to stalk, abduct, marry, rape women without their consent. He is a member of the ruling party and represents the party – to the ruling party of India has thrown the laws of the country in the bin by openly declaring that they will kidnap women. ”
“I would like to know if the women leaders of the BJP agree with Ram Kadam and feel that they can be abducted and forced into relationships? I would like to know if the male leaders of BJP think it’s okay if their daughters are abducted by their MLA Ram Kadam? This is the true face of the BJP – a party that does not recognize the laws of the country, that openly commits crimes and that treats women as objects to be picked up to please the desires of men. I am really ashamed that these people are ruling my country.”
Madhav Bhandari, BJP Spokesperson:
“He has clarified his position and he has apologized. After the apology, the matter is over.”