Mumbai: Salman Khan landed himself in a controversy for his remark that he felt like a "raped woman" after one grueling shoot for his upcoming 'Sultan' film, sparking demands today for an apology from the Bollywood star.
The National Commission for Women(NCW) took suo motu cognisance of the "insensitive" remark by the 50-year-old superstar and shot off a letter to him asking for his explanation in seven days failing which he will be summoned.
Women activists also staged protests outside Salman's Bandra residence in Mumbai. As political parties, social media users and the NCW pressed for an apology from the actor, Salman's scriptwriter- father Salim Khan apologised on behalf of his son, admitting that his comments were "wrong".
Khan, who underwent rigorous training for the wrestling film, was heard saying during his group interview with journalists that after shooting one particular scene he used to feel like a "raped woman". The film is due for release on July 6.
"While shooting, during those six hours, there'd be so much of lifting and thrusting on the ground involved. That was tough for me because if I was lifting, I'd have to lift the same 120-kilo guy 10 times for 10 different angles. And likewise, get thrown that many times on the ground.
"This act is not repeated that many times in the real fights in the ring. When I used to walk out of the ring, after the shoot, I used to feel like a raped woman walking out..." Salman hastened to add, "I don't think I should have...", suggesting he should not have made such a comparison.
Reacting on his son's behalf, Salim said, "Undoubtedly what Salman said is wrong, the simili (sic), example and the context. The intention was not wrong.
"Nevertheless I apologise on behalf of his family, his fans & friends. Forgiveness is to pardon the unpardonable or it is no virtue at all. To err is human, to forgive divine. Today on Intl Yoga Day, lets not run our shops on this mistake."
Undoubtedly what Salman said is wrong, the simili, example and the context. The intention was not wrong.— Salim Khan (@luvsalimkhan) June 21, 2016
Nevertheless I apologise on behalf of his family his fans & his friends. Forgiveness is to pardon the unpardonable or it is no virtue at all— Salim Khan (@luvsalimkhan) June 21, 2016
To err is human to forgive divine. Today on Intl yoga day lets not run our shops on this mistake.— Salim Khan (@luvsalimkhan) June 21, 2016
Another person to come out in Salman's defence was his 'Yuvraaj' director Subhash Ghai, who claimed the actor's comments were misrepresented. Though Salman made the comments in English, Ghai also claimed it was a "mistranslation". Ghai also blamed it on the actor's "poor English" and said he was "just a child". "It is very disgusting translation by someone. He just said one thing that it is a human agony he went through. The deepest human agony is when a woman is raped. He was talking about a metaphor. He is just a child and I know he respects women like anything."
NCW Chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam said Salman should give a public apology. Kumaramangalam said if the actor did not give a satisfactory response, he would have to appear before the commission.
BJP spokesperson Shaina NC asked Salman to apologise for his comments. "Salman Khan should apologise. It might be a slip of tongue. There is no rationale to it. Whatever the logic, Salman should apologise for the statement. The analogy was wrong," Shaina said.
Shiv Sena called the actor's comments "callous" and demanded an apology from him. "He needs to apologise for making such a callous comments... We criticise it and feel he should apologise," said party leader Manisha Kayande.
Salman has also faced criticism from Nirbhaya's mother, who said she was hurt by his remarks. "He should apologise... I was hurt by his comments. If someone like Salman Khan gives this statement, what will be its impact on our society. I don't know why he said so, but whatever he said was wrong," she said. "He must have said that in a joking mood but ask the parents of such victims?"
Twitter users were also horrified by the actor's anology and called him out for being "ridiculous".
"Wow..@BeingSalmanKhan compared his shooting schedule for #Sultan to him feeling like a raped woman...is he for real?? #ridiculous #epicfail," wrote a Twitter user.
"I know Salman Khan has fans. But if his female fans are ok with his 'I felt like a raped woman' then I've just lost faith in the world," another wrote.
A girl wrote, "How does Salman Khan have fans? I'm very curious to know. And if he continues to have female fans after this then I fear for this world!"
"kindly remove humanitarian from your bio @BeingSalmanKhan. There cannot be anything more inhuman than using raped woman analogy. SHAME," said a user.
"By his Raped Woman statement Salman Khan has shown his mindset. Will film fraternity come out to oppose him? Shame on you Salman," wrote another user.