Amaravati: There never seems to be an end to Indian politicians' fascinating search for reasons behind rape and sexual assault. Recently, Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker joined the list of many such politicians as he drew an analogy between women and cars.
According to a report in The News Minute, likening women and sexual assaults to cars and accidents, Speaker Kodela Shiva Prasad said that a car is vulnerable to accidents only if it is out on the roads, even more so if it is speeding. Similarly, women were safer in the older days where they were housewives and faced ‘just’ discrimination.
Ironically, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) politician made the remark at the National Women’s Parliament in Amaravati, where his speech was supposed to be about ‘women empowerment’ and crimes against them.
"Let’s say you buy a vehicle. When it is parked in the garage at home, accidents can be avoided, right? When it is taken to a bazaar or to the road, accidents are likely to happen. When the car is speeding, it is more likely for accidents to take place. At a speed of 50 km/hr accidents are less likely, at a speed of 100 km/hr accidents are more likely," the Speaker reportedly said.
"Similarly, in older times, when women were housewives, they were safe from all kind of atrocities, except discrimination. Today, they are studying, working, and also are doing business. They are exposed to the society. When they are exposed to the society they are more prone to eve-teasing, harassment, atrocities, rape and kidnap. Is it not? If they do not leave home, it doesn't happen," he added.
Nevertheless, the Speaker seemed to have realised his mistake as he later tried to clarify that he was not propagating against women education.
Saying that a women needs to be taught self-defense to imbibe confidence in her, the seemingly confused politician concluded by clarifying that he did not mean to say women need to be kept at home to be safe.
"I do not mean that they need to be kept at home so that they are safe. They should be educated, should be made to work and they should be given the freedom to earn, but their protection should also be taken care of," he said.
This is not the first time a tasteless remark has been made by political leaders. Several of them have in the past blamed chowmein, the victims themselves, clothes worn by girls, and even said ‘boys will be boys’.