Several political leaders including MK Stalin and Kanimozhi have slammed the governor for the 'lack of dignity' in 'violating a woman's space'.

Angered and agitated Woman journo patted on the cheek by TN guv respondsImage: Lakshmi Subramanian/Twitter
news Sexual Harassment Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 09:09

It was meant to be a press conference to dispel rumours and allegations about his alleged sexual misconduct, instead it has spun into a new controversy. On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit met the press after completing six months in office, and as he rallied questions, he patted a woman journalist on her cheek without her consent instead of answering her question.

Purohit had called for a press meet since he had completed six months in office, but with his name popping up in a phone conversation in which a professor of Madurai Kamaraj University is trying to lure four of her students into performing sexual favours for certain “higher authorities”, most of the questions thrown at him revolved around the controversy that has sent shockwaves across Tamil Nadu.

Even as the press conference ended and the Governor got up to leave, a senior woman journalist, Lakshmi Subramanian at The Week, asked a question. Instead of responding, the Governor reached out and patted the journalist on her cheek. Understandably repulsed by the violation of her body, the journalist tweeted a photo of the incident.

Slamming the Governor for his inappropriate conduct, she tweeted, “I asked TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit a question as his press conference was ending. He decided to patronisingly – and without consent – pat me on the cheek as a reply.”

Later, writing on The Week website, she said, "Governor Banwarilal Purohit, I am angered and agitated. You didn't answer my questions, but you decided to patronisingly, and without my consent, pat on my cheek as a reply. To you, it might be a mark of appreciation, and a "grandfatherly" gesture, as you replied to several questions during the hour-long press conference on sexual allegations against you. But to me, it was an uninvited gesture as I wanted only answers and not a pat on my cheek."

“Washed my face several times. Still not able to get rid of it,” she tweeted.

Reacting to the incident, several leaders including DMK Working President MK Stalin and DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi slammed the governor for his behaviour.

MK Stalin wrote, “It is not just unfortunate. It is absolutely unbecoming of someone who is in political office.”

Kanimozhi said, “Even if the intention is above suspicion, a person who holds a public office has to understand that there is a decorum to it and violating a woman journalist’s personal space does not reflect the dignity or the respect which should be shown to any human being.”

 

 

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