Politics in Tamil Nadu hit a new low on Wednesday when BJP’s National Secretary H Raja took a veiled but cheap shot at Rajya Sabha MP and DMK President M Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi. Attacking the DMK leader for lending support to a woman journalist who had condemned Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s inappropriate behaviour towards her, Raja took to Twitter to insult Kanimozhi. And in a fitting reply, Kanimozhi has slammed Raja, and told TNM that his comments showed how unsafe it is for women in all spheres of public life.
In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Raja said, “Would journalists question the leader who made his illegitimate child, from an illegitimate relationship, a Rajya Sabha MP, just like they questioned the Governor? Memories of Chidambaram Udayakumar, Anna Nagar Ramesh, Perambalur Sadiq Basha would haunt them.”
தன் கள்ள உறவில் பெற்றெடுத்த கள்ளக் குழந்தையை (illegitimate child) மாநிலங்களவை உறுப்பினராக்கிய தலைவரிடம் ஆளுநரிடம் கேட்டது போல் நிருபர்கள் கேள்வி கேட்பார்களா. மாட்டார்கள். சிதம்பரம் உதயகுமார், அண்ணாநகர் ரமேஷ், பெரம்பலூர் சாதிக் பாட்ஷா நினைவு வந்து பயமுறுத்துமே.H Raja (@HRajaBJP) April 18, 2018
Raja’s uncivil and contemptuous tweet comes after Kanimozhi issued a statement condemning the TN Governor for patting a woman journalist on the cheek in response to a question at a press conference.
On Tuesday, Kanimozhi had tweeted, “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.”
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.Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) April 17, 2018
Speaking to TNM, the DMK MP who has come under personal attack, says that H Raja's statement exposes how women are treated in this society.
"It is beneath me to respond to the statement made by BJP's H Raja. But it exposes their mindset," DMK MP Kanimozhi told TNM. "Either you patronise a woman as seen in the press conference, or you try to personally attack her. Can a woman not be present in public places? This incident has shown what happens when a woman comes out in support of another.”
“This is an example of what happens to women in every possible working space. I belong to an important party in this state and I am a second time MP. People assume that politicians are safe. But even in politics women are not safe. This is how they harass and threaten women in public spaces – be it doctors, IT professionals, teachers or students,” Kanimozhi said. She added that BJP must respond to what H Raja has said.
“This is not going to make me step back or prevent me from taking up such issues in the future," she added.
Many have slammed H Raja for his comments. Former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted demanding an explanation from the BJP.
There is no such thing as an 'illegitimate child'. All children are perfectly legitimate.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) April 18, 2018
Will the BJP please explain where it stands?
DMK spokesperson A Saravanan also hit out at Raja, tweeting: “Even the High Court has asked whether he is suffering from a mental illness. We all want to ask, why has BJP kept such a low life as their national secretary? Does the BJP support these opinions? No action has taken so far, this is the hooliganism and arrogance of being in power.”
இவன் ஒரு மன நோயாளி என்பதை உயர் நீதி மன்றமே கேள்வி கேட்டிருக்கிறது? நம் கேள்வியெல்லாம் பாஜக இப்படிப்பட்ட ஒரு கேவலமான பிறவியை தேசிய செயலாளராக வைத்திருக்கிறதே? இந்த கருத்துக்களை பாஜக ஆதரிக்கிறதா? இதுவரை ஒரு நடவடிக்கையும் இல்லை, பாஜக ஆட்சி என்ற ஒரே திமிரும் பொறுக்கித்தனமும் தானே இது https://t.co/IlBFt2zn9gSaravanan Annadurai (@asaravanan21) April 18, 2018
This tweet exemplifies the core policy of @BJP4India : If you stand up for a woman who is harassed by a BJP person, we will threaten, abuse, target and attack you on personal grounds. This culture of fear psychosis is what allows petty outfits like @BJP4TamilNadu to thrive. https://t.co/yIjplzGNtDManuraj S (@manuraj1983) April 18, 2018
Cheap tweet from Raja ShameKumaresan (@Kumares08030463) April 18, 2018
Do you even know what is “consent” mean?ஆலாலகண்டன் (@aalalakandan) April 18, 2018
First - ur language is terrible 2. Plz go through the PCs of the past ! I have personally asked many tough questions ! And plz don’t defend someone u shouldn’t be defending at this pointPriyamvatha P (@Priyamvathap) April 18, 2018