Former Karnataka Director General of Police, Karnataka HT Sangliana, has landed in a controversy for his misogynistic statements about Jyoti Singh (or Nirbhaya as she is known) and her mother.
In a video shot at the Nirbhaya Awards 2018 in Bengaluru on March 8, Sangliana is seen reading from a prepared speech, which reeks of patriarchy. “When I look at her (Nirbhaya’s mother), her physique is very very nice. Then how beautiful Nirbhaya could have been,” he says.
Stating that “people like Nirbhaya attracted the attention of miscreants”, the former top cop also offered what he called as “safety tips for women”, which attendees say was equally disgusting and rendered them speechless.
“If you are overpowered, you should surrender initially and later follow up the case. That way we can be safe, save life and prevent being killed,” Sangilana stated.
Reacting to the media attention on his comments, Sangliana issued another statement justifying his stand.
“At the event Nirbhaya’s mother was present. She has a good physique and I only said that Nirbhaya too must have been beautiful. If someone comes to me and says that I still look young and have a good physique, I feel happy. I only wanted to highlight the vulnerability of women in general and in particular beautiful people. Beautiful people need protection and caution so that they won’t become victims in the future,” Sangliana told two different TV channels.
Ironically, the award function was organised on International Women’s Day to award women who have worked hard in their respective fields while breaking the barriers of patriarchy.
Several attendees reportedly walked out of the event up on hearing Sangliana’s statement. Speaking to TNM, independent journalist Pushpa Achanta said, “Someone politely came and whispered in his ear. Even then, he did not stop talking. It was plain stupid. He must have spoken for a good twenty minutes. What is the message to young people out there? There were students there. After one point, it was so ridiculous, students in the audience started laughing. He was saying something about pepper spray as well. That was so illogical. If you've ever been molested or assaulted, you're so shocked that you won't have time to even do anything. Where is the time to pull out pepper spray? If you're being assaulted, scratch his face, he said. He also said if you're not able to do anything, take it and then go file a complaint later. This came from a career police officer, a former commissioner of Bengaluru police who has been in service for 35 years in DGP rank. We know exactly how police entertains complaints on sexual harassment and rape and how they don't take complaints to keep the numbers low.”
(With inputs from Manasa Rao)