Kerala MLA PC George, who has come under severe criticism for his comments against the nun who has accused a bishop of serial rape over two years, has now issued a brazen non-apology. The Poonjar MLA ‘expressed regret’ over using the word ‘prostitute’ in his comments related to the Kerala nun – but insisted that he sticks by the rest of his statement.
In an interview to News18 Keralam, PC George said, “When I spoke about that woman who calls herself a nun in Kottayam Press Club in a press conference, I used a word. I shouldn’t have used that word. I am not saying this under any pressure.” Adding that he stands by his comments about the survivor, he said, “Other than retracting the word prostitute, I stand by everything else I have said on the topic. I stand by it a 100%.”
The independent MLA has been receiving a lot of flak for his comments on the Kerala nun rape case, shaming the survivor on multiple instances. In a press conference held in Kottayam Press Club, PC George said, “No one has doubt that the nun is a prostitute. Twelve times she enjoyed it and the 13th time it is rape? Why didn't she complain the first time?” forcing the survivor to cancel the press meet that she had scheduled for the following day.
Following this remark, PC George expressed his doubts over who the real victim is in this case, in a press meet on Sunday. “The alleged perpetrator, the Bishop, has denied the allegations. Now we have to see which is true. You accuse me of not standing with the victim. Now my question is who is the victim in this case? Is it the nun or the Bishop?” he asked.
Even his non-apology on Wednesday is problematic. The MLA stressed that a woman should not be called a 'prostitute' no matter 'how bad she is' – clearly shaming sex workers.
Following his remarks on Sunday, Aysha Mahmood, the activist published a post on Facebook launching a campaign opposing the MLA’s comments. Titled the #VaayaMoodalCampaign (Shut the mouth), she invited people to 'help him out by sending him masking tapes/cello tapes to plaster his mouth'. The post also had the picture of an envelope with the MLA’s address and a picture of him with red tape covering his mouth. The campaign has received massive traction on social media and has been endorsed by celebrities across the state.
This is not the first time PC George has courted controversy for his remarks. He was under fire for revealing the name of the Malayalam actor who was sexually assaulted in a moving car last year, and for raising questions on the credibility of the survivor’s claims.
And just like in his Sunday press meet, PC George in his interview to News18 Keralam reiterated that he has never met the Jalandhar bishop accused of rape, nor did not know him. We wonder why he’s sticking his neck out for the ‘innocence’ of a man he has never met or known.
Many in Kerala are hailing George's retraction of the word as a victory for the protests against him. Considering George's history, this semi-apology may be an unexpected step, but he needs to go the whole mile.