As Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri struggled to bring order and contain chaos in the Assembly due to the government being unwilling to engage on farmer issues, a blatantly sexist remark led to guffaws from the Speaker. Senior Congress leader Ramesh Kumar can be heard saying, “There is a saying. When rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it,” reportedly when Kageri expressed his helplessness in imposing order in the House. No one in the Assembly at the time expressed any opposition to the same, and both Kageri and Kumar can be heard laughing.
This comment by Ramesh Kumar came when Kageri was resigned to accept that the situation in the House was not in control as members continued to speak about farmer issues one after the other.
“You know, Ramesh Kumar, I now feel that we should just enjoy the situation. I have decided to give up on trying to control and streamline this situation... I’ll just let them talk,” he reportedly said. He added that whatever Ramesh Kumar decides, he will say yes, and that he can’t control or regulate the system.
This isn’t the first time that Ramesh Kumar has courted controversy for making sexist remarks, or even comments about rape. In 2019, when he himself was the Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly, he had said, “My story has become like that of a rape victim. The rape has happened only once. If the rape victim had been quiet, it would have gone away.” He was referring to his name being mentioned in a controversial audio-tape.
After that, he decided to put his foot in his mouth further about how he was persecuted when his name cropped up in the audio-tape gate at the time, he went on to make even more comments about rape when talking about the opposition mentioning his name in connection with the tape. "It's like the police and lawyers asking how many times did the rape happen? At the end of the trial, the woman will say that she was raped only once in reality, but she was raped multiple times in court during cross-examination. My situation is like that
“Justice received or not, the accused would have raped once but the victim would have gotten raped 100 times in the court. My situation has become like that,” Ramesh Kumar had said at the time to peals of laughter.
#SHOCKING #Karnataka #MLAs #triviliazes #Rape in #assembly *There is a saying, When rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it' says former Speaker and congress MlA #RameshKumar during seeking more time on farmer issues. While current speaker Kageri laughs it off. pic.twitter.com/sWgQGK9jmi— Imran Khan (@KeypadGuerilla) December 16, 2021
“The House shall apologise to entire womanhood, every mother, sister & daughter of this nation for such an obnoxious & shameless behaviour,” said Anjali Nimbalkar, also a Congress legislator in response to Ramesh Kumar’s remark. Jayanagar MLA Sowmya Reddy also said that this was not okay, and demanded an apology.
The House shall apologise to entire womanhood, every mother, sister & daughter of this nation for such an obnoxious & shameless behaviour @INCIndia @INCKarnataka @BJP4India @BJP4Karnataka @MahilaCongress @BJPMahilaMorcha pic.twitter.com/wPKbnxJlnp— Dr. Anjali Nimbalkar (@DrAnjaliTai) December 16, 2021
Ramesh Kumar has come under fire on social media for the callous and outrageous remark.
Surprisingly no one even objected as soon you said it in the assembly. Reflective of the deep rooted patriarchal mindset among all our leaders to have been laughing at the "joke". Need some sensitising lessons , you all.— Pearl Dsouza (@simpearlified) December 17, 2021
"There's a saying, if rape is inevitable, lie down & enjoy it," says Congress MLA #RameshKumar in #KarnatakaAssembly amid peels of laughter by fellow MLAs— Sneha (@snehadipika) December 17, 2021
They should be ashamed of themselves. Shows how we trivialise one of the most heinous crimes by casually dropping rape jokes