Anchor Dindigul I Leoni made the distasteful comment when campaigning for DMK candidate Karthikeya Sivasenapathy in Coimbatore.

Dindigul I Leoni campaigning for DMK candidate Karthikeya Sivasenapathy
news 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 08:04

Anchor Dindigul I Leoni made a distasteful comment against women while campaigning for DMK candidate Karthikeya Sivasenapathy in Coimbatore. He body-shamed women and remarked, “Women’s hips are like a ‘barrel’ since they are drinking milk from foreign cows.” As the video of his remarks went viral, many slammed the television presenter and even tagged DMK’s Kanimozhi, who has always slammed sexist remarks. 

Incidentally, DMK candidate Karthikeya Sivasenapathy is the Managing Trustee of an NGO working to conserve native cattle breeds.  Dindigul Leoni made the derogatory comment in a miserable attempt to emphasise the need to drink the milk of native cattle breeds and to highlight Sivasenapathy’s work.

In a clip from the campaign, Dindigul Leoni said, “There are several types of cows and the milkman will get milk from the foreign cow using machines. The women and children have become ‘bloated’ after drinking that milk. Once women’s hips were in the shape of ‘eight’ and they were able to carry their children on the hip.”

A man from the crowd then got on the campaign vehicle and showed Dindigul Leoni a handful of poor-quality ration rice. He took a pinch of grains from the man’s hand and passively said, “The rice brought from the ration shop is not good. So vote for Senapathy.” 

Rather than addressing a more pressing matter at hand, literally, Leoni continued his distasteful comment against women. “The women hips have now become like a barrel and they’re unable to lift the children,” he remarked. 

As the clip went viral, Gayathri Raguram, president of the BJP's Art and Culture Wing, said, “What a shame! What milk does he drink? Does he know what happens to women’s body post pregnancy or during hormonal change? Kanimozhi DMK, what do you like to say to this kind of male chauvinist? Is this the respect your party people have for women?”

Another social media user said, “Kanimozhi ma’am, please get rid of womanisers like Dindigul Leoni, Vairamuthu etc from your party before you talk about women’s safety.”

The DMK had earlier run into a controversy after the party gave the stage to lyricist Vairamuthu, who was accused of sexual harassment in the ‘Me Too’ movement.

DMK has fielded Karthikeya Sivasenapathy against AIADMK Minister SP Velumani at Thondamuthur Assembly constituency in Coimbatore district. SP Velumani has won from the constituency in the 2011 and 2016 Assembly elections.

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