- During a discussion in the Karnataka assembly, KR Ramesh Kumar made the remark.
- “If it hurts the sentiments of women, I’ve no problem apologising. I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” KR Ramesh Kumar stated.
- Ramesh Kumar also apologised on his Twitter account for his statements.
Senior Congress politician K R Ramesh Kumar and Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri have stirred outrage when the former made a sexist remark during the state Assembly’s current session in Belagavi.
Kumar, a former House Speaker, told the Speaker, “There’s a saying… when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it.” That’s exactly the position into which you are.” Kageri responded with a laugh.
On social media, footage of the incident has gone viral.
Watch: Senior Congress leader K R Ramesh Kumar and #Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri have sparked controversy after the former made a sexist comment in the ongoing #KarnatakaAssembly session in Belagavihttps://t.co/7o0PkmSTyH pic.twitter.com/ZbhiSJdPir— Express Bengaluru (@IEBengaluru) December 17, 2021
The Congress politician made the remark as MLAs urged that the Speaker give them time to debate farmers’ problems in the Assembly.
In response, Kageri asked members how he could administer the session if everyone was given equal time. He told members to make their own decisions, then turned to former Speaker Kumar and remarked, “I feel, let’s enjoy the situation. I can’t keep this under control and take it forward in a systematic way.”
In response, Kumar stood up and made the controversial remark. In response, Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri may be seen laughing.
Later, in response to a tweet about the event, Kumar apologised, saying, “It was not my intention to trivialise or joke about ‘rape!’ My sincerest apologies if I have offended you. But the situation in the House has deteriorated so much that I used that analogy! Will choose my words carefully in the future.”
I would like to express my sincere apologies to everyone for the indifferent and negligent comment I made in today’s assembly about “Rape!” My intention was not trivialise or make light of the heinous crime, but an off the cuff remark! I will choose my words carefully henceforth!— K. R. Ramesh Kumar (@KRRameshKumar1) December 16, 2021
This isn’t the first time Kumar, a TV actor, has made similar comments about women.
In February 2019, as the speaker, he compared himself to a rape survivor. He made the comment during a debate in the Assembly over the Special Investigation Team’s investigation into an audio tape controversy. The audio recording purportedly shows BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa in a purported chat to entice a JD(S) MLA in his alleged attempt to destabilise the then-Congress-JD(S) alliance. Kumar compared his condition to that of a rape victim, who is allegedly questioned about the incident on a regular basis, and claimed it was “like that of a rape victim, since they, too, are supposedly questioned about the incident on a regular basis.”