The Lok Sabha on Friday witnessed women MPs from almost all major political parties demanding action against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for making a sexist remark against the female presiding officer during the debate on Triple Talaq Bill. Members, cutting across party lines, demanded exemplary punishment for such crude remarks.
After consulting floor leaders of all parties, Speaker Om Birla issued a notice to Azam Khan asking him to tender an unconditional apology to senior BJP MP Rama Devi, who was presiding in the House at the time of incident, failing which he may have to face disciplinary action.
Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman, Supriya Sule from NCP, Anupriya Patel from Apna Dal, Kanimozhi from DMK and other women MPs condemned Azam Khan's sexist remark and said that such a conduct was unacceptable.
In legal terminology, there are two types of offenders - one, a common offender, and the other, a habitual offender. Azam Khan seems to belong to the second category.
The Samajwadi Party leader used to describe former party colleague Jayaprada as his 'sister', but later on, he used crude and abusive language for her. All these remarks are in the public domain. He used words like 'naachne waali', 'nachniya' to describe the former Bollywood actress. When Jayaprada wept in public over such crude remarks, Azam Khan defended himself by describing her reaction as 'drama'.
When he was out of power, he used words like 'tankhaiya' and 'naali ka keeda' for the District Magistrate of Rampur.
In the Lok Sabha, during the debate on Triple Talaq bill, Azam Khan was using objectionable language against ruling party MPs, and the presiding officer, Rama Devi, directed him to address the Chair. Flummoxed, Azam Khan said in Hindi that he liked her very much and he wanted to look into her eyes. These remarks in Hindi have a connotation that is normally used by roadside Romeos who ogle at women.
When Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and other BJP leaders objected to this sexist remark, Azam Khan changed tack and told Rama Devi, 'you are my dear sister'. This is typical Azam Khan-ese. First, commit the offence and then retract by using sweet words. Azam Khan did the same in the august chamber of Lok Sabha, and he has been caught red-handed. Now that the female MPs are up in arms, he has been caught on the wrong foot, and will have to repent for his offence.
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The government must identify such people and action must be taken against them. Inciting people in the name of religion and injecting communal poison in a civil society is a crime.