Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Ashutosh has strongly reacted to National Women Commission’s (NCW) notice over his controversial article in which he defended sacked Delhi minister Sandeep Kumar, who is embroiled in a ‘sex tape’ scandal.
In a series of tweets, the Aam Aadmi spokesperson alleged that it’s a notice from BJP rather than NCW and asked whether he should be hanged for voicing his opinion.
Ashutosh tweeted, “Should I be hanged for writing a column?”
Read this. And decide. Notice recd from NCW. Should I be hanged for writing a column? pic.twitter.com/rzev2gn3jw— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) September 5, 2016
In another tweet, he wrote, “Recd notice fm NCW.Is any freedom of expression?Is india turning into a fascist state?”
Recd notice fm NCW.Is any freedom of expression?Is india turning into a fascist state? pic.twitter.com/WBVkBk5EL5— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) September 5, 2016
He tore into the NCW chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam for ‘lying on a national TV that she was not a BJP member’.
"Ms Mangalam, as a chairperson of NCW, you should not lie on a national TV that u r not Bjpmember. Wikipedia writes You are still a member. Lalitha Kumar Manglam is member of Bjpnational executive/was national secretary of BJP. If I get notice from NCW, I will react (sic)," Ashutosh tweeted.
Lalitha Kumar Manglam Is member of BJP national executive/was national secretary of BJP. If I get notice from NCW, I will react.— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) September 5, 2016
"I hope Lalitha Kumarmangalam, member of BjpNat Ex/ chairman NCW is summoning every writer who wrote about consensual sex. NO pick and choose (sic)," he said in another tweet.
I hope Lalitha Kumarmangalam, member of BJP Nat Ex/chairman NCW is summoning every writer who wrote about consensual sex.NO pick and choose.— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) September 5, 2016
Ms Mangalam pl read Wikipedia in picture, took few Mnts back,clearly writes she is member of BJP national Executive. pic.twitter.com/pJ6bezv7UC— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) September 5, 2016
The National Commission for Women (NCW) had sent him a notice on Monday for his controversial blog in which he had defended Delhi minister Sandeep Kumar over an "objectionable" CD, saying it was a "consensual" act and that he had done no wrong, saying that his article was “demeaning” to women.
Taking suo moto cognizance, the commission, in its notice, had asked journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh to appear before it on September 8.
"The NCW feels that the language of the article was derogatory and demeaning towards women. He has portrayed the former minister's act as something being done by many people, (and hence implying) what is the big deal about it. It is insulting towards women in general," NCW chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam had said.
"It is trying to put blame away from a person who has been prima facie found indulging in worst crime of violence against women, although the whole truth of the matter is yet to come out as police are investigating the matter," she said.
The NCW letter to Ashutosh, signed by Kumaramangalam, read: "The National Commission for Women is deeply disturbed...you have written a very objectionable and obnoxious article. In the matter of AAP Minister Sandeep Kumar allegedly caught on sex tape, the victim has filed a rape case against him."
"The Commission is therefore extremely upset with such irresponsible, misogynist, disparaging views by persons holding responsible positions," it read.
Ashutosh took to Twitter to lash out at the commission’s chief.
Defending Sandeep in his blog, Ashutosh had written, “It's a case of two adults with their consent indulging in sex. Then why should this sex video be discussed at all? Why should it be made public? Why should it be linked to the character of the man and the party? Why should it create headlines? What wrong has the man done?”
Ashutosh went on to cite former PMs including Jawaharlal Nehru and Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had ‘lived with their desires beyond social boundaries’.
“Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's reported affairs with many female colleagues were juicy gossip but it didn't spoil his political career. His relationship with Edwina Mountbatten is widely discussed. The entire world knew about it. Their affections continued till Pt. Nehru's last breath. Was it a sin?” he questioned.
“Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not married in true RSS tradition but he said in parliament that he is a bachelor not celibate. He openly lived with his college friend and society did not object even once,” Ashutosh, who joined the AAP in January 2014, said in his letter.
Citing Mahatma Gandhi’s relationship with Sarla Chaudhary, he writes, “Gandhiji had confessed that Sarla was his spiritual wife. Kasturba Gandhi was very disturbed. C Rajagopalchari and other senior leaders of the party had to intervene. They persuaded, pressured, cajoled Gandhiji to leave Sarla. Gandhiji in his later days slept naked with his two nieces to experiment with celibacy. Pandit Nehru had told him not to do so as the country would rise against him but Gandhiji did not budge.”
(With inputs from agencies)