The standard reaction to putting your foot in your mouth is to quickly pull it out. But when you're President Pranab Mukherjee's son and Congress MP Abhijeet Mukherjee you evidently push it in a little more.
After a controversy over his comments deeming students participating in protests in Delhi "dented, painted women", Mukherjee said that he would not apologise for his statement and would just withdraw it if some people had taken offence to it.
"I fully accept I made the statement. I found the protester was not a student and was 35-36 years old...I am talking about students only....I just said it is not a students movement," he told CNN-IBN.
"The woman I saw was no student. My comment is based on that. What I felt I told. If it offends someone I apologise....I have no right to offend anyone's sentiment," he said.
Defending his comments against students and women, Mukherjee said, "I have certain ideas. I know what students look like. I have been a student too. If you want to see how I perceive students then you should come with me to a university," he said.
The MP refused to acknowledge that his sentiments were completely unwarranted and unnecessary.
"You cannot force me to change my beliefs," he said.
However, his sister perhaps realised the extent of the faux pas that her brother had committed and apologised for the statement.
"I am shocked at my brother's statement, my apologies on behalf of my brother," Sharmistha Mukherjee said.
She urged for sensitisation of men over women's issues, while not mentioning her brother.
"My father would not be happy with this statement. I am quite surprised that my brother made such a statement," she said.
However, father Pranab Mukherjee has not yet reacted to his son's comments. He is said to be travelling at the moment.
Expectedly the reaction to Mukherjee's comments were less than pleasant with many people on social media criticising him for his statements.
Mukherjee's comments are part of a long line of sexist comments made by the MPs and other leaders against women. And unfortunately as we've pointed out earlier it doesn't just extend to our male leaders and our women leaders as well who seem to find it incapable of supporting women if it comes in the way of their administration of extension of rule.
Perhaps our leaders need to realise that every protest isn't an attempt to usurp power or topple them. And that a majority of women in India could do with all the help they can get in order to improve their plight.
Also if you wondered why Abhijeet Mukherjee never made it to mainstream politics and should be prevented from reaching it, you have your answer.
First Published On : Dec 27, 2012 14:13 IST