NCW summons Ashutosh for ‘demeaning’ women (Lead, correcting date in para 2)

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New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday summoned Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh for “demeaning” women through an article he wrote in defence of sacked Delhi government minister Sandeep Kumar.

Taking suo motu cognisance, the commission has 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 told IANS.

“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.

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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.

In his article which was published on NDTV website on September 1, Ashutosh said a public figure is entitled to their private space and they should not be chased there, suggesting that what Sandeep Kumar did in private should not be a matter of debate.

He said that tall public figures such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and George Fernandes had relations with more than one women but this aspect of their life was seldom discussed or held against them.

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“Maybe these leaders were fortunate as they didn’t live in the TV era; they were not caught on camera; no sting operation was done. Why the sex video of two consenting adults should grab headlines and why should it be debated on TV channels?” he wrote.

“If it is a sin and a certificate for characterless-ness, then the role of all the above great leaders in history should also be re-assessed and re-evaluated.”

Reacting to the summon, Ashutosh alleged that Kumaramangalam was acting on behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party as the chairperson was a spokesperson and executive member of the party.

“Lalitha Kumaramanglam is member of the BJP national executive/was national secretary of the party. If I get a notice from NCW, I will react,” Ashutosh said in a tweet.

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“I hope Kumarmangalam, member of the BJP Nat Ex/chairman NCW is summoning everyone who wrote about consensual sex. No pick and choose,” he said.

However, Kumaramangalam said that she was no longer a member of the BJP’s national executive as her party upholds the principle of “one person-one post”.



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