Mumbai, April 12:
A day after Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comments on rape created a furore, his party’s Maharashtra unit chief Abu Asim Azmi’s view that adulterous married women should be hanged has drawn widespread condemnation here Friday.
Not only has Azmi’s statement in an interview caused a rift in his own family, the Maharashtra Women’s Commission has taken note of it and will probe the remarks.
Azmi’s son, businessman Farhan Azmi, who is contesting as party candidate from Mumai North-Central and his wife actress-cum-TV personality Ayesha Takia have admitted that they are “deeply embarrassed and ashamed” by the Azmi senior’s statement and distanced themselves from it.
Azmi’s comments were made in an interview to a Mumbai eveninger Friday and later he repeated the same to some TV news channels, sparking off disbelief and shock.
In a reaction to his party boss statements at a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad, Azmi said: “No parent in our Indian culture would agree if their daughter goes out with another man, and indulges in something wrong.”
Going a few steps further, Azmi declared: “But, as per Islam, if a girl does it, she will be awarded the death penalty. What I mean is that if there’s rape, then there should be punishment. But on the other hand, as per Islam, if two people go to a hotel and have sex with consent, even that should be banned. They should be punished with death by hanging.”
People condemned the Azmi statements on social networking sites and even his daughter-in-law Ayesha tweeted: “”If wot I am reading about my father in laws statements r true then me and Farhan are deeply embarrassed n ashamed… We surely do nottt share this mindset…its disrespectful to women. if these statements r true then its sad.”
Azmi’s son Farhan said that he spoke to his father about the issue: “Guys as far as I am concerned I have made myself more than clear. Hang a rapist a 100 times & give me the duty to do so. I will do it for free. Spoke 2 my father about his comments. In my opinion on the topic of RAPE only 1 statement must b given without any explanation-hang da rapist. My seniors including my father share the same opinion but when they start explaining themselves, they fall in the trap of the Journalists. Objectionable!! Condemnable!! Embarrassed!!”
Undeterred by the sharp reactions from the family and society, Azmi’s party has chosen to back the SP chief with party spokesperson A. Q. Chaudhary claiming that the remarks were misquoted and misinterpreted.
“He (Azmi) is being targetted and there is a campaign against him. The Samajwadi Party stands for any kind of injustice against women,” Chaudhary added.
Meanwhile, MSWC chairperson Sushiben Mehta said that they would examine the statement.
“We will look into the statements. If it is found that they hurt women, we shall take action. We think the woman is the victim. The remarks are shameful,” Mehta said.