A former MP and top cop just commented on Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi’s “physique”, and what that must indicate about Nirbhaya herself, at an awards ceremony named after the victim of one of the most publicized brutal rapes that the country has ever seen.
No, really. This happened. HT Sangliana is a highly decorated former MP, retired DGP and IGP of Karnataka. He was the inspiration behind three Kannada movies (two headlined by Shankar Nag, Devaraj the other), and sometimes posts updates on new film scripts he has ready for convenient new movie-making on his blog. He also reportedly once filed a case against his own wife for using his official car to buy groceries.
On Friday, HT Sangliana attended an event in Bangalore meant to recognise and honour women notable in the state. Various women, including IGP D Roopa, were being given the Nirbhaya award for their outstanding work and achievements in the presence of Jyoti Singh’s parents, Asha Devi and Badrinath Singh.
Speaking on stage at this event, HT Sangliana unbelievably said, “I see Nirbhaya’s mother, she has such a good physique. I can just imagine how beautiful Nirbhaya would have been.”
He went on to give some eyebrow-raising safety tips to women. A journalist who attended the event tweeted:
At Nirbhaya Award function, Sangliana, retd IGP says ‘If you r overpowered u shd surrender, n follow up case later to prevent being killed.
— Susheela Nair (@NairSusheela) March 9, 2018
Sure, this is a departure from the rhetoric of men who want to know why rape victims didn’t struggle or resist when they were raped, but it’s still unwanted and bizarre advice from a former police commissioner, and particularly uncalled for at an event meant to honour women, not patronise, insult or fetishise them. The audience was so shocked and disgusted, a few attendees even registered their protest against the event by exiting the building temporarily.