(AIPWA Statement issued on October 2, 2012)
Union Minister for Coal Sriprakash Jaiswal who is a Congress MP from Kanpur made a brazenly sexist remark a poetry gathering at a women’s college in Kanpur.
Reacting to news of a cricketing victory, he said, “A new victory is like a new marriage. As time passes the victory will become stale. As time passes the wife becomes stale, she no longer provides the same pleasure.”
This remark is shamefully sexist. Jaiswal’s subsequent ‘apology’ is in fact no apology at all. He has in fact tried to justify his offensive remark by saying it was ‘light-hearted satire and humour that is normal in a kavi sammelan ([poetry gathering),’ while saying he is sorry ‘if he has hurt sentiments of women.’ The very fact that Sriprakash Jaiswal thinks it is ‘humourous’ to refer to wives as though they were commodities to provide pleasure, and which, like commodities, become ‘old’ and replaceable, is what is absolutely offensive. It is offensive not to ‘sentiments of women’, but to democratic principles of gender equality.
AIPWA demands that the UPA Government immediately strip Jaiswal of his post as Minister. After such a shocking, public insult to the principle of women’s equality and dignity, Jaiswal cannot be allowed to remain a public figure representing the Government.
National Secretary, AIPWA