AAP under fire in Kerala over 'sexist remark'

Purported remark by Kumar Vishwas that nurses from state were "dark and unglamorous" provoke anger and attack on office.

    AAP under fire in Kerala over 'sexist remark'
    Kumar Vishwas, right, is a close aide of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal [AP]

    The Aam Admi (Common Man's) Party office has been vandalised in the southern Indian state of Kerala by protesters angered by what they see as "sexist jokes" by one of its leaders.

    On Monday members of the Youth Congress broke into the AAP office in the city of Cochin over Kumar Vishwas's purported remark that nurses from the state are "dark and unglamorous".

    Local nurses groups joined in to burn an effigy of the 43-year-old Vishwas.

    Nurses in Kerala have threatened to go on protest demanding an apology from Vishwas.

    The nursing community across India is predominantly led by nurses from Kerala. 

    Reports quoted Usha Krishna Kumar, president of All Indian Nurses Welfare Association as saying, “This is not only racist but also sexist. It amounts to insulting the women in the entire country”.

    She said that the association “would sue Vishwas if he does not withdraw these remarks and tender an apology.

    Kerala Government Nurses Association president OS Moli has threatened to “launch an agitation” against Vishwas on Wednesday following a meeting of its executive meeting.

    A comic slip too many

    Before he joined the AAP as a leader Vishwas was a stand-up comedian and a poet.  He has announced plans to contest against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his family stronghold Amethi during the forthcoming general elections.  

    A YouTube video of a comedy stage show in 2009 that had Vishwas joking about Kerala nurses has gone viral.

    “Earlier nurses from Kerala were dark-skinned and one would naturally feel like calling them sister. Many of them don’t post their photos on Facebook because of this”, he was shown to be saying in the video.

    Noted danseuse and AAP member Mallika Sarabhai has dismissed Vishwas as a “misogynist”.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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