Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Vishwas says sorry for joke, Kerala nurses not amused, stage protest

Over 100 people took part in a protest march from Kerala House to the AAP office in Connaught Place. (Amit Mehra) Over 100 people took part in a protest march from Kerala House to the AAP office in Connaught Place. (Amit Mehra)
Express News Service | Posted: January 23, 2014 4:01 am | Updated: January 23, 2014 6:56 pm

Over 100 people took part in a protest march from Kerala House to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) office in Connaught Place demanding that AAP leader Kumar Vishwas tender a written apology for his comments against nurses from Kerala.

The protests came after a video of Vishwas referring to nurses from Kerala as “kaali peeli” during a kavi sammelan several years ago went viral on the internet recently.

On Wednesday evening, under the banner of the Private Nurses Association, the group also asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to issue an apology.

Jinesh, a member of the group, said, “The Chief Minister has to apologise in front of nurses from Kerala. Kumar Vishwas should be removed from the party, and if that can’t happen, he must tender a written apology. This is a form of racism, and, sadly, it has almost become the norm for the Aam Aadmi Party. Even in jest, what Vishwas said is completely unacceptable. They cannot call themselves the Aam Aadmi Party and then humiliate people who voted for them.”

AAP Kerala state convenor Manoj Padmanabhan said Vishwas has sent an email apologising for his comments.

“It has come to my knowledge that an old video-clip of one of my kavi sammelan has hurt the feelings of many of my friends residing in Kerala. I must say that I don’t appreciate any discrimination based on religion, region, gender, caste or creed. I never tried to intentionally hurt the sentiments of anyone. Jokes delivered in a kavi sammelan are scripted and presented in a jocular and light-hearted manner without an intention to harm anybody’s feelings. But if some words of mine have hurt the sentiments of my friends, I apologise to them from the depth of my heart,” Vishwas said.

Earlier in the day however, Vishwas, who is currently in Amethi, had taken a combative stand and said, “The jokes made in a kavi sammelan are scripted. Will Raj Babbar and Shatrugan Sinha apologise for rape scenes in movies? I will apologise, but let them also do it.”

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