JD(U) president Sharad Yadav Thursday launched an exposition about “saanvli (dark)” south Indian women while debating the Insurance bill in Rajya Sabha, but his speech was cut short by friendly interventions.
When DMK MP Kanimozhi objected to his remark, he justified the statement saying there was no harm in some non-serious discussion.
Yadav was criticising the proposal to hike FDI in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent and also “our affinity” to the white skin. He talked about how Leslee Udwin, director of the documentary on the December 16 gangrape, must have “got it easy” acquiring permissions because of her skin colour.
He added: “Your god is dark like Ravi Shankar Prasad (present in the House), but your matrimonial ads insist on white-skinned brides.” To this, Prasad swiftly stood up and said: “There was also a dark man — Mahatma Gandhi who drove the whites (goras) out of the country.”
Yadav followed up saying how the “dark-skinned god (Krishna)” was born beside Yamuna and died in Dwarka, while Gandhi was born there (in Porbandar) and died beside Yamuna (in Delhi).
He then went on to say: “The women of the south are dark but they are… their bodies…”
At this point members sitting around him tried to bring him back to the topic at hand with cries of “Sharadji Bill”. But, Yadav was not finished yet and talked about the “dancing skills” of south India women.
Soon, Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien frantically waved at Yadav to stop.
Yadav is among the most senior members of the House. In fact, when P Rajeeve from the Chair reminded him that he was way past the time allotted to JD(U) to debate the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill 2015, he reminded him of his seniority, saying, “Am I from a party? 50 per cent of the people in this House and that House (Lok Sabha) have got tickets from my hands.”
SP, BSP members also sought indulgence from the Chair, thus allowing Yadav to talk about women.
When Kanimozhi protested, the only one in the 243-member House to do so, Yadav shot back: “Just because it is a serious discussion, it doesn’t mean one has to be serious all the time”.
A clearly upset Kanimozhi appeared all set to press the issue, but NCP’s Praful Patel and O’Brien calmed her down. Just as members started settling down, NCP’s D P Tripathi stood up to quote Kalidas’s description of the ideal beautiful woman who has to be “slim and slightly wheatish”.