While Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti continues to be rightly taken to task for his racist and misogynst remarks against women from Africa, his party colleague, and AAP Executive Member Kumar Vishwas is facing the flak for his remarks made in a kavi sammelan in 2008.
The video surfaced on Facebook and Youtube some days back sparked strong protests across Kerala, with Youth Congress workers ransacking AAP's office in Kochi on January 20.
The protests led the Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to demand an apology from the APP leader for his remarks.
In a letter to AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Chandy had wanted him to prevail upon Vishwas to withdraw the remarks and tender an apology.
"It is most unfortunate that the Aam Aadmi Party is tightlipped regarding the derogatory remarks on Malayalee nurses," Chandy wrote.
In the video, Vishwas is heard saying:
pahle aadmii bimaar paRtaa thaa bechaaraa purush aur jaataa thaa haspataal mein, to tasalii rahtii thii. Nurses jo hain wo Kerala se aatii thii -- kaalii piilii sii. Tou muNh se hii sister nikaltaa thaa. aNdar se hii aawaaz aa jaatii kii haai allah, sister hii ho. bahut saarii laRkiyaaN is liye profile pe photo lagaatii hii nahii haiN, ke pataa nahii kyaa ho jaaye. ab aajkal to nurse bhii north india kii aane lagii. ekdam bilkukl shaandaar. main abhii piichhe bimaar paRaa, tabiiat kharaab thii to mere ek dost hain uNkaa baRaa haspataal hai, tou wo le gaye, baRe achhe ward me mujhe rakhaa. tou woh subah subah hii nurse aa jaatii thii ke maalik ke dost hain. nahaai dhoii, blusher-vrusher lagaaye, perfume uRaatii huii. main to vaise hii biimaar thaa. wo turant merii kalaaii pe do uNgliyaaN rakhtii, aaNkh meN aankh Daaltii aur zor se saaNs le ke kahtii, "Haai raam, aapkii tou pulse bahut tez chal rahii hai." Arre, maine kahaan ye saaNskritik harkat mere saath karegii tou pulse kyaa Surender Sharma jii kii tez chalegii?
Earlier, when a man fell sick and was admitted to hospital, one felt satisfied. Nurses who usually come from Kerala, they are black and yellow. So one would end up calling them 'Sister'. An inner voice used to say, 'Oh God, let her be a sister only'. That's why many girls do not put their photograph in their profile [on social networking sites], as one never knows what it might lead to. But now even the nurses come from north India. Perfectly fantastic. Recently I fell sick, I was not well so a friend of mine who owns a large hospital took me there and admitted me in a very nice ward. So early mornign a nurse used to show up there, after all I was the owner's friend. Freshly bathed, wearing blush-on and exuding perfume. As it is, I was sick. And she would quickly come and put two fingers on my wrist, take a deep breath and say, "Oh God, your pulse seems to be racing." I thought, if you behave like this with me, surely it would not be Surender Sharma whose pulse would race.
In a statement sent to the AAP's Kerala unit, Vishwas has said that he had never tried to 'intentionally hurt the sentiments of anyone'.
"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 lighthearted 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 depth of my heart."
Vishwas also has another case against him filed by R P Mishra, general secretary of Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Sewa Samiti, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Hindus and Muslims.
"The FIR under Sections 295, 295 (a) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion) of the IPC was registered at the Mahanagar police station. We are probing the charges," a senior police officer was quoted by PTI as saying.
Earlier, Vishwas had apologised for his remarks on Moharram which were apparently made way back in a 2004 Kavi Sammelan.
The clip has him narrating an incident about a Moharram procession in Lucknow in which the participants were apparently going around chest-beating and chanting "Hai Husain" and how a foriegner asked him what the procession was for. Vishwas says he told the foreigner that the forefathers of those in the procession had died. On being asked when, Vishwas says he replied, "1400 years back." "The news seems to have been quite delayed," he reports the foreigner as responding.
In another such video, he is heard saying that Brahma Vishnu Mahesh are sitting like a minister without portfolio. One of them sat in the Himalayas, and the other in the ocean, with no drinking water in sight. And, see, he goes on: They made him sit in the Himalayas, but did not give him any clothes. And to add to it, they took out the Ganges from the top of his head. And then they put a snake around his neck. Now you tell me, what would such a man do if not Tandava? Disco?
Kumar insists that all these old videos pertaining to his career as a stand-up comedian are being dredged out only because he has dared to announce his candidature against Rahul Gandhi for Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.