“For the first time, I felt the person making those statements is not my dad,” said Farhan Azmi, son of Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi who stirred up controversy yesterday by saying that Western culture had ruined Indian culture and is responsible for the increasing atrocities on women. Farhan claimed that he is upset with what his father had said, and accepted that his comments were unwarranted. “He made statements that were completely not him, he’s upset with himself and only I know how bad he’s feeling right now. Deep inside, he’s very sad. Whatever he said, it was politically wrong,” said Farhan.
Abu Azmi had caused a furore by saying that young women who go out skimpily dressed attract attention and face risks. “Such nudity must be banned. The censor board must not clear movies having explicit scenes which embarrass families watching them together,” he said. Responding to this, his son Farhan said, “No one can argue that just because girls wear short dresses, rape is justified.”
Abu Azmi had said, “Young girls and women must not roam around with any men except their parents, brothers or husband… Having boyfriends and girlfriends has become a fashion in cities. This is why number of rapes is higher in urban areas compared to rural parts of the country.”
Farhan insisted that his father is open-minded and has let all his siblings do whatever they wanted to do. Defending his father, he said, “My father has never stopped me from going out in the night, nor my sisters. We all studied in a co-ed school, my siblings drive a car, we have both male and female friends. I myself am married to a Bollywood star and that too from another religion. It’s hard to believe that the statements were made by my father.”
Abu Azmi had even lauded RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statements relating rape to Westernisation at his press conference, saying, “If he calls the sun the sun or the moon the moon, I cannot say he is wrong just because of our political differences.”
Responding to this, Farhan said, “People like Mohan Bhagwat wear shorts, and even Asaram Bapu wears clothes that are insufficient to cover him fully. How can they ask others to wear clothes of their choice? My father made these comments under peer pressure, I myself regret his comments.”