New Delhi: Journalist organisations today termed the remarks of actor-turned-politician S Ve Shekher on media and women scribes as “disparaging, derogatory and defamatory”, saying they expected the BJP to take strict action against him. In a joint statement, they said the “regressive remarks” reflected a conservative mindset and a deep-rooted patriarchal bias towards all women, especially working women.
“The Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Club of India, Federation of Press Clubs in India and Press Association condemn in strongest terms the disparaging, derogatory and defamatory remarks made by Shekher on social media about women journalists,” they said in a statement. Women journalists, like all working women, have had to struggle hard to establish themselves in a male- dominated industry. In addition, they also shoulder the double burden and responsibility of the home-front and workplace, they said.
“These remarks are totally unacceptable to the journalist community. We demand that these remarks be withdrawn and an unconditional apology tendered by Shekher. We also expect that the political party to which he belongs will take strict disciplinary action against him,” they added. Shekher had shared a Facebook post that contained derogatory references to media and women scribes.
However, the former MLA tendered an apology after attracting criticism from an outraged journalist fraternity and said he had forwarded a friend's post "without reading" the content. Shekher was AIADMK MLA from Mylapore in 2006-11. The Facebook post was reportedly shared yesterday, but was found removed later.
“We also view with serious concern the sustained trolling of Tamil Nadu-based journalist Lakshmi Subramanian and the threats issued to her following her complaint regarding the Tamil Nadu governor's objectionable conduct,” the media bodies said. The post made insinuations against the media and women journalists following a row involving Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit. The 78-year-old governor had patted a woman journalist on the cheek earlier this week, apparently seeking to avoid answering a question she asked.
The incident had triggered a furore with Subramanian remonstrating with the governor, and political parties, including the main opposition DMK, demanding his recall. Purohit later apologised to the journalist. Shekher's post contained some caustic references to Subramanian. The actor-politician said he did not endorse the views expressed in the post he shared. The Chennai Union of Journalists also denounced Shekher over the post, with many of its members taking to Twitter and Facebook to express their anger. Meanwhile, some people have also filed a police complaint against Shekher.