Women’s groups are upset with yoga guru for his ‘honeymoon’ comment

Thanks to the intervention of Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, women’s organisations here are likely to file an FIR against yoga guru Baba Ramdev at the Azad Maidan police station on Wednesday.

The Mahila Haque Sangharsh Samiti comprising the Ambedkar Mission-Mumbai, the AITUC, the Dalit Atyachar Virodhi Kruti Samiti and the Republican Panther Forum Against Oppression of Women, besides individual signatories, sought to lodge a complaint against Ramdev on Monday for his controversial “honeymoon” comment that hurt Dalit sentiments.

The yoga guru, addressing a gathering in Lucknow in April, attacked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, saying, “He goes to Dalits’ houses for honeymoon and picnic. Had he married a Dalit girl, his luck could have clicked and he would have become Prime Minister.”

These comments did not go down well with many women’s rights and Dalit organisations leading to FIRs being filed across the country, including in Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mangalore.

Women’s groups in the city too sought to file a complaint but were apparently refused by officials at the Azad Maidan police station stating that the offence was not committed in their jurisdiction.

“We showed them press clippings from different cities where FIRs have been filed. But they refused saying they would consult their legal department. They also declined to give us anything in writing, including the reason why they were refusing to file the FIR,” read a joint press release issued by the organisations.

“The speech was aired on national television. This gives anybody from anywhere the right to file a complaint,” said lawyer Lara Jesani, speaking for the group.

Following the police officers’ refusal, the representatives approached the office of the Mumbai Police Commissioner on Monday. After having failed to meet the CoP that day, the group’s representatives finally met him on Tuesday. Following the meeting, Mr. Maria directed the Azad Maidan police station to file the complaint, said Sujata Gothoskar of Forum Against Oppression of Women.

The FIR is likely to be registered on Wednesday.