Tapas Pal’s remarks should be treated as distinct from the common or garden variety sexism that politicians regularly spout. This is incitement to rape, riot, and murder, plain and simple. So, ‘apology’ just isn’t enough, and the TMC has no excuse for not expelling him; the police have no excuse not to arrest him; and the Speaker has no excuse not to dismiss him from Parlliament.
It also needs to be said: Tapas Pal isn’t the only MP who has incited violence including rape, with toxic hate-speech. We also have Sanjeev Baliyan, a Cabinet Minister, one of those whose inflammatory speeches resulted in the communal violence and rapes in Muzaffarnagar.
Now, the BJP’s answer to why Baliyan is a Minister is that the Samajwadi Party Government has apparently not tried very hard to garner evidence to nail Baliyan. So Samajwadi Party and BJP will now furnish each other’s excuses and clean chits!
The other man whose inflammatory speeches are captured on camera is Amit Shah, likely to become BJP President after being furnished with his own personal ‘clean chit’ in fake encounter cases. But what ‘chit’ can wipe out the footage of him telling a Muzaffarnagar audience in an election meeting that the Muslim community is a community of rapists, and that ‘no one likes to riot, but riots happen when a community rapes our mothers and daughters’?
So when BJP spokespersons say ‘No BJP leader has ever called for rape’, we must remind the country of Baliyan who incited rape and riots and Shah who justified rapes and riots and stoked up more hate for votes.