A politician in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal is facing calls to resign after he was caught on video threatening the rape of female relatives of rivals.
According to The Guardian, Tapas Pal, an MP from India’s fourth-largest party in parliament, was captured on a smartphone in May saying the following at a rally about opponents accused of political violence:
"If CPIM [Communist Party of India-Marxist] tries to kill and intimidate our workers … I will not spare them. I will let loose my men to rape your women."
Those remarks incited nationwide criticism on Tuesday. The actor-turned-politician has gone on to apologize, calling his actions “insensitive” and a “gross error of judgement,” but his words touched a sore spot in a country notorious for sexual violence towards women and politicians making thoughtless references about the issue.
India set up stricter laws against sex offenders after the fatal gang rape of a medical student in New Delhi in December 2012. In April, three men were sentenced to hang after being convicted of raping a photojournalist.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.