Kolkata, Dec 27 (IANS) Users of social media like Facebook and Twitter Thursday went hammer and tongs against President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit for terming Delhi's women protesters after the Dec 16 gang-rape as "dented-painted".
While some cried "shame" angrily condemning the Congress Lok Sabha member for the "insensitive' comments, others called for stripping him of the house membership and his "re-education".
Journalist-turned-filmmaker Utpal Borpujari was scathing.
"The politicians, in their public speeches/media interviews, often talk about the need to change the mindset of the society to stop many ills, but who will change their mindset? The demeaning comments against women have come from politicians across party lines and gender at different times, and Abhijeet Mukherjee is only the latest to join the list.
"Shame on this insensitive class," said Borpujari in a Facebook post.
Another scribe Nabeel Khan called the comments "filthy" on Facebook. "Dada says girls' make up n disc invite violence...then.. can he sight 1 exmaple whr men have been attacked 4 looking gud or visiting disco?"
Even Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra called the comments "deplorable", though he pointed out that Mukherjee has "expressed regret and apologised".
However, Facebooker Sanjukta Chakraborty flayed Mishra for referring to Mukherjee's apology.
"Sir after making such a disgusting comment is it enough to express regret and apologise ? What steps will your party take to censure him ? If HE cannot show respect to a woman does he deserve to be a people's representative?
"He should be stripped off his MPship. We do not want men with such regressive ideas to represent us in Parliament."
On twitter, Farhan Akhtar graded the comments as "all time low".
Retired supercop Kiran Bedi twitted that Mukherjee needs "-re-education".
But a more damning twit came from Abhijit Majumder. "Tempted to change my name after the comment by Abhijit Mukherjee. Difficult to live down this extent of imbecility by a namesake."
However, a sarcastic Anant Rangaswami saw the lighter side of it. "After "dented-painted", #AbhijitMukerjee is India's greatest living exponent of nonsense verse," he tweeted.
Speaking to a regional television channel in his earlier assembly constituency Nalhati in Birbhum district on Christmas Day, Abhijit Mukherjee said that "highly dented-painted" women visited discotheques and then appeared at India Gate to protest the Delhi bus gang-rape.
"In India, staging candle-light marches, going to discotheques - we did all this during our student life too, we were students too - I know very well what kind of character students should have."
"Those who claim to be students - I can see many beautiful women among them they were highly dented-painted - they're giving interviews on TV, they've brought their children to show them the scenes."
Mukherjee's comments were sharply criticised by her sister Sarmishtha, who said she was "surprised and disappointed" and apologised on behalf of his brother.
"I express my utter shock and anguish.. it shows a certain degree of insensitivity. I really apologise to every women, man and every sensitive person in this country".
"Not only as a president's son, but as any sensitive man, he should not have made this kind of statement. Forget about being a political leader, it shows a certain degree of insensitivity," she said in New Delhi.
To a query as to whether Abhijit should apologise, she said: "I completely agree. He should immediately apologise.
In a tight spot, Abhijit offered an unconditional apology Thursday.
"I regret the comments I have made. I apologise unconditionally. I withdraw the comments. They were not meant to hurt anybody. But still if anybody has felt hurt, I am sorry".
There was large-scale outrage in the capital as protestors, mainly students, gathered in large numbers to express their agony over the rape of a paramedical student Dec 16.
Some of the protests turned violent and there were clashes between protestors and policemen.