Mumbai: Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Abu Azmi on Wednesday said he will not apologise for his alleged 'sexist' comments and backing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat for blaming India's urbanisation and westernisation for increasing cases of rapes.
Abu Azmi told NDTV: "I have not said anything that requires an apology. I have not questioned a woman's freedom. I would have said this for my own daughter and I have said it for the safety of women in this country."
"This is my view and some people may not like it. India does not live in Mumbai and Delhi. India lives in its villages. And even if my party does not agree with it, it is my view," he said.
Blaming "fashion and nudity" for provoking sexual violence, Abu Azmi on Tuesday went on to support Bhagwat's statement that rapes happened only in "India" and not in "Bharat".
Abu Azmi also suggested laws to "stop young boys and girls from roaming around in the night" and the appointment of "rural women" to lead the censor board for films instead of "modern women" like actor-activist Shabana Azmi.
Meanwhile, his son Farhan Azmi said his father's comments were 'politically incorrect'.
Farhan Azmi told Mid-Day: "For the first time, I felt the person making those statements is not my dad."
“He made statements that were completely not him, he’s upset with himself and only I know how bad he’s feeling right now. Deep inside, he’s very sad. Whatever he said, it was politically wrong,” Farhan Azmi said.
Triggering a controversy, Abu Azmi on Tuesday said: "Women should not venture out with men who are not relatives. What is the need for roaming at night with men who are not relatives? This should be stopped."
The comments came in the wake of a national outcry over the gruesome gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in Delhi last month as the victim succumbed to her injuries.
Abu Azmi's daughter-in-law, actress Ayesha Takia came out on Twitter to distance herself from the comments and termed them "regressive".
"Comments made by anyone,even sumone close to me, when they r regressive,, they do not reflect my thoughts n mindset (sic)," she tweeted.
"Im an individual n have my own mentality which doesn't match any regressive way of thinking at all! (sic)," Ayesha said.