Aam Admi Party (AAP) Executive Member Kumar Vishwas, whose alleged derogatory remarks against Kerala nurses sparked a controversy, today tendered an apology, saying it was never his intention to hurt the feelings of any one.
In a statement sent to the AAP's Kerala unit, he said he had never tried to 'intentionally hurt the sentiments of anyone'.
"It has come to my knowledge that an old video-clip of one of my Kavi-Sammelan has hurt the feelings of many of my friends residing in Kerala. I must say that I don't appreciate any discrimination based on religion, region, gender, caste or creed. I never tried to intentionally hurt the sentiments of anyone," he stated.
Viswas said jokes delivered in a kavi-sammelan are scripted and presented in a jocular and lighthearted manner without an intention to harm anybody's feelings. "But if some words of mine have hurt the sentiments of my friends, I apologise to them from depth of my heart," he said.
Yesterday, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had demanded an apology from the APP leader for his remarks.
In a letter to AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Chandy had wanted him to prevail upon Vishwas to withdraw the remarks and tender an apology.
"It is most unfortunate that the Aam Aadmi Party is tightlipped regarding the derogatory remarks on Malayalee nurses," he had said.
The comments of Vishwas against Malayali nurses made in a speech at Ranchi in 2008, uploaded in a social networking site recently, had sparked strong protests across the state, with Youth Congress workers ransacking AAP's office here on January 20.
AAP Kerala unit spokesperson K P Rateesh also apologised to the people of the state for the remarks. "AAP has the highest respect for Malayali nurses," he said.
Meanwhile, United Nurses Association organised a protest march outside Kerala House in Delhi condemning Vishwas' "racial statement" on Kerala nurses.
The association also threatened legal action against the AAP leader, if he fails to tender a public apology.
Much ado about nothing.
The best Malayalee and sardarji jokes I have heard were told to me by Malayalees and Sardars who can laugh at themselves. But why pick on Kumar Vishwas for his 'kaali peelee' comment. we all know that fair skins are superior and dark complexions are inferior. That's why sales of skin whitening creams are booming.
However, Kumar Vishwas' argument that if he should apolgise so too should Shatrugan Sinha and Raj Babbar for portraying rapist in films is ridiculous and unworthy of a reply.
How to confront our deep rooted prejudices? An unusual sociological experiment was conducted during the first half of 2013 in the Kannada daily Prajavani to explore how we can collectively think about caste and through this ask whether it was possible for the public to challenge established beliefs about concepts such as caste, democracy and privacy.
The joke was inappropriate not because it was made against Malayalis but because it involved comments about looks and physical features-which should never be a subject of a joke.
There are thousands of Sardarji and Malayali jokes. The one constant joke about Malayalis is how they set up tea stalls wherever they go. Edmund Hillary climbed Mount Everest only to find a Malayali offering him tea there. These kinds of jokes are innocent.
But you do not make fun of someone's physical features or looks.
The whole party needs to attend a course in Political Correctness.