New Delhi, Oct 14 (PTI) The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled on Wednesday filed police complaints in different districts of Tamil Nadu against actor Khushbu Sundar, who has joined the BJP, for allegedly making derogatory remarks against people with disabilities, soon after which she apologised for 'incorrect use of a couple of phrases'.
According to media reports, Sundar, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday after quitting the Congress, said she has exited a 'mentally retarded' party.
NPRD General Secretary Muralidharan said complaints have been filed at nearly 30 police stations, some of them online, against the actor-politician.
'A complaint has also been lodged with the Chennai Police Commissioner's Office. Complaints have been lodged in Chennai, Kanjipuram, Chengalpet, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tirupur among other places,' he said.
However, Sundar apologised for her comments.
'I'm terribly sorry for the incorrect use of a couple of phrases in a moment of hastiness, deep distress and anguish. Being a self-made woman, the insinuation that I was being directed and influenced by significant others in my decisions was both objectionable and misogynistic,' she said.
Muralidharan said though she has apologised but the fact that she has violated a law that attracts a minimum of six months imprisonment, cannot be 'glossed over'.
'We are informed that Khushbu has tendered an apology. While it may ebb the anger among certain sections who were agitated over her derogatory and insensitive remarks, the fact that she has violated a law that attracts a minimum of six months imprisonment, cannot be glossed over,' he said.
He said while Sundar has every right to politically take on her opponents, usage of terms that invoke a negative portrayal of disability was 'unacceptable'.
'Time and again people holding public offices tend to invoke such negative terms to tarnish the image of political opponents, lending them legitimacy. This cannot be tolerated. The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled strongly condemns the insensitive remarks made by Sundar,' he said.
In her apology, Sundar said she dedicates herself to ensure that the voices of those with psychosocial disability are valued and heard, as they should be.
'I have struggled with mental health concerns in my own family and have friends who are capable leaders, insightful and dynamic and living with bipolar disorder and depression. For their friendship and wisdom, I'm richer! Not just am I sensitive to diversity amongst people, but value it and have gained hugely from it,' she said in a statement.
'I realise that many leaders in the past have also made similar references and as much as I am disappointed by the inadvertent distress that I have caused many, equally I am now determined to ensure that I do not repeat this ever, whatever the motivation. I also dedicate myself to ensure that the voices of those with psychosocial disability are valued and heard, as they should be,' she added. PTI UZM ABH ABH ABH