Tamil Nadu BJP leader Sve Shekher Venkataraman, an actor and playwright, has provoked anger by sharing on Facebook a post that disparages the woman journalist who had objected strongly to the Governor patting her on the cheek on Tuesday. Governor Banwarilal Purohit apologized to journalist Lakshmi Subramanian for the gesture, which was widely seen as offensive. But the post on Sve Shekher's page said he should "wash his hands with phenyl" for touching her.
- Tamil Nadu BJP leader was slammed over a post disparaging woman reporter
- The journalist had objected to the Governor patting her on the cheek
- Now-deleted post said the journalist's aim was to "defame governor, PM"
The leader today said he had posted the message "unintentionally, without reading the content, by mistake" and expressed his "heartfelt apologies".
Sve Shekher, a former AIADMK lawmaker, had already deleted the outrageous post.
Chennai journalists protested against the BJP leaders.
The now-deleted post said the journalist's aim was to "defame the governor and Prime Minister Narendra Modi".
In a particularly disgusting comment, it said "recent complaints show they (journalists) can't become reporters or anchors without sleeping with big shots...Uneducated stupid ugly beings... largely in Tamil Nadu media. This woman is no exception."
The post also went on to target the media for raising questions on a sex-for-degrees scam, in which a college professor is accused of pressuring her students to sleep with officials for better marks and money. The professor had claimed links with the governor, which he emphatically denied at a press conference. When Lakshmi Subramanian asked him a question at that press meet, he didn't reply but patted her cheek.
The post shared by Sve Shekhar said, "More than universities, sex abuse is rampant in the media. It's these people who question the Governor."
The 78-year-old Governor's apology to the journalist had come with a bizarre justification.
"I considered (your) question to be a good one. Therefore, as an act of appreciation for the question that you had posed, I gave a pat on your cheek considering you to be like my granddaughter," he wrote. Not quite buying into the "grandfatherly pat" claim, Ms Subramanian said she accepted his apology, even though she was not convinced.
Earlier, she had tweeted angrily: "Washed my face several times. Still not able to get rid of it. So agitated and angered Mr Governor Banwarilal Purohit."