Dindigul Leoni, a talk show host on TV, is prone to passing off sexist comments as humour
- Dindigul Leoni, a talk show host, is prone to passing sexist comments
- He said "milk of foreign cows turning women into barrels"
- Rival parties have demanded an apology from the DMK
A DMK leader campaigning for the Tamil Nadu election talks about the "milk of foreign cows turning women into barrels" in a sexist shocker that has provoked waves of condemnation.
Dindigul Leoni, a veteran leader of the state's main opposition DMK, made the crude comments while campaigning in Coimbatore for the April 6 election. A talk show host on TV, he is prone to passing off sexist comments as humour.
"There are many types of cows. In farms, you would have seen foreign cows. People use a milking machine for foreign cows. A person will switch on the machine and 40 litres of milk will come out in an hour. After drinking the milk of foreign cows, women whose hips were the shape of an eight have bloated up and turned into barrels. So babies who used to sit comfortably on their waists are now sliding down the barrel," he says in a video clip that is circulating online.
Mr Leoni was campaigning for party candidate Karthikeya Sivasenapathy, who is associated with an NGO working for the welfare of native cattle breeds.
Another DMK on the stage with him tried to stop Dindigul Leoni and tried to steer the topic to safer territory like poor distribution of rice from government ration, but failed to save the situation.
Leoni not just persisted with his distasteful comments but even used hand gestures to drive his point home, lest anyone missed the "joke".
Rival parties have demanded an apology from the DMK, tweeting one of its senior leaders and MPs Kanimozhi.
"What a shame. What milk does he drink? Does he know what happens to women's body post pregnancy or during hormonal changes? Kanimozhi what do you like to say to this kind of male chauvinist? Is this the respect your party people have on women," tweeted BJP leader Gayathri Raguramm.
Another BJP leader, Vanathi Srinivasan, said it was "DMK tradition" to denigrate women. "You can well imagine how safe women will be under DMK rule," she said.
Kanimozhi responded with a tweet in Tamil saying DMK condemns whichever politician made the denigrating remarks on women and that the community, too, should keep in mind to not insult women personally. "That is the Dravidian policy and Periyar vision of equality," she added.
Tamil Nadu will vote on April 6 for a new government.
In the bitter campaign, many unsavoury comments have been exchanged by rivals.