'Ignorant, illiterate, hateful,' Sonam bashes Sudhir Mungantiwar's LGBTQ+ community remarks
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Sudhir Mungantiwar, recently took the internet by storm owing to his controversial remarks against the LGBTQ+ community. He made objectionable comments while discussing the Maharashtra Public University Act, 2016 (Third Amendment) Bill, which aims to include LGBTQ+ persons on varsity boards, receiving wide flak. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor has also reacted to Mungantiwar's statement.
Questioning the bill, Mungantiwar reportedly asked, "Are you going to hire lesbians and gays as members?... It mentions bisexual and asexual relations. However, no one has yet defined these." To note, the BJP leader even equated asexuality with beastiality, as he questioned, "So if a person has asexual relationships with an animal, will the animal come and certify that there was an asexual relationship?"
"Shouldn't a joint medical committee be set up on this? How will one ascertain that a person is LGBTQIA? Who will certify this?" Mungantiwar could be heard asking in the now-viral video. Quoting a part of his speech on Instagram Story, Kapoor wrote, "Ignorant, illiterate and hateful." To recall, she had played a closeted lesbian in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.
Although some laughs and sneers were heard in the viral clip, Mungantiwar's misinformed rant had been answered at the Assembly. Maharashtra's Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said they were bringing the provision "only after discussing with experts" and this was "nothing new." However, no harsh or strong rebuke against the politician's speech is known to have come out there.
Notably, the Maharashtra Legislative Council passed the amendment bill on Tuesday. Under this, every state varsity will have a board to look after the "weaker section of the society, minorities, women, LGBTQIA." Opposition BJP has been against the bill as the Higher and Technical Education Minister can be appointed as the pro-chancellor of the universities. This might take away some power from the governor.