An Indian politician has claimed that adverts for condoms encourage rape, it has been reported.
Atul Anjan, leader of the Communist Party of India, made the remarks at a public meeting. The Indian Express reports that Mr Anjan was criticising Sunny Leone, an Indian-Canadian actress currently featuring in a television advert for condoms.
He said: "Open the idiot box and you’ll see [a] woman called Sunny Leone. She is the heroine of the world’s most vulgar movie. I puked after watching her movie.
"Nowadays, one of her advertisements is being telecast on the screen where she is seen lying down on the beach and promoting a condom brand. This advertisement develops [a] sexually infested mindset and finishes off your sensibility.
"If such advertisements will continue to be shown on television then there will certainly be an increase in rape cases."
His comments have sparked backlash online. Journalist Pallavi Ghosh tweeted: "How chauvinist- don't blame the mindset, blame the ad/woman for rape- shame on Atul Anjan."
Ms Leone tweeted that Mr Anjan should focus on helping those in need, instead of criticising her.
In response to the backlash, Mr Anjan told The Times of India that he apologised for the offence caused by his remarks but would not change his mind. He said: "I apologise but I don’t stand for such ads."
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 93 women report being raped in India every day. However, it is estimated that the reality may be much higher as women and men do not report the crime for fear of social stigma and lack of trust in authorities.
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