CHENNAI: Former MLA and actor Radha Ravi’s attempt at humour while running down political rivals by comparing them to children with disabilities triggered a sharp round of condemnations from all around, including activists and families of the differently-abled.
The actor, who returned to DMK earlier this week, mocked MDMK general secretary Vaiko and PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss MP, comparing them to differently-abled children. With exaggerated expressions, he acted out the plight of disabled children, but with relish, as he described how the children wanted to play with “normal children” but are often shooed away.
The comment was made at an event on March 1 to celebrate DMK working president MK Stalin’s birthday, the video of which was uploaded the next day. The first disapproval came from within, from DMK leader and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi. “Radha Ravi should stop making such disparaging statements about the differently-abled,” she said on Friday.
By Saturday morning, disability rights activists and families of children with disabilities hit the streets. “What has been done is a criminal offence,” said Deepak Nathan, founder of December 3 Movement. The organisation has approached city police, who have promised to take action after looking at the rules under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act that are yet to be formulated.
Radha Ravi was unavailable for comment.