Trinamool Congress member Derek O’ Brien recalled his childhood trauma of being “molested” in a bus in Kolkata while speaking on a bill which provides for death penalty for aggravated sexual assaults on children.
While “happily and strongly” supporting the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the Rajya Sabha, the former well known quizmaster also suggested more and more people in public life come out and speak about sexual abuses.
He said children should be encouraged to speak up and not hide incidents wherein they have been traumatised in this manner. “With a lot of pride and sadness and hurt but I think India needs to know because my family knows, that on a bus in Kolkata as a 13-year-old after doing tennis practice, wearing short pants and a T-shirt, I got on to a crowded bus and I don’t know who it was, but with my short pants and T-shirt I was sexually molested,” he said.
Union Minister Smriti Irani was among the members in Parliament who praised Derek O’Brien’s courage to share that he was sexually abused as a teenager and urged people to talk about such experiences instead of repressing them. The 58-year-old TMC leader recalled that he did not speak about the incident for several years, and brought it up with his parents much later in the life.