Completely Inappropriate Comments On Rape

India is still shocked and numbed at the death of the Delhi gangrape victim. People have called for the government to honor the woman and punish her assaulters quickly -- but our leaders may need a crash course in gender sensitivity. From the President's son to party leaders, politicians have been speaking about women and rape. Here are what some leaders said:  


I. Abhijit Mukherjee:

Abhijit Mukherjee, son of President Pranab Mukherjee, said on Christmas day that "highly dented-painted" women visited discotheques and then appeared at India Gate to protest the Delhi bus gangrape.

"What's basically happening in Delhi is somewhat like Egypt or elsewhere, where there was something called the Spring Revolution, which has very little connection with ground realities. In India, staging candle-light marches, going to discotheques - we did all this during our student life too, we were students too - I know very well what kind of character students should have," Abhijit said. "Those who claim to be students - I can see many beautiful women among them they were highly dented-painted - they're giving interviews on TV, they've brought their children to show them the scenes. I have grave doubts whether they're students because women of that age are generally not students."

Yes. Those women who are showing solidarity to an unknown sister of theirs are doing it just because it is fashionable, isn't it Mr. Mukjerjee? Speaking of sisters, it was left to Abhijit's sister – dancer Sharmishtha Mukherjee to apologize on his behalf for his sexist remarks. "I express my utter shock and anguish. I really apologise to every women, man and every sensitive person in this country... I am utterly shocked and only thing I can say is that I really apologise on his behalf... I am quite surprised with what my brother said," Sharmistha said. Asked whether Abhijit should apologise for his words, she said, "I completely agree. He should immediately apologize. Not only as a President's son, but as any sensitive man, he should not have made this kind of statement. Forget about being a political leader, it shows a certain degree of insensitivity. My family is not like that." she added.
 
Abhijit Mukherjee later apologised for his remarks, under mounting pressure.
 
 
II. Bapu Asaram-ji Maharaj

According to self-proclaimed Godman Bapu Asaram-ji “Only 5-6 people are not the culprits. The victim is as guilty as her rapists. She should have called the culprits brothers and begged them to stop. She should have held their hands and feet and said – “You are my brothers, my religious brothers. I am helpless before you. Please save me.” This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don't think so.”
“The accused were drunk. If the girl had chanted hymns to Goddess Saraswati and taken Guru Diksha (spiritual initiation) under me then she wouldn’t have entered the bus... I could have saved her through my powers. I had predicted her death, and she died in a Singapore hospital” he added.
 
He claimed that an 'anti-men campaign' (Does that ring a bell, EP users?) had taken hold following the Delhi gangrape incident and that a new anti-rape law enacted in such a climate will be prone to be misused like the anti-dowry laws. “Women should be respected but no new law should be framed which can be misused by vested interests with the help of women of loose morals," he said, addressing his followers.

While reacting to media queries, Asaram Bapu on Jan 8, 2013 chided, "The media has created a controversy but what did I say that was wrong? One dog barked and more dogs (the media) joined in. Dogs will bark but they can't harm an elephant's dignity."

Asaram-ji was himself accused of rape, black-magic and murder in 2009.
Citing the increasing rage among the countrymen, he finally offered an apology for his controversial comments saying, "How can I blame the girl for the rape? I am not that cruel. If I have done something wrong, I will apologize a thousand times."


III. Abu Azmi

Mumbai head of the Samajwadi Party Abu Azmi said the freedom that women have to move around freely with men should be curtailed. "Women should not venture out with men who are not relatives  "What is the need for roaming at night with men who are not relatives? This should be stopped. Scantily-clad women attract male attention. " he said. (Note aside: As if rapes are not committed by relatives! Moreover, the victim of the recent gangrape case in Delhi was not ‘scantily clad’.)
 
Azmi added, "If a girl goes with her consent with him (boy friend) to a hotel and does not complain, then it is not an issue. But if the same girl goes with the boy to the hotel and no one knows what happens inside...And if the girl comes out and complains, he would be hanged." (Note aside: As of now, the punishment for rape in India is 7 years imprisonment, which might be extended to life-sentence in cases of extreme brutality. Hanged? This man obviously has a very fertile imagination.No one knows what happens inside? What are rape-kits for?)

Meanwhile  Abu Azmi’s son, Farhan Azmi apologised and expressed regret over the statement made by his father. “We need to have a proper dialogue with the previous generation,” he said. “Certain things that my father said was slightly Islamic and we do not want to impose this on anybody. I completely agree that my father made a wrong statement. The words he chose were misplaced. Somewhere there is disconnect between my generation and my father's generation. I think 70 percent of men feel that women today are crossing the line.”

 
IV. Anisur Rahman:

"We have told the Chief Minister in the assembly that the government will pay money to compensate rape victims. What is your fee? If you are raped, what will be your fee?" asked Anisur on December 25. "As an opposition leader, she took along Champala Sardar from South 24 Parganas district to the state secretariat, claiming she was raped. We then told her: "Don't bring such ‘hela fela meye’ (girls without any position in society). Bring some good girls. And there can be no better girl than you. You can say you have been raped. We ask, ‘didi moni’ (elder sister), what is your fee? How much will you take for getting raped?" he asked.


V. Mohan Bhagwat:

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat blamed “western culture” for atrocities against women. By doing so, he brought back memory of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini attribution of all evil to “American crotch culture”.
"Crimes against women happening in urban India are shameful. It is a dangerous trend. But such crimes won't happen in Bharat or the rural areas of the country. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gangrape or sex crimes." he had said. "Where 'Bharat' becomes 'India' with the influence of western culture, these type of incidents happen. The actual Indian values and culture should be established at every stratum of society where women are treated as 'mother'." Bhagwat added.
Bhagwat topped up his misplaced remark by advising women, at another event, to obey the “theory of social contract” by confining themselves to doing household chores and leaving the earning of money to their husbands.
 
Note aside: In case you’re wondering, rape, wife-battering etc. are endemic in rural India. It’s just that they are seldom ever reported.


VI. Kailash Vijayvargiya:

When asked to comment on recent sexual harassment cases in the country, with Madhya Pradesh in particular, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said: (Translated from Hindi) There is only one word – morality. Whenever people cross the limitations of morality, deterioration is bound to happen. It applies to everyone in the society. Whenever a woman breaches the line, she will confront a Ravan (demon)-This is her punishment.
The example of Sita, one of the worst sufferers in Hindu mythology, was ready on Vijayvargiya’s lips. Because she crossed the Laxman Rekha (line of morality), he said, Ravan abducted her.


VII. Botsa Satyanarayana:

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana termed the Delhi gangrape incident a minor one and questioned the need for women to be out at midnight. He later withdrew his statement.
"Just because India got freedom at midnight, is it necessary for women to move on the streets at midnight?" he asked. "Though it was a minor incident, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was gracious enough to intervene and hold negotiations with the protesters to bring the situation under control." he said.
 

VIII. Banwari Lal Singhal

After the ghastly Delhi gangrape, Rajasthan MP, Bnawari Lal Singhal responded by sending a letter to the Chief Minister demanding a ban on skirts as uniforms for schoolgirls.
"The intention of this demand is to keep girl students away from men's lustful gazes and for their comfort in hot and cold weather conditions. I have myself caught several boys taking pictures of school girls by their cell-phones and girls were not aware of it. Such pictures could be misused. Girls either walk to school or wait for school buses at various points in Alwar. That is when they face lewd comments from mischievous elements "
(Note aside: Of course, boys will be boys. Even the administration cannot stop them from doing what they must, right? I wonder what will be the next step in the ‘protection of women’… perhaps putting them under house arrest?)


IX. Jitender Chhattar

Khap leader, Jitender Chhattar supported the idea of lowering the age of marriage. He also blamed fast food and lack of culture. “When we eat fast food, heat is produced in the body and this leads to faster production of sex hormones. There is no doubt about this. We should therefore consume cold things. And we should adopt Indian culture,” Chhattar said.
Recently, a Dalit (untouchable/out-caste) teenage girl self-immolated after being gang-raped in Haryana. The girl could not bear to live with the trauma and ignominy of rape.


X. Dharamveer Goyal

A couple of days after Haryana Congress president Phool Chand Mullana cited "political conspiracy" behind the increase in rape cases, party's spokesperson in the state, Dharamveer Goyal, sent ripples through the state, saying 90 per cent of such incidents were consensual.

In his brazen remark, Goyal said in the majority of cases there was consensual sex and the stories of rapes were cooked up. He slammed the media for "blowing the rape issue out of proportion".


XI. Manohar Lal Sharma

In a final indignity, the lawyer for three of the men accused of violating her has said that she and her male companion are to blame for the attack. "Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respectable lady," Manohar Lal Sharma said.
cameronr cameronr
18-21, F
5 Responses Jan 14, 2013

I understand we have many cultural differences, but it is hard for me to take India seriously when their leaders act so outrageoulsy ignorant and sexually biased. Shame on them all.

I can understand how people from Western countries feel about the matter. However, you must remember that India is a country of many contradictions, many opposites and a great deal of disparity. Here, you'll find some of the richest people in the world, and also some of the very poorest - both living in the same neighborhood. Some Indians are some of the most educated, highly positioned people in the world; others are lucky if they can get one meal a day. The comments above come from the very bottom of the barrel - there are many Indians who are the exact opposite. The only reason these hoodlums manage to get elected is because India is still by-and-large a conservative country where most people are proudly religious.

Thank you for the insight. To worse for words....

You are welcome. Thank you for commenting.

what people don't seem to grasp, it is a very basic concept of respecting a person's privacy. Their body is their property. It is their private domain. And no one has a right to any part of that body, without permission. Age, looks, circumstance changes nothing. No one ever gives up that right to their say, as to yes or no, when it concerns them.And their right to be private to have the final say as to what happens to them, should always be protected and honored.

Absolutely... That was very well-said.

I don't understand why victims are held responsible by so many. It's a world wide problem, when and how did this become acceptable? Was it always that way and I just wasn't aware of it when younger I wonder, I certainly did all the so called "wrong" things as a young woman but don't remember anyone suggesting back then it was "wrong", now it seems we consider poor men helpless against us, if we dress provocatively or are in the wrong place at the wrong time they just can't help themselves. The men I know don't behave like that but I know a fair percentage who seem to think we could prevent it by not walking alone at night for instance, when did I become a second class citizen that didn't have the same rights as everyone does to safety?

I feel that one of the many reasons that victims are held responsible is because they are just easier to pin. Look at MP Banwari Lal Singhal's comment (No.8) - just because he saw some boys misbehaving with schoolgirls, he wants to have a law passed preventing schoolgirls from wearing skirts! It points towards a very lazy and uneducated administration. Of course, being lazy is just one of the many, many horrible reasons.

There are a large number of men AND women who think that rapes can be prevented if only girls maintain decorum.

The way I see it, this is a timeless phenomenon. Its not a current situation.

Yikes.

There's a serious case of madonna/***** syndrome running through several of those. That mentality that "women are sacred mothers who must be protected from harm... unless they do anything that doesn't fit that role, in which case they deserve whatever they get".

Oh yes, the above comments are some of the ugliest things I have ever seen.