Posted On Saturday, January 05, 2013 at 09:40:00 AM
While the BJP came out in defence of Mohan Bhagwat (left) , it distanced itself from MP minister Kailash Vijayvarigya
New Delhi - The BJP on Friday was left red faced following RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s controversial remarks that rapes happen only in urban, westernised India, not in rural Bharat.
Though the party came out in force to defend Bhagwat, many in the BJP simply wished that the RSS chief had not aired his views at this point of time — in the immediate backdrop of the Delhi gang-rape incident. However, nobody in the BJP was willing to outright reject Bhagwat’s views.
Whether out of deference or fear of retribution, BJP leaders argued that Bhagwat’s statement must be taken in proper perspective. RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said, “He meant that in Indian tradition we have great respect for women and we should learn to uphold this tradition. If one goes away from this tradition it will result in rise of crime against women.”
Speaking in Assam recently, Bhagwat claimed that the incidents of rape were the result of adoption of western culture in society as a whole and that erosion of traditional Indian values were more pronounced in urban areas. “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 the villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes,” he said.
AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh responded sharply to Bhagwat’s comments, saying, “This reflects the RSS’s mentality because there is no difference between India and Bharat.” Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said the present controversy relating to Bhagwat’s remarks is totally uncalled for and unnecessary.
“His comments should be seen and understood in entirety. He was referring to India’s sanskar, tradition and value system where respect for women occupies a pride of place,” Prasad said. He pointed out that the RSS whip had also demanded strong punishment for sexual offenders.
MP Minister finds no backers
Even as the party was trying to play down Bhagwat’s remarks, it found itself in another tight spot after BJP’s Madhya Pradesh minister Kailash Vijayvarigya said, “Some women get punished like Sita because they cross their limits.”
The BJP immediately distanced itself from Vijayvarigya’s views. “The party does not approve of his remarks and dissociates itself from it. The party has asked him to withdraw the remark,” Prasad said on Friday.
Women's groups slam Bhagwat
Political parties and women’s groups have pilloried Bhagwat for his views. “Bhagwat neither understands India nor Bharat,” said CPI-M leader Brinda Karat.
She pointed out that government statistics of atrocities on women and sexual assault clearly show that maximum number of the victims belong to the poor, dalit and tribal communities. National Commission of Women (NCW) Chief Mamta Sharma said Bhagwat should stop differentiating in terms of geography.
‘Settle rape case with Rs 50K’
Lucknow - A village panchayat in Uttar Pradesh has offered a 13-year-old girl a compensation of Rs 50,000 after she approached the members saying she was kidnapped and raped by a youth from the same village. The heads of Mauli village in Pratapgarh pronounced the “judgment” on Thursday, police officials said on Friday. The panchayat felt that there was “no point taking the matter further” and decided monetary compensation was the best way out, they said. The victim then approached the superintendent of police in Pratapgarh.
Rapists on web in Haryana
Chandigarh - A week after the Centre hinted at shaming rape convicts on Internet, the Haryana police have begun uploading the details of such criminals on an official website. The names of those convicted in cases such as rape, molestation and dowry deaths will be put up on the website of the State Crime Record Bureau by January 10, said a police official. He said the names of around 6,000 people, including 2,500 rapists, convicted in Haryana for crimes against women in past 13 years will be put up on the SCRB website.
Gang -Rape accused on ‘Suicide Watch’
New Delhi - All five accused in the Delhi gang-rape case are under “suicide watch”, officials said on Friday. Tihar jail sources said the five men were not even talking to one another or to others in their barracks. “We are putting all kinds of check on them to keep them away from (committing) any untoward incident,” said a jail official, on the condition of anonymity.