In January, this year, Asifa Bano, an 8-year-old girl in purple dress was abducted. She was given drugs and was locked inside a nearby temple. For the next three days, police say, two men and at least one other raped her, again and again. In the end, she choked after one man insisted to rape her one last time. All of this happened in Kathua, a locality in Jammu and Kashmir. Suspects have been recorded saying that their motive had been to drive Asifa’s nomadic community out of the area.
This happened in January, close to four months ago. Unfortunately, it took this amount of time for media, political and spiritual leaders of the country to speak up and raise their voice against this brutal crime. However, before this happened –as in, before the media, the political and spiritual leaders noticed this; two significant incidents related to this case had already taken place.
This first incident is Asifa’s father going on record saying, ‘We searched for her everywhere but did not search inside the temple because we knew it was a sacred place’. The other incident is more significant for you as readers and for India as a country, because much before voices were raised against this heinous crime, there were people on streets in support of the accused. Last week, a mob of Hindu lawyers physically stopped police from entering in a courthouse to file charges against the accused.
Much has been written about this case from various points of views and almost every angle. Indian streets witnessed a number of protests, public meetings, and debates to bring the accused to justice. A number of political leaders, most of them from are currently sitting on the opposition bench of Indian parliament, have taken up this issue to point a score against the regime in the center. However, before you go on supporting these leaders from their firm stands against crimes against women such as rapes, here’s a list of 10 Indian leaders who’ve glorified rape in the past.
1. Boys are boys…they make mistakes
Samajwadi Party’s founder and former President Mulayam Singh Yadav said, ‘Handing death sentence for boys is not fair…boys make mistake…there’ll be a change in the law when we come to power’.
2. Where ‘Bharat’ becomes ‘India’ with the influence of western culture, these type of incidents happen
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said, ‘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 gang-rape or sex crimes. 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’.
3. The victim is as guilty as her rapists
“Only 5–6 people are not the culprits,” Firstpost reported self-styled Godman Asaram Bapu saying. “The victim is as guilty as her rapists. … She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop. … This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don’t think so.
“Had she recited the Saraswati mantra, she would not have boarded any bus after watching a movie with her boyfriend.”
4. Our sisters and daughters are getting spoilt, For their own protection on public beaches, women should not wear bikinis
Sudin Dhavalikar, the Public Welfare Department Minister from Goa was reported saying, “For their own protection on public beaches, women should not wear bikinis. Pub culture is not Indian culture and we don’t want Western culture. Young people go drinking and it often leads to law and order problems. Our sisters and daughters are getting spoilt. Goa was a city of temples and churches. We don’t want pub tourism.”
5. Should couples be allowed to kiss in public?
Satyapal Singh, the Mumbai Police Commissioner said, “We have to strike a balance. On the one hand you want to have a promiscuous culture and on the other hand, you want a safe and secure environment for the people”
“Should couples be allowed to kiss in public? … Should they be allowed to indulge in all obscene things?”
6. Unless the person wants, no one can dare touch her
Babulal Gaur, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Madhya Pradesh said, “It is a social crime which depends on the man and the woman. It is sometimes right and sometimes wrong. Unless a complaint is filed, nothing happens. It is not possible for any government to ensure that rape is not committed. Action can be taken only after the act is done”
“Unless the person wants, no one can dare touch her. The item numbers in films create a bad environment.”
7. Women display their bodies and indulge in various obscene activities
Vibha Rao, the chair of Chattisgarh State Women Commission said, “Women display their bodies and indulge in various obscene activities. Women are unaware of the kind of message [their actions] generate.”
8. Women should not venture out with men who are not their relatives
Abu Asim Azmi, the Samajwadi Leader commented on Delhi Gangrape case of 2012 and said, “Women should not venture out with men who are not their relatives. What is the need of with men at night with men who are not their relatives? This should be stopped. Such incidents (Delhi gangrape case) happen due to the influence of western culture.”
9. Virginity was preserved….but the purity has totally been disturbed now…we are losing it
Ashok Singhal, the leader of Vishva Hindu Parishad, said “This western model is alarming. What is happening is that we have imbibed the US. We have lost all the values we had in our cities.”
He further said that before British arrived in India, “Virginity was preserved….but the purity has totally been disturbed now…we are losing it”.
10. 90% of the girls consensually go with men and become targets of rape
“I have no hesitation in saying that about 90% of the girls consensually go with men and become targets of rape,” Dharamveer Singh Goyat, Hisar Congress Spokesperson said when asked about the rising number of rape cases in Haryana.
“Rape stories are cooked up. The media is picking up old incidents. Their role should be probed.”