World | India

Asaram says rape victim should have ‘begged’

Remark provokes strong criticism as leaders call on him to withdraw comments

  • IANS
  • Published: 19:00 January 7, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • An Indian demonstrator (C) taunts the police during a protest calling for better safety for women following the rape of a student last week, in front the India Gate monument in New Delhi on December 23, 2012.
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New Delhi/Jaipur: Spiritual leader Asaram Bapu was Monday reported as saying that the Delhi gang-rape victim should have called her attackers “brothers” and recited the Saraswati mantra to avert the tragedy. This provoked both the ruling congress and the opposition BJP to lash out at the comments as disturbing and condemnable.

Bapu reportedly said: “The victim is as guilty as her rapists.”

The victim should have “begged” in front of the culprits, he said.

Speaking to a gathering of followers at Tonk town, some 100km from Jaipur, Babu said: “The five or six drunken men were not the only ones guilty. The girl was also responsible.”

“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,” CNN-IBN quoted Bapu as saying.

“Had she recited the Saraswati mantra, she would not have boarded any bus after watching a movie with her boyfriend,” he said.

The comment was slammed by India’s two main parties, the congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“Such comments should be condemned as much as possible,” congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said.

He was backed by party colleague Rashid Alvi, who said: “Political leaders, including religious leaders, must give serious thought before they speak out.”

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said the comments were “regrettable and deeply disturbing and painful”.

“We expect Asaram Bapu to kindly introspect, reflect and withdraw the statement,” Prasad said.

“I am sure he knows in the Hindu chintan (thought), woman of the country have been accorded a place of pride and dignity. Similarly in our constitution also, there is a clear provision of granting a status of equality to a woman and no discrimination. In this case, for him to make a statement in relation to a crime which has shocked the conscience of the country. Sorry, it is not acceptable,” he said.

Bapu also said he was against stringent laws to prevent rape. “Laws can be misused. There are several examples of misuse of laws related to dowry harassment in our country. If the laws against cases of rape are misused, the men will be victims.”

He said he had written to the family of the Delhi gang-rape victim. “They lost their daughter, they should consider me their son,” he said.

The 23-year-old woman was gang-raped in a moving bus on the night of December 16, and brutally tortured. She died of her injuries December 29 in a Singapore hospital after she was taken there for treatment.

Comments (64)

Share your views.
  1. Added 17:51 January 8, 2013

    Self-made gurus are the deadly cancer of the society: especially in India, uttering total nonsense and idiotic statements berating the women as sub-standard human beings. Now the women of India must uproot these gurus too, along with the two legged wild animals of India.

    A. Sam Mathew, Ringgold, United States

  2. Added 17:38 January 8, 2013

    I really cannot believe this. If a theif enters a person's home & the victim begs "please do not steal from my home", will the theif think "he is poor guy begging no i should not steal"? A deed decided in the culprit's mind cannot be changed. May be the spiritual leader is not aware of it.

    juda, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 17:20 January 8, 2013

    I don't know who is this person having the right to talk about the victim. He should ashamed himself for making such an unacceptable comment about a girl who was cruely raped and murdered. People like this spiritual leader should guide the people in a correct way, not mislead and take advantage. Shame on him.

    SAJU, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 17:13 January 8, 2013

    I want to this ask this guy if his statement would remain the same if his mother or sister were raped and tortured?

    Aziz Ahmad, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 17:04 January 8, 2013

    Any irresponsible statement by any citizen and nothing but neglecting the duties to the nation. Why such statements are made, if the people do not understand the repercation of the same? The brave lady had fought and lost her life. Even God cannot ask her to request the culprits who have done such shameful act. The culprits should be executed. May God bless and give sufficient encouragement to the grieving family.

    Madhulal Bhatia, Ahmedabad, India

  6. Added 16:10 January 8, 2013

    People have not understood Bapuji's message at all and have joined the bandwagon of popular thoughts. People should first listen to original video and exactly Asaram Bapuji said and they will realize the vast gap between what he said and what HIGHLY EDUCATED AND SOPHISTICATED INDIAN MEDIA reported and opinions of likewise educated and sophhisticated political leaders and celebrities on this statement. Secondly, what is wrong is suggesting that the girl in question should have pleaded to rapist by calling him a brother? Don't we treat many non related people as brothers or sisters in daily life and have a feeling of kindness towards them? Is it so outrageous to suggest a moral technique to manage a difficult situation? I am sure, most of good cultured families teach moral values of brotherhood and sisterhood to children. Is it not possible that one or more of rapist could have spared her on emotional or moral grounds if she pleaded so? Even if there is 10% chance of this working, the suggestion by Bapuji is a great suggestion. My suggestion to all is to analyse the statements made by Bapuji on actual merit, realize how media distorted it and presented it to you. In my opinion people should be fuming on distorted facts fed to them by media. Ironically in India, people like arundhati roy are spared for talking real sedition on Kashmir, Poltical leaders are spared for taking brotherhood with severely enemy countries who continue to betray India but a life saving suggestion based on morality is taken into wrong sense by such educated common man of India due to efforts of malevolent media. To add, Indian media and netas are not making a hue and cry about incompetant sheila dikshit who cannot manage one union teritory which is renowned as rape capital of india. Can you imagine a capital of one of most important country's of world is a rape capital?

    Anil, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 15:22 January 8, 2013

    Unbelievable. this world is made up of all types. How can he make such a ridiculous statement? Maybe he does not have a family or children and cannot see beyond his nose. An idiotic and irresponsible statement.

    Sher B, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 15:04 January 8, 2013

    I didn't know that the heights of ignorance can reach these levels. Thanks for educating me. You just wanted attention and hey, you got it.

    Sidra, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 14:51 January 8, 2013

    He don't deserve to be a Spiritual Leader, he's not worth it. He's only fishing public attention. Media people don't waste your time giving attention to such person with uncivilized statements.

    Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 14:34 January 8, 2013

    I cant believe people like this exist. What does he think -this is a real life, not a movie that he is suggesting she should have begged them, called them "brothers". And how does he know that she did not plead for mercy? In that kind of serious situation he can't imagine what that girl would have gone through. Girl boarding a bus with her boyfriend - is it girl's crime? What kind of democracy are we talking about? Such people should be immediately punished and stopped from further spoiling the moods, sentiments and situation of the country which is already grieving the death of victim.

    Madhu Madan, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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