World | India

RSS chief blames ‘westernisation’ for rape

Claims no such incidents of sex crimes in villages

  • IANS
  • Published: 18:08 January 4, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • Pan Indian student shouts slogans seeking punishment for rapists of the 23-year-old student, during a protest in Bangalore, India, Friday. A group of men accused of raping a university student for hours on a bus as it drove through India’s capital were charged Thursday with murder, rape and other crimes that could bring them the death penalty.

New Delhi: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday stirred a controversy with his remark that westernization in Indian cities was the reason behind increasing rape cases as the country is witnessing widespread protests over the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old Delhi woman last month.

Bhagwat, addressing a gathering of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers in Assam’s Silchar, said: “Such crimes [rapes] hardly take place in ‘Bharat’, but they occur frequently in ‘India’.”

“You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang rape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. Besides new legislations, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values,” Bhagwat said.

Following the RSS chief’s remark, Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh on Friday said there is no basis for making distinction between India and Bharat.

“There is no basis for making distinction between India and Bharat,” Singh said when asked to comment on Bhagwat’s remark.

Singh was speaking on the sidelines of a function ‘Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System’ here.

The RSS chief’s controversial remark comes days after the death of the young Delhi woman due to grievous injuries. The incident led to loud protests in Delhi and elsewhere and demands were made for justice for woman, stringent anti-rape laws and more security.

Criticising Bhagwat’s comment, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat said, “He does not know India or Bharat and the largest number of rapes occur in rural areas”.

“The Dalits and Adivasis are the ones who mostly get raped,” she said.

Karat said the cases are reported by the media, and the RSS chief’s comment is a “reflection of his mentality” of “turning his face away from reality”.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said the comment of Bhagwat “was a reflection of their mentality. Rapes can happen anywhere. Rapes should be stopped and the strictest punishment should be meted out to the perpetrators.”

Digvijaya Singh was also of the opinion that the right to appeal of rape convicts should be restricted. “They should get only one right to appeal,” he said.

He also said the age limit for juvenile delinquency should be lowered. “Nowadays children are more aware, they have access to TV, internet... so much that children of 12-14 understand all facts.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Bhagwat’s comments “should be put in perspective... He was referring to India’s sanskar and tradition and respect for women”.

“He has asked for the strictest punishment for those committing crimes against women and even advocated the death sentence...Woman empowerment and woman security forms the core of RSS philosophy,” said BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Comments (2)

  1. Added 12:07 January 5, 2013

    I agree with posted comments by 100%, but as woman are protrayed today I feel them materialistic in our country. All we show in our flims is seriously beautufull, which does not help society think for better. Socail & moral value influence is lacking right from school, forget later education. Ban statewise police let there be only one police unifrom all over india, Ban laws falling under politics & high profile people, approach for toughter laws, faster court system. Many things need to change, I wish India could see an uprising for better cause.

    Jatin, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 10:47 January 5, 2013

    It's no use blaming influence of western world or anyone else for our own sins. It's just selfishness and no love for others that has caused this incident. When I look at the western world I still see love and humanity. The shooting incident in the school in the US had the teachers loving and risking their lives for the kids, but in India the public didn't come forward to help the victims for many hours after they were abused. Now just to put on a show people are doing protests. Where has it gone wrong? It's only because people do not genuinely care about others.

    Sawmya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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