Centre rebuffs Bhagwat on 'more rapes in India' remark
New Delhi: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remark that rape is prevalent mainly in cities where Indians are deeply influenced by western values and not in rural India on Friday triggered a bitter row evoking sharp reactions from the Centre and various political parties.
Reacting to the RSS chief’s statement, Union Home Secretary RK Singh
said, “There can be no basis to distinguish between rural and urban India when it comes to crimes against women.”
"There is no basis for making distinction between India and Bharat," Singh said on the sidelines of a function Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System here.
Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat also lashed out at RSS chief for his remark that fewer cases of rapes occur in 'Bharat' (rural India) than those in urban 'India'.
Karat said that Bhagwat’s remark reflects the mentality, which refuses to accept the reality of caste oppression or class driven exploitation of women.
"A statement like Mr Bhagwat has made only gives strength to the criminals. I think this reflects the mentality, which refuses to accept the reality of caste oppression or class driven exploitation of women," she added.
The RSS has, however, defended its chief, and said that his remarks were misinterpreted.
"The statement of RSS chief should be taken in proper perspective. He has already demanded strict punishment for rapists and even called for death penalty if required," RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said.
RSS chief had said in Assam that crimes such as rape "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 had told a gathering of RSS workers in Silchar, Assam.
The RSS chief's controversial remark comes days after the death of a 23-year-old woman who was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in south Delhi Dec 16. The incident has led to loud protests in Delhi and elsewhere to demand justice for the woman and stringent anti-rape laws and more security.