June 15, 2014

AIDWA Flay BJP Minister’s Remarks on Rape

IN a statement issued from New Delhi on June 6, the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) strongly condemned the remark reportedly made by the home minister of Madhya Pradesh, Babulal Gaur, a day before. It was reported that on June 5 the minister had said “rape is a social crime which depends on the man and the woman; it is sometimes right and sometimes wrong;” and that “it is not possible for any government to ensure that rape is not committed.” These remarks by a BJP minister belonging to the state, which has reported the highest number of rapes in the whole country  (as per the 2013 data of the National Crime Records Bureau), indicates the total abdication of responsibility of the state in preventing the crimes against women. Rather the minister’s attitude of shifting the blame to the victim is extremely reprehensible, as it provides justification to the perpetrator and denies justice to the rape survivor. The AIDWA statement also said the minister has further added insult to injury by suggesting that “unless the person wants, nobody can touch her.” This shows callous indifference to the trauma suffered by the victims in such cases. If a person with such a mindset is allowed to continue in the home minister’s position, the AIDWA asked, can women feel safe and secure from sexual violence? The organisation has also pointed out that the very accountability of the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh is at stake. The AIDWA statement demanded that the Justice Verma committee recommendations must be taken seriously by the BJP government, and the newly amended anti-rape law effectively implemented, so as to provide justice to the victims of sexual violence.