Why India’s Daughter holds a mirror to our society…

“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…”
Asaram Bapu (Spiritual Guru)

“…no one commits rape intentionally. It happens by mistake.”
Ramsewak Paikra (Home Minister, Chhattisgarh)

“Women should not venture out with men who are not relatives.”
Abu Azmi (Maharashtra State Chief, Samajwadi Party)

“In the urban culture, where women are out with their boyfriends till late in the night skimpily dressed, rape instances are bound to be higher than in rural areas where women are mostly confined to their homes and are dressed properly,”
Abu Azmi (Maharashtra State Chief, Samajwadi Party)

“Boys and girls… they had differences, and the girl goes and gives a statement that I have been raped. Should rape cases lead to hanging? Boys are boys, they make mistakes.”
Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party Head, former Defence Minister & Chief Minister)

“This is a social crime which depends on men and women. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong,”
Babulal Gaur (Home Minister, Madhya Pradesh)

“Many students misuse mobile phones by watching blue films and hearing obscene songs which pollute their mind,”
Binay Bihari (Minister Art, Culture & Youth Affairs, Bihar)

‘“Women should not wear bikinis in beaches ‘for their own safety’, and ‘girls in short skirts visiting pubs’ are against the culture…”
Sudin Dhavalikar (Senior Minister Public Works Department, Goa)

“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.”
Mohan Bhagwat (RSS Chief)

“It’s not the state government which is responsible for rapes, in fact in most of the cases its consensual sex.” … In 90 per cent cases, the girls and women initially accompany boys on their own…”
Dharambir Goyat (Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee Member)

“…people must choose between a ‘promiscuous culture’ that allows public kissing, or a city made safe by moral policing.”
Satyapal Singh (Police Commissioner, Bombay)

“Women display their bodies and indulge in various obscene activities. Women are unaware of the kind of message [their actions] generate…”
“Women equally responsible” for crimes against them.
Vibha Rao (Chairperson, Chhattisgarh State Women Commission)

“Rape cases are on a rise in the country because men and women interact with each other more freely now.”
Mamata Banerjee (Chief Minister, West Bengal)

“This western model is alarming. What is happening is we have imbibed the US. We have lost all the values we had in cities…”
Ashok Singhal (VHP Leader)

“We should pay more attention to where our girls are going. Mobile phones should be banned,” We should stop our girls from wearing jeans.”
Ranvir Singh (Khap Panchayat Leader, Haryana)

“These pretty women, dented and painted… Have no contact with ground reality,”
Abhijit Mukherjee (Member of Parliament and son of current Indian President)

“Just because the country attained independence at midnight, is it proper for women moving at midnight?”
Botsa Satyanarayana (Congress Committee President, Andhra Pradesh)

“Rapes are not in the control of the police … Even the villagers from coastal Andhra are wearing salwar-kameez (as against traditional dress). All these things provoke,”
V Dinesh Reddy (Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh)

Attitudes on #Rape from India’s Leaders

India Rape Comments

“Badaun Rape Images” by Nikhil Vaish

Like most people, my reaction to the sharing of those horrific images of two young girls hanging from a tree, all over social media, was one of shock. Not because I recoiled at seeing such a gruesome image, but because I felt it once more violated the dignity of the victims. Granted, taste and dignity seem to have fallen by the wayside in a world where every person with a smartphone and social media account is rushing to share breaking news. Of course’ rarely does anyone check the veracity of the items being shared, check the facts or even stop to think about the impact or repercussions it might have on victims or their families.

There are those who argued that it was acceptable, in the Badaun case, to share the image because it gave voice to a desperate cry for help; one that has gone unheard for too long. That is helped focused media attention on all the nameless, faceless Dalit women who face sexual abuse and rape, can never speak of it and will never be able to go to the police or get justice. So perhaps it was not such a bad thing to share to help break our apathy.

I don’t disagree with waking people up and getting them to take action. I also believe that it will take all of us to speaking out, and the whole nation demanding change before the women of India can feel safe on our streets and in their own home. But I still do not condone the sharing of these images. Not because of the discomfort of having to see them, but for the simple fact that we are saying that our being told that a woman has been raped and killed is no longer enough to shake our apathy. Are we so jaded, so over-stimulated with social media, saturated by tweets and Facebook posts that we need to be shocked to take the issue of rape seriously? Did we need to see images of Jyoti Singh Pandey’s mutilated body (Nirbhaya) to take action and raise our voices in protest?

The fact that a woman has been raped should be enough to cause outrage. That we need to see images of the victims of this horror, in order for us to take any action, says something much more worrying about us.