While ‘boys will be boys’ rape will be ‘sometimes right’ in India

Published: June 11, 2014

Babulal Gaur, Madhya Pradesh's Home Minister believes that rape is 'sometimes right, sometimes wrong'.

Babulal Gaur, Madhya Pradesh’s Home Minister, said,

“Rape is a mental disorder. Rapists do not inform police or government that they are going to rape. It cannot be curbed because it’s a mental disorder problem. We could have acted on motorists if they do not wear helmet. How can we prevent rape as it happens at a secluded place? This is a social crime which depends on men and women. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong.”  

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ostracised these remarks calling them the politicians ‘personal view and not in any way representative of the party’, but is that enough?

Should a person, pledged to preserving law and order, be given the authority or liberty to pass such irresponsible remarks? Can such statements be legitimised under the banner of freedom of speech? Is this tacit permission and acceptance of a dangerous rape culture rampant in Indian society?  Is this how a person in position of power is supposed to act? Are these the kind of role-models we want our kids to be imitating?

Also noteworthy is the fact that a statement is yet to be made by the Indian prime minister about the recent rape of two teenage girls in Uttar Pradesh (UP). On the international front though, the series of sexual transgressions in India has been met by clamour and the UN has condemned the heinous indulgence.

In another episode, Mulayam Singh Yadav, head of the regional Samajwadi Party who runs UP, attempted to chastise legal charges that foresee the death penalty for gang rape in his own nonsensical manner saying,

“When boys and girls have differences, the girl gives a statement that ‘the boy raped me,’ and that poor boy gets a death sentence.”

This string of insensitive statements made by Indian leaders is nothing new. These politicians have been seen giving the green signal to the objectification of women earlier too. Have you forgotten the time Laxman Savadi, Karnataka state minister for cooperation, was caught on camera sharing a porn clip during assembly talks with his colleague, CC Patil who, ironically, was the welfare minister for women and child development at the time?

While Mr Yadav could argue that boys make ‘mistakes’, such mistakes should not be made whilst sitting in the state assembly, or should it?

Unsurprisingly, like his father Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of UP, also shares a very similar view on rape. Complaining about how the media is infatuated with UP and its problems, he said rape happens everywhere and all the media has to do is Google it and get the figures.

Thank you Mr Akhilesh for enlightening us about the existence of… Google was it?

Perhaps, while Googling these figures, the public will come across the alarming figures demonstrating how violent crimes touched a high of 33,824 incidents in 2012, including nearly 2,000 rapes and 4,966 murders under your governance.

And while we are at it, let’s not blame the media for throwing light on a topic that otherwise, probably due to your immense efforts, would have been conveniently swept under the rug. Instead of attacking the messenger, try correcting yourself and stop shirking your responsibilities towards the men and women around you.

Next up in line is Ramsevak Paikra, a Chhattisgarh minister who manages law enforcement. He said,

“Such incidents (rapes) do not happen deliberately. These kinds of incidents happen accidentally.”

In India, rape is reported every 21 minutes. While that may be an accident for you Mr Paikra, is the pint-sized conviction rate, of 26%, for rape cases in India, also by accident?

Another alarming aspect in these rape cases is that the Dalits, a mixed population in India that was traditionally regarded as the ‘untouchables’ have been routinely raped by the upper castes. Despite efforts being made to improve this situation of caste discrimination, the steps taken are, evidently, not enough. It is estimated that a crime is committed against a person from the Dalit caste every 18 minutes.

In a land where rape is on an alarming rise, politicians who do not respect women, and are so out rightly insensitive about the issues plaguing women in society, are a part of the problem – not the solution. The towering sexual violence in India will never be stemmed if leaders, responsible for ensuring law and order, have a mentality that protects rapists.

Ammarah Aftab

Ammarah Aftab

The author has completed her bachelors from NUST and is looking to encourage respect and value for all living creatures. She tweets as @ammarah_aftab (twitter.com/ammarah_aftab)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • nnnn

    pakistan has more rape than india per capita.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    There is no excuse for rape, and we have lots of politicians with very little class – both are a national shame. Still, the glee in this article and the way it digs up and then conflates several events in an attempt to make an unfortunate subject into an even uglier spectacle is rather disturbing.Recommend

  • Naila

    Whyyyyy oh why are we discussing India for??? Let’s try and fix our own country!Recommend

  • Naila

    I find gp65 to be more unbiased actually, compared to the rest of the Indians on ET. Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Is it something to boast ?Recommend

  • water bottle

    No Indian is foolish enough to blame a rape in India on Pakistan.

    I don’t know why you had to lie. And the rest of your comments are laughable. They are not even related to the topic.

    You belong in an asylum buddy.Recommend

  • Naila

    He speaks truth about trolls from India and you want to send him to an asylum. Sad. Recommend

  • SamSal

    This is a global issue. We are not any different from India, by the way. The article reflects the Sub-continent mentality.Recommend

  • Seriously

    I love the Tribune.they are so worried about us.
    I will ask the government to allow FDI in Media too :P…Hope to see the Tribune in India soon.Recommend

  • Blue Liberal

    Very biased article,

    PLEASE Don’t say

    While ‘boys will be boys’ rape will be ‘sometimes right’ in India”

    No, I completely disagree & I’m an INDIAN(yes, are you surprised that I don’t support rapists?)

    PLEASE DON’T JUDGE A NATION OF 1.3 BILLION PEOPLE BY THE WORDS OF A HANDFUL OF POLITICIANS(even if they are chief ministers).Recommend

  • Blue Liberal

    rapes have occured even in Whashington D.C., please cry that americans are rapists!!!Recommend

  • Blue Liberal

    1 leader says so, & u judge 1.3 billion people, COOOL!!!Recommend

  • Blue Liberal

    Why am I biased, I’m also an unbiased Indian.Recommend

  • Blue Liberal

    Yes, now blame rapes on television, media, u r going good.

    P.S.-Waiting for you to blame rapes on Geo NEWS.Recommend

  • Naila

    Ignoring that, did he say anything else wrong in his comment? No.
    Recommend

  • Aisha Qadir

    where do u get ur facts from? she wasnt asked to marry any of her rapists. infact now she is happily married to another guy in her village . and it was in fact a prayer leader in her village who raised her issue first and foremost. so STOP DISPLAYING ur ignorance. u r only embarassing ureslf.Recommend

  • mona

    U will find these bullies defending their wrongs to any extend. We r never ashamed of accepting the loopholes which r there in our system here in Pakistan. We r raising our voice for it unlike u guys pretending that rape z normal in India n so is it all over the worldRecommend

  • Aisha Qadir

    pakistani politicians dont condone such acts, the way indian politicians do. that was the main objective of the article. how hard is that to understand?Recommend

  • exposingindia

    ofcourse the Delhi rapes, also happened in some lawless part of India..Recommend

  • JackZFlipper

    How is that American drone treating that paki freedom?Recommend

  • Umar Farooq

    AgreedRecommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    same way they treated your diplomat in AmericaRecommend

  • Shamsher Singh Dhillion

    She was told to marry one of her rapist by a Judge!Recommend

  • Shamsher Singh Dhillion

    and everything is a conspiracy against the Ummah for you Pakistanis right?Recommend

  • sachal

    dude its not a single leader….its a leader chosen by 1.3 billion people…..Think about it!!!Recommend

  • sachal

    Its not about rape only….its about the illogical statements of your leaders….Recommend

  • Mazhar

    Mulayam Singh and his son Akhilesh Yadav are SP – a pro muslim party. Abu Azmi in fact went ahead to state that even the rape victims should be punished. Maybe author forgot to mention him because of his muslim name.

    Also, largest porn viewers have been found in Pakistan in a survey.Recommend

  • Naila

    Highly unlikely. Indians have a separate set of rules for themselves and another for Pakistan. Recommend

  • Naila

    Bro, we arn’t far behind in the century we are living in either. Recommend

  • Rangoonwala

    After you towel off your patriotic tears, it seems you are in
    every blog, every opinion section of this newspaper. Is it a full
    time job with you? Actually it looks like you trolls work in packs.
    And shifts. This paper is inundated by trolls like you.
    Pakistanis can’t even slide in a comment. Edgewise. Hope
    your pain and suffering on behalf of your country reaches a bearable stageRecommend

  • Anwar Kamal

    The accused rapist should be castrated.Recommend

  • Shanawer

    I never said that Indians are rapists. Im just saying that rape cases are growing in India day by day aswell in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Shanawer

    You guys agree bcoz u cant deny it and what about “even though the recent rapes have happened only in certain lawlessness parts of the country” part?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Thank you. To be fair, while choice of words and levels of politeness may differ, my view of Pakistan is often similar to that of many Indians on this forum, and is shaped by our shared history. There are a minority of us who are fuelled by hatred, and should be ignored; I represent a majority view and will not be missed. You on the other hand, ostensibly represent a minority view, and the sang-froid and sagacity (which you unkindly describe as ramblings) that you bring provide far greater value to everyone.Recommend

  • Naila

    Racism? Point out where. You are smart enough to know what a troll means. Also, removing the indian Muslims bit, do you not agree with the comment? Seriously? Do you guys think you are spreading love?! Recommend

  • Naila

    Reference your claim. Recommend

  • Gp65

    We are not referring o Islamic law but the law in Oakistan. The COuncil of Islamic Ideology, Pakistan has said that 4 Muslim men are a must in order to move forward witn a raoe caseRecommend

  • Gp65

    Babulal Gaur a legislator in Madhya Pradesh state was chosen by 1.3 billion people? As far as SP the party that Mulayam Singh belongs to suffered huge electoral reverses. Certainly his stance was ot endorsed by the electorate.Recommend

  • Gp65

    I disagree because i do not think your humane and thoughtful posts are ramblings. Recommend

  • Naila

    Not all Indians, the ones on ET. I know Indians myself and thats really what saves you guys from being stereotyped by me. And its hard not to when a majority of you do the same exact thing.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/kazmi13 Syeda KAzmi

    There is a strong debate in the law sections over this… Proving adultery needs 4 witnesses so that the innocents can be prevented… Adultery and rape are two very different acts…Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/kazmi13 Syeda KAzmi

    What i don’t understand is that why don’t you just condemn your minister for addressing this filth? Why there is always a PakvsIndia to be entitled as Rapistan…Even it was said by any Pak minister, he too deserves the same criticism…Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    This comment is in response to a topic brought up by @Modi_for_a_better_India.

    If you want to see my response to the actual topic of the Blog, scroll down, where I’ve called this line of thinking “Regressive”.

    I have not brought up Pakistan anywhere in that comment.Recommend