Rapes: Puri seer blames western culture

Western influence is one of the main reasons behind the rise in incidents of rape in the country, said the Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Sri Nischalananda Saraswati on Wednesday.

Western influence through films, club culture and drugs has destroyed age old values and principles of the country, he said here. "There is need to change this. Before Independence we were able to maintain our culture and values but in the last 65 years we have lost a great part of it." "Such horrific incidents (Delhi gangrape) don't happen all of a sudden. They happen when the thin line of culture and values are crossed in the name of civilisation and development." He added that people should ponder over this and ensure that such incidents don't happen in the future.

"Earlier sisters and brothers roamed freely but nothing used to happen. There has been decline in human values, emotions ... Our culture and civilization teaches us to respect women, who are our sisters and mothers," he said.

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