Taali do haath se bajti hai: Asaram on gangrape
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Spiritual leader Asaram Bapu has suggested that the Delhi gangrape victim was also to blame for the crime and she could have called her assailants brothers and fallen at their feet.
Addressing followers on Sunday evening in Bharatpur, he said: "The truth is that only drunk rapists are not to be blamed. Taali dono haath se bajti hai (it takes two for such things to happen). She should have called them (rapists) brothers and fallen at their feet and might have escaped... If she chanted Saraswati mantra and had taken 'diksha', she would not have boarded the bus."
Asaram also cautioned against strict laws to curb such offences, saying there could be "misuse". "Now the government is talking of strict laws but even that can be harmful. The laws formulated for dowry deaths are now being misused. The new laws that come up for rapes should not be misused too. And if they are misused, then men will be wronged and yet again some mother or sister will be hurt," he said.
Even as the remarks provoked outrage, according to a PTI report, he told his followers in Faridabad on Monday that the incident had unleashed an "anti-men" campaign.
Political parties criticised his statement, with BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad calling the remarks "regrettable, deeply disturbing and painful", considering Asaram is a religious guru "and the country looks up to him". "For him to make the statement in relation to a crime which has shocked the conscience of the country is not only unfortunate but deeply regrettable," he added. The BJP asked Asaram to withdraw his remarks.
Congress spokesperson P C Chacko termed Asaram's remarks as "most unfortunate".
National Commission for Women chairperson Mamata Sharma said, "Asaram Bapu is a 'maha sant' (big spiritual leader) but that does not mean he can say anything. Even if the woman begged and called them brothers, nothing would happen. He must be careful about making such statements."