Women will be punished like Sita's 'haran' by Ravan if they cross 'maryada' (moral) limits: BJP's Kailash Vijayvargiya quotes Ramayana, refuses to apologise

Crime against women

Madhya Pradesh Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya was at the centre of a controversy today over his remark that women must not cross the 'Lakshman rekha' to avoid unwanted consequences, prompting an embarrassed BJP to disassociate itself from the comment.

As the remark sparked an outrage, BJP asked the minister to also withdraw the remark.

Congress dubbed as "shameful" the remark that came against the backdrop of a sombre mood in the country after the Delhi gangrape incident and a rash of crimes against women.

It also demanded immediate dismissal of the minister.

"Ek hi shabd hai – Maryada. Maryada ka ulanghan hota hai, toh Sita-haran ho jata hai. Laxman-rekha har vyakti ki khichi gayi hai. Us Laxman-rekha ko koi bhi par karega, toh Rawan samne baitha hai, woh Sita-haran karke le jayega." ("Only when Sitaji crossed the Lakshman rekha, she was kidnapped by Ravan...If Sitaji (woman) crosses the Lakshman rekha, then 'Sita haran' (crime against them) is bound to take place as Ravans are out there,") Vijayvargiya said, invoking an incident from epic Ramayana while seeking to explain the reason behind the recent spate of crimes against women.

"When people cross their limits, deterioration is bound to happen. It applies to everyone in the society, men or women," the state industries minister said.

The remark did not go down well with the BJP. "The party(BJP) does not approve of it and disassociates itself from the same and the party has asked the Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya to kindly withdraw it," BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi.

Vijayvargiya said he apologises for the remark if it had hurt the sentiments of women activists."If women activists have been hurt by my statement, then I am sorry."

Clarifying that the "Lakshman rekha' remark was misunderstood, he said if it was being considered as against women only, then he has no problems in withdrawing it.

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