New Delhi: Unfazed by the outrage sparked by his remark against the Delhi gangrape victim, spiritual leader Asaram Bapu on Tuesday sought to justify the comments and compared all those criticising him to "barking dogs". Later, he appeared to tone down his outburst by saying "if you listen to my satsang (religious discourse) for 15 minutes and don't feel change, then certainly, I will apologise."
"I can't think bad of persons who are alive. Then, how could I think bad about who is dead"? Asaram said. Asaram also compared himself to an elephant who will not respond to "barking dogs" and said his remarks in connection with the 16 December gangrape incident were misconstrued by the media and his critics.
"First one dog barked. Then another dog barked. Soon all the dogs in the neighbourhood started barking," he said addressing his supporters. "Now if the elephant runs behind the dogs, then their (dogs) value increases and that of the elephant comes down," Asam said gesturing towards himself. "They can say what they like. I don't care. I still maintain why should I run behind the dogs."
Asaram was at the centre of a controversy on Monday after he suggested that the 23-year-old gangrape victim was equally responsible for the ghastly crime and said the girl could have called her assailants brothers and begged them to stop. "Now what did I say wrong? A man approached me and said my wife fights with me. So I said you can't with one hand. So what's wrong with that. Now this comment was joined with another comment," he said trying to underplay the controversy.
"Does an elephant give importance to dogs by reacting? he said, adding, "let people infer what they want." Asaram later told reporters his remarks about the gangrape victim were misconstrued by his critics and the media.
The spiritual leader claimed if his speech was understood in the proper context people would be respecting him for his comments in the Delhi gangrape case. Asaram said through the years he has achieved a high status and commanded respect in the socety as a result of which he had attracted many critics. Asaram also said he did not intend to harm anybody and that he wished the well being of all.