In Haryana, rape has become a big election issue. This is hardly surprising in a state that has witnessed 17 gang rapes within the past month. Surely, this dismal trend ought to be cause for voter outrage and demands for law and order.
Yet leaders across the political spectrum seem to be placing the blame at the doorsteps of the victims themselves.
In an outrageous comment, Congress spokesperson Dharambir Goyat blamed women and said that 90 percent of rapes happen due to consensual sex having gone wrong. In a shocking and bizarre statement, the Congress leader said, “I don’t feel any hesitation in saying that 90 per cent of the girls want to have sex intentionally but they don’t know that they would be gang raped further as they find some lusty and pervasive people in the way ahead,” CNN IBN reported.
His comments come on the back of a suggestion by Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala that women must be married off early (by the time they are 16 to be exact) to prevent rape.
A day after saying that early marriage is an antidote to rape, former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala said that he had merely echoed the views placed by a khap panchayat and it was not a view he endorsed.
A Khap Panchyat member Sube Singh had earlier this month given a bizzare ‘solution’ to the ‘rapes’ and suggested that the marriageable age for girls should be reduced to 16 years. When asked why rapes are occuring at this scale in Haryana, he had said that movies and television are to be blamed for rapes.
The Haryana Government has drawn flak from all quarters, particularly the opposition, for its alleged failure to prevent incidents of crime against women.
Asked about the Haryana government’s “failure” in controlling such crimes that also involved many Dalit victims, Sonia said, “I have said what I had to say that such barbaric acts are condemnable”.