Mulayam to Abu Azmi: Latest rape remarks new low even for SP

Latest: SP leader Abu Azmi told Mid-day that any woman who has sex outside marriage should be hanged, including rape victims. "Rape is punishable by hanging in Islam. But here, nothing happens to women, only to men. Even the woman is guilty. Girls complain when someone touches them, and even when someone doesn’t touch them. It becomes a problem then... If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam.” He went on to say that the solution to rape was hanging both the man and woman.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has sparked an outrage with his latest comments on rape. According to news reports, the SP leader said in a Moradabad rally in Uttar Pradesh that, 'men commit mistakes but they can't be hanged for it.'

Yadav was referring to the Shakti Mills gangrape case where the men were sentenced to death by a court for raping a photo-journalist under the new rape law.

Yadav said, "Boy and girl develop differences later on in the relationship, when that happens, the girl goes on gives a statement saying that she was raped... Now those three have been sentenced to death...Kya rape main phansi di jayegi (Will you hand out death sentences in rape)...Ladke hain galti ho jati hai (they are boys they make mistakes.) This kind of law should be changed and we will do that."

"We will punish those who misuse the law as well," he added.

Mulayam Singh Yadav in this file photo. AFP

Mulayam Singh Yadav in this file photo. AFP

And while the comment has left many outraged, it should be noted that this isn't Yadav's first gaffe with rape and women's security.

During the debate over the new rape law bill, Yadav had taken the cake for comments would have been hilarious, if they weren't so shocking.

The Telegraph had reported how the SP leader had objected to the Trafficking part of the bill, by confusing it with 'transfers.' He had said in the parliament, that “transfer and posting” of women at workplaces could be jailed under the bill’s provisions. When he was greeted with a chorus of denials, Yadav had held insisted that he could prove it and showed “relevant portion” to leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj.

Swaraj had then tried to explain the difference to him and said that the portion dealt with illegal trafficking of women and not transferring women during jobs.

"Ye mahilayon ke gair kanooni tareki se le jana aur gair kanooni kaam me lagana ke liye hai. Transfer-posting ke liye nahin (This is about illegally taking women away and forcing them into illegal professions. This is not about transferring or posting women employees)," she had told him.

That still hadn't convinced him about the merits of the law and he said that it would ensure that no one would hire women in jobs and that it would lead to segregation. "This risk of misuse will reduce opportunities for women. Employers will worry about recruiting women. We cannot have separate markets, schools or offices for women, where men will not look at them or walk behind them," he said. He then went to say that one would have to get rid of co-educational institutions.

He had also disagreed with the law saying that it would be misused and that jails would overflow. He said, "Had I spoken the truth, there would have been problem...There is no need for this law. You are giving all rights to police. We (men) would be wrongly implicated"

But the hate for rape law seems to run in the family. His brother and SP leader in the Lok Sabha Ram Gopal Yadav had decided to attack the makers of the anti-rape bill saying, "It has been framed on the recommendations of some mentally-retarded people." 

And son Akhilesh Yadav has been no better when it comes to commenting on rape or dealing with rape victims. The UP govt had named two gangrape victims from Muzaffarnagar were submitted to the Supreme Court and then the documents were distributed in the media.

SP's manifesto has also promised that it will seek to change the new rape-law if it does come to power. When it comes to rape, UP had the highest rapes in any state in North India for 2011. For SP leaders to believe that rape isn't such a serious problem and that it is the law that needs to change, just highlights how difficult it will be to tackle rape in UP.

Published Date: Apr 11, 2014 12:45 pm | Updated Date: Apr 11, 2014 01:03 pm

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