Blaming influence of western culture on Indians for the increase in number of rapes, RSS Supremo Mohanrao Bhagwat said that rapes don't occur in 'Bharat', but they occur frequently in 'India'.
Addressing a citizens' meet in Silchar on Tuesday during a four-day visit, Bhagwat said, "Such crimes hardly take place in 'Bharat', but they occur frequently in 'India'."
"You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gangrape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. Besides new legislations, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values," Bhagwat said, according to a Times of India report.
The RSS chief criticised 'western' lifestyle of people in urban areas and said that rape is prevalent mainly in cities where Indians are deeply influenced by western values.
However, Bhagwat said he wanted stringent laws in sexual crimes against women and will favour capital punishment for those convicted of rape.
Not surprisingly, the comment landed Bhagwat in controversy. Social media users pointed out that crimes that happened in the rural parts of the country, largely go unreported. Some of them also questioned if Bhagwat actually belongs to a country, where there are 95,000 pending rape cases in 2011, while only 15 percent made it to the trial court.
The RSS chief says rapes occur in India not Bharat. Which Bharat does he live in? And, has he ever met a Dalit woman?
— Tavleen Singh (@tavleen_singh) जनवरी 4, 2013
With the 'Bharat' comment, the RSS chief manages to be insensitive, ignorant and offensive all at once. Nice, progressive.
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) जनवरी 4, 2013
Bharat? RT @ani_news: 17year old succumbs to injuries inflicted on her after a gang rape in a village on outskirts (Rasoolabad)of Kanpur,UP.
— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) जनवरी 4, 2013
Sick. This didn't happen in Bharat, obviously: 17-year-old dies after brutal gang rape in UP village.
— Samar Halarnkar (@samar11) जनवरी 4, 2013
'RSS chief says rapes occur in India not Bharat'- Do we laugh/cry/be embarrassed/get blown away by the sheer disregard to reality? Ans: All
— Shyam Prasad (@shyamprasad) जनवरी 4, 2013
The simple people of bharat are often entangled in the vicious web of vice spun by the crooked chowmein. But otherwise all good
— Naomi Datta (@nowme_datta) जनवरी 4, 2013