Kathua and Unnao rapes: Ridiculed for being 'maun', Manmohan turns tables on Modi, tells him to 'speak more often'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on the Kathua and Unnao rape cases (barring the one time he said that "such incidents shake our sensibilities") has been widely discussed and commented upon. Global media houses, including The New York Times, questioned Modi's silence, especially when the prime minister is renowned for his oratory skills.

Kathua and Unnao rapes: Ridiculed for being maun, Manmohan turns tables on Modi, tells him to speak more often

File image of former prime minister Manmohan Singh. AFP

Among the critics of Modi, the latest is former prime minister Manmohan Singh — someone who has been criticised several times over the way he speaks. Taking a dig at Modi, Manmohan told The Indian Express that the prime minister "should follow his own advice to me" and "speak more often". Manmohan was dubbed as Maun mohan Singh by the Opposition at a time when the UPA-II was battling several corruption cases.

Two rape cases that evoked several reactions from all across the world, failed to get a word out of the mouth of Modi except when last Friday (13 April, 2018) the prime minister, at an event to inaugurate the BR Ambedkar memorial in New Delhi, said, "Incidents being discussed since past two days cannot be part of a civilised society. As a country, as a society we all are ashamed of it. I want to assure the nation that no criminal will be spared. Justice will be done. Our daughters will get justice. It's an insult to the freedom fighters who gave their lives for the Independence of this country. We are all ashamed as a society, as a country."

Modi's statement, however, did less to quell the anger of thousands who said that the prime minister's statement was merely lip-service.

Manmohan, in an exclusive interview with The Indian Express, said that Modi's failure to speak led people to think that they could get away without stern action being taken. "People are misusing the authority of government. They think they can get away with it…law and order is the responsibility of state governments. The BJP government at the Centre could send instructions to its state governments to ensure that law and order is properly enforced, and minorities and Dalits and women are treated properly," he said.

The former prime minister also pointed out that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti could have handled the Kathua case more seriously by taking matters into her own hands from the very first day and conceded that there may have been pressures from her party’s coalition partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which might have slowed down processes. "There are bound to be pressures…but if it is carried to such an extent that you can condone the sad demise of an eight-year-old girl having been raped and kept for a week in a temple, that is the most shocking thing," Manmohan reportedly said.

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Updated Date: Apr 18, 2018 12:56:17 IST

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