Bhagwat claimed that the incidents of rape were the result of adoption of western culture in society as a whole and that erosion of traditional Indian values were more pronounced in urban areas
Silchar/New Delhi: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat created a flutter when he said rape is mainly prevalent in urban India due to western influence and that such crimes against women do not happen in rural areas of the country, reports PTI.
The remark that came against the backdrop of the Delhi gangrape incident was slammed by the Congress, CPI-M and women's bodies while the BJP and RSS defended it saying the comment should be taken in proper perspective.
Bhagwat claimed that the incidents of rape were the result of adoption of western culture in society as a whole and that erosion of traditional Indian values were more pronounced in urban areas.
"Crimes against women happening in urban India are shameful. It is a dangerous trend. But such crimes won't happen in Bharat or the rural areas of the country. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gangrape or sex crimes," he said at a meeting in Silchar in Assam recently.
"Where 'Bharat' becomes 'India' with the influence of western culture, these type of incidents happen. The actual Indian values and culture should be established at every stratum of society where women are treated as 'mother'," he added.
Demanding that the government take appropriate action to stop rape incidents, he said RSS will support any government initiative to change existing laws.
"Bhagwat neither understands India nor Bharat," CPI-M leader Brinda Karat said.
Karat said government statistics of atrocities on women and sexual assault showed that the maximum number of victims belong to the poor, dalit and tribal communities.
National Commission of Women (NCW) Chief Mamta Sharma said Bhagwat should stop differentiating in terms of geography.
"We are all Indians. We are all citizens of India...Go to grassroots level and see what is the condition of the women there," he said.
RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said the RSS chief's statement should be taken in proper perspective.
"He has condemned the heinous crime of assaulting women, rape against women and he said it is an utterly wrong thing and that people who indulge in such things must be punished," he added..
"All that he (Bhagwat) said is that in Indian tradition we have great respect for women and we should learn to uphold this tradition. If one goes away from this tradition it will result in rise of crime against women," Madhav said.
BJP said the statement should be seen in the proper context as he was referring to India's culture, tradition and value system.
"The present controversy relating to certain comments of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is totally uncalled for and unnecessary. His comments are required to be seen and understood in entirety. He was referring to India's sanskar, tradition and value system where respect for women occupies a pride of place," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said in New Delhi.
Backing Bhagwat, Prasad said the RSS chief had also underlined the need for meting out stringent sentences to the guilty.
"At the same time, he also demanded that strong punishment be given to those who are offenders in relation to crimes against women and that laws should be strengthened to even give capital punishment," Prasad said.
BJP maintained that empowerment of women, and giving them respect and security form the core of RSS ideology.
"There is extraordinary work and achievement made in various RSS-related organisations like Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra, Vidya Bharti and other allied organisations which bear ample testimony to the same," Prasad said.
Slamming Bhagwat, Mamata Sharma said," He should go to the grass root level and see what is the condition of the women there and then he should talk about cities."
AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh responded sharply to Bhagwat's comments, saying "this reflects RSS's mentality because there is no difference between India and Bharat."
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said such statements are unfortunate and invoked Ramayana to put his point of view across. He said rape incidents occur in villages as well.
"Nobody has the right to draw 'Lakshman Rekha'...," he said.
Moily said the government was also considering raising the cap on supply of LPG cylinders to nine per household in a year from current limit of six
New Delhi: Diesel, kerosene and LPG (cooking gas) prices may be hiked soon as the Indian government considers Vijay Kelkar Committee recommendations on cutting fiscal deficit, reports PTI.
The Kelkar Committee, which was appointed by Finance Ministry to suggest a roadmap for fiscal consolidation, has suggested immediate hike in fuel prices and complete deregulation of diesel prices by start of 2014-15 fiscal. It also suggested raising kerosene and LPG rates.
"That (Vijay Kelkar committee recommendation on deregulating diesel and raising kerosene and LPG rates) is a proposal. It is still at proposal stage. The (Petroleum) Ministry is only processing that report and we are yet to take a decision," Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters.
The panel had in September recommended "immediate increase in Petroleum prices. This should be continued in the next year in such a way that the prices of diesel are fully deregulated by the start of 2014-15. The prices of kerosene and LPG also should be revised regularly to keep the subsidy levels at affordable levels."
Price of diesel, which currently costs Rs47.15 per litre in Delhi, was last revised on 14th September when it was hiked by a steep Rs5.63 per litre. Kerosene rates have not changed since June 2011 and it currently costs Rs14.79 per litre in Delhi.
State-owned oil companies currently sell diesel at a loss of Rs10.16 per litre, kerosene at Rs32.17 a litre and LPG at Rs490.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
Moily said the government was also considering raising the cap on supply of subsidised cooking gas (LPG) cylinders to 9 per household in a year from current limit of six.
Shantanu Kumar and seven other accused have moved the high court for quashing of the FIR lodged on 23 December 2012 under penal provisions of attempt of murder and rioting
New Delhi: The eight accused in the death of Constable Subhash Tomar during anti-rape stir in capital on Friday moved the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of an first information report (FIR) against them for murder and rioting offences, claiming that they have been falsely implicated "without an iota of evidence", reports PTI.
Taking note of the plea, the High Court asked the city police to file within a week a status report on its probe into the circumstances leading to death of Tomar, who was allegedly assaulted on 23rd December by the eight protesters during the protests against the brutal gangrape of a paramedical student on 16th December.
Justice GP Mittal also issued notices to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Delhi government. Fixing the matter for further hearing on 15th January, it also allowed the accused, who are out on bail, to amend their petition to insert an additional prayer for CBI investigation in the whole incident.
Shantanu Kumar and seven other accused have moved the high court for quashing of the FIR lodged on 23 December 2012 under penal provisions of attempt of murder and rioting.
Police later invoked section 302 (Murder) of the IPC against them after Tomar's death at a hospital here.
"The whole city is scared as a sister was sexually assaulted and the brothers who came out on roads to protest were made accused by the Delhi police.
"The head of the Delhi police needs to be called here in the court and asked to give reasons as to how he made false statements in his press conference about the whole case," said the counsel for accused.
He also referred to the alleged dissimilarities in the statements of Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, two eye-witnesses and a doctor of Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital to buttress his allegation that Tomar collapsed on his own and was not assaulted by the accused.
The counsel said the video footage of DMRC amply suggests that the two accused, Kailash Joshi and his brother Amit, were travelling in a metro at the time of the incident and their false implication in this case raises a serious issue.
Taking note of the submission, the court asked city police to file the report.
Meanwhile, the court said it will take up on 15th January a separate plea of Gaurav Kumar Bansal, an advocate seeking CBI probe into constable's death.
Tomar, who died on 25th December at RML hospital, was posted at Karawal Nagar police station here and was called to help police in maintaining law and order at India Gate during the ant-rape protests on 23rd December.
Besides Amit, Kailash Joshi and Shantanu Kumar, Nafees, Shankar Bisht, Nand Kumar, Abhishek and Chaman Kumar - have been made accused.
The eight accused were granted bail by the trial court on 24th December.