New Delhi: Union Minister Shashi Tharoor may have put his foot in the mouth once again by suggesting that the new anti-rape law, which is under works, can be named after the Delhi braveheart, who succumbed to her injuries after battling for her life for over 12 days.
The minister posted a tweet on Tuesday saying the law should be named in honour of the Delhi braveheart, who was gangraped and assaulted in a moving bus in the national capital on December 16, if her parents do not have any objection to revealing her identity.
Tharoor posted a tweet: "Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of #DelhGangRape victim. Why not name&honour her as a real person w/own identity?"
"Unless her parents object,she should be honoured&the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being w/a name,not just a symbol," he further said.
Reacting to the tweets of the Minister, National Commission for Women chief Mamata Sharma pointed that according to the guidelines, the names of sexual assault victims should not be revealed, calling it "improper to take the names of the victims."
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed the suggestions as against the norms set by the Supreme Court. BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Husain said that the party would be opposed to any such move.
BJP said Tharoor's suggestion is "needless diversion" and said, "this is the time for making a strong law against rape without any delay. Naming or keeping the victim's identity a secret is not the main issue here. The media, politicians and the society are following the Supreme Court guidelines on the matter at the moment. Tharoor should emphasise on passing the law at the earliest," Hussain said.
BJP maintained the US and other countries may have provisions where the name of the victim can be revealed with the family's consent but "that should not be our concern now and it can be debated later."
"Tharoor is an individual but he is also a minister. There is no need for him to divert attention from the principal issue. He should use his influence with Congress and the government to ensure that a special session of Parliament is called and a strong anti-rape law passed," Hussain said. The main opposition said precious time has already been lost due to the sparring and blame game on the Delhi gangrape issue between the Delhi government and the Centre.
The Congress, however, remained cautious in its response, asserting on the need of a strong anti-rape law. Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said, "Don't want to get into what he said but real tribute would be to come out with a strong anti-rape law."
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)