Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur on Thursday landed in a controversy with his remarks that no government can ensure rape is prevented and action can be taken only after the act, triggering angry reaction from Congress which said he has no right to continue in office.
"It is a social crime which depends on the man and the woman. It is sometimes right and sometimes wrong. Unless a complaint is filed, nothing happens," he said. The minister went on to amplify that "It is not possible for any government to ensure that rape is not committed. Action can be taken only after the act is done," the Minister told reporters at his residence. He said women should learn judo, karate to defend themselves.
"Unless the person wants, no one can dare touch her. The item numbers in films create a bad environment," he sought to reason. The minister cited the instance of a Hindi movie actress who was kissed on the cheek by a leading Hollywood actor on stage in Delhi in 2007. The actress had seen nothing wrong with it, he said.
Sharply reacting to Gaur's statement, Congress leader Manak Agarwal said that the Minister has no right to continue in office. By his statement, the minister had done nothing but given encouragement to would be rapists, he said, adding the minister's job was to provide protection to women and not to rapists.
Coming out in defence of Samajwadi supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, he said they too cannot do anything to prevent rapes in Uttar Pradesh. Both Mulayam and Akhilesh have drawn flak for their comments after they came under attack over the recent gangrape and murder of two cousin sisters in Badaun in UP.
BJP distanced itself from Gaur's comments. Party leader Lalitha Kumaramangalam said it were his personal comments. "Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that he understands the gravity of the problem. He seems to be looking at it from a very orthodox point of view. This is certainly not the BJP stand. "We are very clear that empowerment and security for women is a very big challenge for us, especially given the current situation in several states.