New Delhi: The shocking statement given by self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, blaming the 23-year-old paramedical student for her brutal gangrape and murder has drawn some sharp reactions from all corners. While the political parties, including the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have termed the statement as inappropriate, women activists have stressed on the need to censor such views.
Addressing his supporters, the godman had said that the 23-year-old Delhi braveheart was as responsible for the ghastly incident as the six accused. "Only 5-6 people are not the culprits. The victim daughter is as guilty as her rapists. She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop...this could have saved her dignity and life," Asaram said. "Can one hand clap? I don't think so," he quipped.
Terming the statement as regrettable, the BJP demanded that the statement be taken back. BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "We consider the statement from Asaram Bapu as inappropriate and demand that he takes back the statement."
Meanwhile, there were voices stressing on the need to teach people on giving respect to women. "Making someone a brother is not upon a woman but upon a man. Respect for women must be taught at the grassroots level, right from school, and in every home," said BJP leader Maneka Gandhi.
The Congress also spoke in similar tone, criticising the self-styled godman. Congress leader Rashid Alvi said, "Political leaders and religious leaders must give serious thought before they speak out."
The statement of Asaram Bapu also evoked a sharp reaction from National Commission for Women chief Mamta Sharma, who said such action passed on wrong signals. Asking the godman to rethink on his statement, Sharma said, "Would like to ask Asaram, how would have pleading to the rapists helped? Making such statements pass on the wrong signal. I would ask Asaram to refrain from making such statements."
"I think there has to be a severe censorship of this kind of view and they will have to be told that they cannot be going against the law of the land and cannot make sexiest comment, they cannot violate the dignity and self esteem of women," said NCPCR chairperson Shanta Sinha.
She further said, "Even if he is spiritual leader and godman, they have to be very very careful, should understand, because it affects minds of people."