The BJP tied itself in knots on Friday when faced with two controversial statements on rape, one by the RSS chief and the other by a BJP minister from Madhya Pradesh.
The party defended Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat – the head of the party’s ideological fountainhead — and rushed to distance itself from MP minister Kailash Vijayvargiya.
The context: Bhagwat had said that rapes take place in “India” and not “Bharat”, suggesting that break with “Indian culture aping the West” in urban areas result in these crimes.
Vijayvargiya on his part said that if the “Lakshman rekha” was crossed, Sita would be abducted.
Meaning, women should know their limits to avert these assaults.
The BJP rushed to Bhagwat’s defence.“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 their entirety. He was referring to India’s ‘sanskar’, tradition and value system where respect for women occupies a pride of place,” BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Bhagwat had said in Silchar: “Such crimes won’t happen in Bharat or the rural areas of the country. Where ‘Bharat’ becomes ‘India’ with the influence of western culture, these type of incidents happen.
Prasad, however, distanced himself from Vijayvargiya’s statement.
However, reactions to Bhagwat’s statements were otherwise severe.
“Bhagwat neither understands India nor Bharat,” CPM leader Brinda Karat said.