Pushed on the backfoot by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's comment that rapes happened in cities, BJP on Friday put up a brave defence saying the statement should be seen in the proper context and 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.
Bhagwat had courted controversy when he said in Silchar on Thursday that "crimes against women happen in India and not in Bharat". He maintained that women living in cities follow a western lifestyle which leads to crimes against them.
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 should 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.
RSS leader Ram Madhav had defended Bhagwat on the same lines and said it should be seen in the proper perspective.