Two politicians, Totaram Yadav from Uttar Pradesh and Dilip Parulekar from Goa, have sparked outrage on social media for their comments trivialising rape.
Yadav, who has the status of minister of state in the Akhilesh Yadav government, said on Saturday that rapes occur with "mutual consent" and that they are considered a crime only when the cases become public.
“One which is forced and another that happens with mutual consent. What can the government do in such mutual consent cases? But people still put the blame on the government. In fact, such incidents cannot be stopped,” he said.
Yadav, the chairman of Processing and Construction Cooperative Ltd (Paccfed), made this comment while talking to reporters after visiting the district jail in Mainpuri.
Even as the ruling Samajwadi party attempted damage control by promising to act against Yadav, social media was flooded with angry reactions.
"UP Minister Totaram Yadav’s statement is deplorable and shameful," women's rights activist Abha Singh tweeted.
Other Twitter users saw Yadav's comment as the latest in the series of insensitive comments by political leaders on crimes against women.
Reflects outdated mindset , it is the reason why women security hasn't improved: Kiran Bedi on Totaram (MoS, UP) pic.twitter.com/ty4QySdtOO— ANI (@ANI_news) June 7, 2015
Twitter was also abuzz with angry responses over the comment of Goa tourism minister Dilip Parulekar who said the gangrape of two Delhi-based women in Goa was a "small" incident which occurs in major tourism centres.
“The boys are ‘nadaan’ (naive) and they have small crimes registered against them. . . this will not happen in future,” he said on Saturday.
Two Delhi-based girls who were holidaying in Goa were allegedly gangraped by five men who posed as anti-narcotic cell policemen last week.
Police are on the lookout for a woman accomplice of these five accused who was at the scene when the incident happened, while the five accused have been arrested.
Goa congress spokesperson Sunil Kawathankar said, "Parulekar should be removed from the post of minister for such insensitive comments. How can tourists trust Goa when it has such a minister."
Congress leader Durgadas Kamat said, "It looks like the Tourism Minister has lost his mental balance."
After being panned on social media, Parulekar soon withdrew his controversial comment. "If I have hurt the sentiments of people of my state or nation by the 2-3 words that I uttered, I take back those words," he said.
I take my words back: Dilip Parulekar (Tourism Minister, Goa) on his remark on gang-rape issue pic.twitter.com/1IkpwMQdAe— ANI (@ANI_news) June 6, 2015