New Delhi, Jan 5: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) supremo Mohan Bhagwat should have first checked the figures before making his controversial comment on rapes happening in "India" (urban areas) and not "Bharat" (rural areas).
But sadly, figures tell a different picture. Mrinal Satish, an associate professor of law at Delhi's National Law University, used court data to find that 75% of rape cases that led to convictions over the last 25 years were from rural India, states a report in The Times of India.
"For his doctoral dissertation at the Yale Law School in the US, Satish looked at all High Court and Supreme Court cases involving rape reported in the Criminal Law Journal (which reports criminal law cases) between 1983 and 2009 in which at least one court (trial court, HC or SC) had convicted the accused."
"He found that over 80% of these rape cases in High Courts and close to 75% of rape cases in the Supreme Court came from rural areas. Close to 75% of gangrape cases in HCs and 63% of gangrape cases in the SC came from rural areas. Over 65% of cases involving the rape of a child (less than 12 years old) came from rural areas. On average, 75% of all rape cases in higher courts that had led to at least one conviction came from rural areas. While the numbers are fairly proportional to India's rural/urban population, they do disprove Bhagwat's statement that rapes do not take place in rural areas," further states The Times of India report.
RSS chief's comment caused nation-wide outrage
Speaking at a public forum in Silchar, Assam, RSS supremo said that rapes occur in India and not in Bharat. According to Bhagwat, rapes are rare in "Bharat" (rural India) but more prevalent in urban areas where Indians are deeply influenced by western values.
Bhagwat said, "Such crimes hardly take place in 'Bharat' but they occur frequently in 'India'."
"You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gangrape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. The Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values," he added.
Defending Bhagwat's controversial remark that rapes hardly take place in rural India but occur frequently in urban India, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav on Friday, Jan 4 said that the outfit had 'great respect for women'. "The statement of the RSS chief should be taken in proper perspective. He (Bhagwat) has already demanded strict punishment for rapists and even called for the death penalty if required," Madhav said.