Amid the escalating debates and protests over rape cases reported in Unnao and Kathua, Prime Minister Narendra Modi breaks his long silence and said that “a rape is a rape” and should not be politicized.
Modi, who is currently visiting the UK, made the remark to selected members of the Indian-diaspora in London.
“A rape is a rape. How can we tolerate this torture with our daughters? You are always questioning your daughters, why don’t you ask the same questions to your sons? I believe this is the evil of not just the individual but also of the society,” he said, according to CNN.
“This is a matter of great concern for the country. The people who are committing the sin are someone’s son.”
“Any time a small girl is sexually assaulted, it is painful for all us,” Modi said. “But can we compare the number of rapes in different governments? We can’t say there were this many rapes in our government and that many of yours. There cannot be a worse way to deal with this issue.”
PM Modi has been facing criticism over his alleged mishandling of the issue, following a string of particularly brutal rape cases which have shocked the nation and triggered countrywide protests.
PM Modi, who now says “rape should not be politicized” had during his election rally in 2013 ahead of last Lok Sabha election, targeted Congress government citing “Nirvbhaya rape case”.
Narendra Modi, who was the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate then, attacked the Congress on issues of corruption and security of women in the national capital.
Modi, according to India Today report published on December 1, 2013, said people of Delhi should remember “Nirbhaya” while going to vote in the Assembly polls on December 4, 2013.
While addressing a rally at Ambedkar Nagar in New Delhi, Modi asked people not to forget the “rape capital” tag associated with the national capital when they vote.
“It (Delhi) has earned a bad name as rape capital. When you vote, do not forget this. Remember Nirbhaya for a while,” Modi said.
On Monday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi urged the PM Modi to fast-track rape cases involving rape of minors if he was serious about providing justice.
Mr. Gandhi tweeted that in 2016, a total of 19,675 rapes of minors were reported and called it shameful.
“PM should fast-track these cases and punish the guilty if he is serious about providing ‘justice for our daughters’,” the Congress president said.