Indian guru Asaram Bapu has sparked outrage by claiming the Delhi gang-rape victim was equally responsible for the horrendous crime and should have begged for mercy.
The IB Times reported Bapu told his followers: "The victim is as guilty as her rapists. She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop. This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don't think so."
Bapu caused yet more controversy when he went on to claim that men were victims of an "anti-men" campaign following the December rape. The self-styled godman, who claims millions of followers, was condemned for his remarks.
The Times of India reported the Centre for Social Research's Ranjana Kumari said such "irresponsible and ridiculous statements were responsible for encouraging rapists. Such people should be socially boycotted. It is these people who are responsible in society for creating misogynist values."
The 72-year-old guru has been defended by some of his followers who say he has nothing to apologise for, according to First Post. Neelam Dubey, aide to Bupa, defended the guru by saying Bupa was advising his religious devotees how to avoid such crimes by reciting mantras. He said Bupa "was citing the gangrape incident to say one should use commonsense to avoid such incidents."