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Op-Ed: Politicians in India state say rape victims should be hanged

By Justin King     Apr 14, 2014 in World
Mumbai - Members of India’s Socialist party have caused outrage around the world with comments indicating that rape victims and women that have sex before marriage should be executed, while rapists should be viewed with a “boys will be boys” attitude.
In a speech during the run up to national elections, the head of the Socialist party Mulayam Singh Yadav told the crowd that if he was Prime Minister he would remove the death penalty for rapists because it was not uncommon
for boys to make mistakes.
He followed by saying
Boys will be boys. Following a girl-boy fight, the girl complains she was raped.
The obvious instance of victim-blaming has angered civilized people around the world. Though, his comments were defended by Abu Azmi, also of the Socialist Party, who said
Any woman if, whether married or unmarried, goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged. It shouldn't be allowed even if a woman goes by consent.
Azmi derives a large portion of his support from the Muslim population. Earlier in the same interview Azmi said
Rape is punishable by hanging in Islam. But here, nothing happens to women, only to men. Even the woman is guilty.
The comments by the senior party leaders occur at a moment in history where half of Indians live in poverty and more than 250 million people in the country suffer from hunger. 75 percent of all rivers and lakes in India are so polluted that watchdog groups say that they are not even fit for bathing, much less drinking. The citizens in Bhopal are still suffering from the effects of the government’s unwillingness to hold Dow accountable for the contamination that occurred decades ago. Instead of addressing these issues, these politicians have committed themselves to making excuses for rapists.
India rape cases
India rape cases
-, AFP
While Yadav later attempted to backtrack from his earlier statements saying that he was concerned about innocent men only, his retraction falls short of believable in a country where the burden of proof in a rape case is so high that only 24 percent of accused rapists are convicted. The rate of conviction falls every year.
Luckily for the women of India, the Socialist party’s views are not in line with the rest of society. Ninety per cent of Indians view combating violence against women as a top national priority. Only combating corruption rated higher in the poll. Those concerned with maintaining the human dignity of women in India have no choice but to completely reject the Socialist Party in the upcoming elections.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Rape, victim blaming, indian socialist party, india rape, Women's rights