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Maharashtra State Women's commission member Asha Mirje says Nirbhaya was responsible for her brutal gang-rape, sparks row

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 - 1:00pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Web Team

Maharashtra State Women's Commission member Asha Mirje - is the latest to join the infamous list of public figures who make insensitive remarks on sensitive issues like rape. 

At an NCP women's wing meet in Nagpur, Mirje asked, "Did Nirbhaya really have to go to watch a movie at 11 in the night with her friend? Take the Shakti Mills gang-rape case. Why did the victim go to such an isolated spot at 6 pm?"  

She even went on to the extent of stating that Nirbhaya was responsible for her sexual assualt. She commented that a woman's behaviour and dressing plays an important role in rape incidents.

"We have to be careful. We have to ask ourselves, where am I going, with whom am I going, what am I going for, do I really need to go to that place," she opined.

Mirje did not stop on that note. According to her, sexual assaults on women take place due to three reasons - a woman's clothes, her behaviour and her presence in inappropriate places at an inappropriate time. 

The NCP women's wing is headed by party president Sharad Pawar's daughter, Supriya Sule. 

At the time Mirje made the controversial speech, Sule was present on the dais. However, Sule, who has taken up the cause of atrocities on women, did not try to stop Mirje from making such comments. 

"Due to these reasons a woman has to think whether, mistakenly, she is not inviting sexual assault," Mirje added. 

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik, when contacted by various media-houses, put out a safe comment by saying Mirje's remarks were not the party's official position. 

"I have not heard it (the comment) and I am not aware of it. But if she did make such a statement it is her own personal opinion and not the party's," Malik said.

In a glaring similarity last year, BJP corporator Ritu Tawde had complained about lingerie shops in Bandra. She had stated that mannequins were seen as “sex toys”, thereby provoking sexual crimes against women and that the civic body needed to take action against them as part of its women’s safety initiative. Many activists had called this move regressive and unwanted, but BMC had contested the idea to drop it later.

In the past, Asaram Bapu had left people aghast with his comments on the Delhi gang-rape by stating that the victim should have addressed the criminals as 'Bhaiyyas' or brothers to protect herself from rape. Other public figures followed suit and joined the list of 'atrocious and insensitive comment makers' with their controversial remarks on rape and women.

Here's a list of few such comments that have made us wonder about the credentials of the speaker in recent times: 

"Girls should be married at the age of 16, so that they have their husbands for their sexual needs, and they don't need to go elsewhere. This way rapes will not occur" says Om Prakash Chautala, former chief minister, Haryana. 

"One of the reasons behind the increase in incidents of eve-teasing is short dresses and short skirts worn by women. This in turn instigates young men," says Chiranjeet Chakraborty, Trinamool Congress legislator. 

"There is no need to give phones to women and children. It distracts them and is useless. Why do women need phones? My mother, wife and sister never had mobile phones. They survived without one”, says Rajpal Saini, BSP leader. 

“To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents (rape). Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts," said Jitender Chhatar, a thua khap panchayat leader on rape. 

“This kind of rape should not occur” said Sushilkumar Shinde, Minister of Home Affairs on 2012 Delhi gang-rape. 

We ask, "What do you mean by 'this kind' and since when did any kind of rape become justified?. 

"90% rape cases are consensual," says Dharamvir Goyat, Haryana Pradesh Congress committee member.  

"What is the need for roaming at night with men who are not relatives? This should be stopped" says Abu Azmi, Samajwadi Party leader on 2012 Delhi gang-rape. 


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