The All India Women's Conference, which has a pan India presence, today condemned Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's remarks on rape, saying the comment amounts to "defending a crime" of the most heinous kind and also encourages "goondaism".
"We are shocked and upset with the very fact that how a responsible person, especially a politician who wants to be head of the government, can make such a statement. All women should revolt against such a statement and even against such a thought," said Veena Kohli, President of AIWC.
"Rape is a crime against womanhood and a slur on humanity and civilisation. It should be given exemplary punishment as is done in every civilised country and is not to be politicised as Mulayam Singh is trying to do," Kohli said here, adding that the Election Commission should also take note of it and should debar the candidature of such politicians.
The All India Democratic Women's Association also slammed Yadav's statement.
"Rape can hardly be called a 'mistake' as Yadav thinks it is. More than often it is a premeditated act and an expression and assertion of power over women. It can in no way be condoned by using the old patriarchal argument that 'boys will be boys'.
"Yadav's contention that women put false charges of sexual assault on their partners in a fit of pique is equally condemnable, and echoes the highly retrograde and anti-women assertions made in the Manusmriti," said Jagmati Sangwan, General Secretary of AIDWA.
"Such statements, especially by politicians who tend to influence policy making, will only further vitiate existing gender biases in our society," she said in a statement, adding that there was a need to frame a code of conduct to prevent anti-woman remarks by public figures.
Questioning the death sentence to three men who were convicted for two gangrapes in Mumbai last week, the SP supremo had yesterday asked, "Should rape cases be punished with hanging?
"Ladke, ladke hain. Galti ho jati hai (Boys are boys. Mistakes happen sometimes)," he had said during an election rally in Moradabad.