Former IPS officer and activist Kiran Bedi on Friday criticised Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat for his controversial remark that rapes hardly take place in 'Bharat', but they occur frequently in 'India'.
"What Mohan Bhagwat has said, this is what it appears when you actually not close to ground reality," Bedi told ANI.
"The ground reality is when does the rape victim report her crime, when there is a police station available, when there is sensitive officer to report the crime, when the family takes you to report the crime, when there is a doctor to examine you, when she knows the accused will not be bailed-out and will not harass her...these facilities just do not exist in 'Bharat'. These exist in India, i.e in Delhi, in Mumbai," she added
Echoing similar sentiments, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma said: "Bhagawatji should go to the grassroots and then pass such remarks."
Earlier, defending Bhagwat's controversial remark, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said, "We have great respect for women."
"The statement of RSS chief should be taken in proper perspective. He (Bhagwat) has already demanded strict punishment for the rapists and even called for the death penalty, if required," Madhav said.
"All that he said is that in Indian tradition, we have a great respect for women and we should learn to uphold this tradition. If one goes away from this tradition, it will result in a rise of crimes against women,' he added.
Addressing a citizens' meet here on Tuesday during his four-day visit to Silchar, Bhagwat criticized 'western' lifestyle of people in urban areas and said, without empirical evidence to back such a claim, that rape is prevalent mainly in cities where Indians are deeply influenced by western values and not by rural India.
"You go to villages and forests of the country, and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. Besides new legislations, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values," he added.
However, Bhagwat said he wanted stringent laws in sexual crimes against women and will favour capital punishment for those convicted of rape. (ANI)