Dosanjh’s tweet shames traditionalists who are wrongly blaming women for rapes

Published: January 4, 2013


Former MP Ujjal Dosanjh has taken to Twitter with his opinions on the fatal gang rape of a student, 23, in New Delhi, India. Ian Smith/PNG files

Reacting to those who are suggesting that women should dress “appropriately” to avoid being raped, former B.C. Premier and Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh has remarked on Twitter that if men cannot control their penises, have them removed.

His bold tweet has shamed traditionalists who are wrongly blaming women for rapes and sexual violence in India.

After the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi, there have been a series of angry protests both in India and other parts of the world, including Surrey and Ottawa.

Even though poor women in rural India have continued to endure sexual violence, Mohan Bhagwat, the leader of the RSS – an ultra Hindu nationalist organization – has claimed that rapes are taking place in urban India and not in rural India because of the increasing influence of western culture in big cities.

Likewise, a legislator of the Hindu nationalist right wing Bhartiya Janata Party, Banwari Lal Singhal, recently asked schools to ban the wearing of skirts by girls.

Not to be left behind, the head of the Akal Takhat, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, Giani Gurbachan Singh, asked women to wear traditional attire to avoid sexual violence.

These suggestions are totally absurd as “shabbily” dressed women in tribal and rural areas continue to be raped by those who have enjoyed political and social influence. Most of these victims are generally from the Dalit community, a group of so-called low caste women widely known as “untouchables.” Due to feelings of shame and guilt many of these women avoid going to police, a force that generally tries to shield the rich and powerful.

These prominent figures are not only indirectly shielding rapists by making such statements but these unscientific and irrational observations completely obscure the reality of lives in rural India.

How can people, including elected officials and clergymen in India, blame women’s attire for rapes when even minor girls are being sexually exploited in a society that claims to be puritan and ethical? This goes on despite the fact that Indians, particularly Hindus, revere goddesses.

Those indulging in moral policing, including these dumb leaders, should rather excommunicate or ostracize rapists and sex offenders and work to provide space and comfort to a victim. Instead, women have also been victim to numerous sexual crimes that have taken place at religious places in India.

Even the insistence of giving capital punishment to rapists is rhetorical. This would only encourage rapists to murder the victims to destroy evidence.

The victims of sexual violence in India need assurance and support from their family, society and authorities, instead of such hysterical responses!

Speaking from a Canadian perspective, this country does not execute rapists or killers yet women can walk around freely even in so-called skimpy attire. This is partially because women know that if anything goes wrong, the society will stand behind them and not the sexual offender. Whereas, in India it is the rape victim and not the perpetrator who gets stigmatized.

As well, suppression of desire in an orthodox and sexually starved Indian society also contributes to sexual violence. Instead of being hypocritical about sex, the Indian society should learn to recognize it as a reality and talk more openly about it.



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