Short skirts, bad stars, chow mein: why rape happens in India

April 13, 2016

The 2012 Delhi bus rape case and an ever-longer list of rapes and murders in India have prompted politicians and public figures in India to cite plenty of implausible reasons why rape happens and why men brutalise women or portray women in ways that suggest they had it coming. Many people, when speaking out, tend to minimise the crime or rationalise it in ways that sound ludicrous to many. We created this list of such comments a few years ago, but it seems like it’s time to add some new entries.

(Updated on April 18, 2016)

Panchayat in Baraut: A village council some 50 km from Delhi has asked girls not to wear jeans, tight-fitting clothes or use mobile phones as they can “land girls in problems and lead to teasing.” The panchayat, however, said it was more of a recommendation and not a diktat. Even boys were discouraged from wearing tight-fitting clothes. (Hindustan Times)

Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Dwarka-Sharda Peeth: The religious leader said allowing women into a temple devoted to Lord Shani will cause more rapes. “Women should not feel triumphant about visiting the sanctum sanctorum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra. They should stop all the drum beating about what they have done. Worshipping Shani will bring ill luck to them and give rise to crimes against them like rape,” the 94-year-old swami said. He also reportedly said that women should stop men from consuming intoxicating substances that would put them in a state to rape women. A day later, he blamed honeymooners and picnic-goers for the 2013 Kedarnath flash floods in Uttarakhand, and said such “polluting the environment” of sacred Hindu sites would lead to more disasters. (The Indian Express, Hindustan Times)

Atul Kumar Anjan: The Communist Party of India senior leader said a condom advertisement featuring actress and former porn star Sunny Leone will lead to more rapes in India. “Now there is an advertisement with her (Leone), have you seen it? She is lying down…and a man comes to her. (They show the advertisement) in the morning, at night…an advertisement for condoms, it is such a dirty and horrific advertisement that develops your sexuality and destroys your sensibility,” Anjan said at a rally in UP. “If such advertisements for condoms appear in the country’s TV channels and newspapers, then incidents of rape will increase. It needs to be stopped.” Anjan also noted that he was unfamiliar with pornography, and that the incident prompted him to watch some for research purposes. ““After watching just two minutes, I kept vomiting.” (Hindustan Times)

Mulayam Singh Yadav: The Samajwadi Party leader has sparked another controversy by questioning the possibility of gang rape because it was “not practical”. “Often if one person commits rape, four people are named in the complaint. Four people are named for rape, can it be possible? It is not practical. They probably say one was watching…another was there… If there are four brothers, then all four are named,” Yadav said. (NDTV) Last year, Yadav opposed the capital punishment for rape and said “boys will be boys.”

Sachchidananda Babu, a Bangalore-based astrologer, said on a TV show that zodiac signs predict how women might get sexually abused, and even suggested a mantra for self-protection. He said zodiac signs can also reveal the age of the victim and the place at which the sexual assault may happen: Aries women are likely to get assaulted in a bathroom while Capricorns would be victimized by their father, mother or a colleague. Babu lodged a complaint with the police after an activist launched a Facebook page condemning his predictions. (Deccan Chronicle)

Uttar Pradesh police: Responding to a Right to Information (RTI) request regarding the rising incidents of sexual crimes against women in the state, the police cited reasons ranging from mobile phones and indecent clothing to lack of entertainment.

NDTV reports: Policemen from Nasirpur in Firozabad district blamed rapes on “lack of entertainment options.” In Allahabad, policemen posted at Parvai station blamed “women’s clothes, appearance, DD telecast, mobile phones and vulgar songs.”

TOI reports: Police stations in Etawah district believed “too much intermingling of boys and girls is resulting in rapes.”

Binay Bihari, minister for art, culture and youth affairs in the state of Bihar: The minister said that mobile phones and non-vegetarian food are reasons for a surge in rape cases, NDTV reports. “Many students misuse mobile phones by watching blue films and hearing obscene songs which pollute their mind,” he said. On food, he reportedly said that non-vegetarian food “contributed to hot temper… and cited sermons of sants that pure vegetarian food kept the body and mind pure and healthy.” (NDTV)

Tapas Pal, lawmaker from Trinamool Congress: The popular Bengali actor was caught on camera threatening workers of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and their families. “If any opponent touches any Trinamool girl, any father, any child, I will destroy his entire family. I will unleash my boys, they will rape them, rape them,” Pal said in the video. Pal later apologised for what he termed a “gross error of judgement”. (Indian Express)

Sudin Dhavalikar,  member of BJP ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in Goa, India’s beach-party-central state for sun-touched Westerners: Dhavalikar said women should not wear bikinis on Goa’s beaches “for their own safety”, and “girls in short skirts visiting pubs” is against local culture. “For their own protection on public beaches, women should not wear bikinis. I am not against wearing bikinis in private places,” Dhavalikar, 57, told NDTV. “Pub culture is not Indian culture and we don’t want Western culture. Young people go drinking and it often leads to law and order problems. Our sisters and daughters are getting spoilt. Goa was a city of temples and churches. We don’t want pub-tourism.” (NDTV)

Babulal Gaur, BJP minister from Madhya Pradesh: “This is a social crime which depends on men and women. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong… Until there’s a complaint, nothing can happen,” Gaur told reporters. More, from CNN-IBN: “Unless the person wants, no one can dare touch her. The item numbers in films create a bad environment,” … The minister cited the instance of a Hindi movie actress who was kissed on the cheek by a leading Hollywood actor on stage in Delhi in 2007. The actress had seen nothing wrong with it, he said. He also suggested that women learn karate and judo to defend themselves, CNN-IBN reported. (Reuters and CNN-IBN)

Samajwadi Party leader and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother Ram Gopal Yadav, speaking after the recent rape and hanging of two teenaged girls in Uttar Pradesh: “vulgarity, obscenity and violence shown on TV channels” was to blame for the multiple incidents of rape and assault in UP. He also said, “In many places, when the relationship between girls and boys come out in open, it is termed as rape.” Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, suggested that reporters look on Google to see that UP isn’t the only Indian state where rape happens. (NDTV)

Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party member and former chief minister, Uttar Pradesh: In April, Yadav said: “Boys and girls ….later they had differences, and the girl went and gave a statement that I have been raped. And then the poor fellows, three of them have been sentenced to death. Should rape cases lead to hanging? Boys are boys, they make mistakes. Two or three have been given the death sentence in Mumbai. We will try and change such laws…we will also ensure punishment of those who report false cases.” (NDTV)

Babulal Gaur, again, commenting on a controversy regarding dresses, said “foreign culture” is not good for India. “Women in foreign countries wear jeans and T-shirts, dance with other men and even drink liquor, but that is their culture. It’s good for them, but not for India, where only our traditions and culture are OK.” In what looks like an attempt to hedge his bets, he also said, “Let women consider what is good and bad for them.” (Business Standard)

Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saraswati declared western influence responsible for destroying the values and principles of the country. “There is need to change this. Before Independence we were able to maintain our culture and values but in the last 65 years we have lost a great part of it. Such horrific incidents don’t happen all of a sudden. They happen when the thin line of culture and values are crossed in the name of civilization and development.” (Times of India)

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh: “Countries with sex education in their curriculum only have an increased number of crimes against women.” (Indian Express)

The Anjuman Muslim Panchayat in Salumbur town in Rajasthan has decreed that girls should not use mobile phones outside their own homes or dance at weddings so that “they do not get involved with boys.” Girls cannot dance on the street during wedding processions because that would mean objectifying women, Habiburrehman, secretary of the community panchayat was quoted as saying by PTI. The panchayat has also “warned young people against love marriages” and imposed a fine of 51,000 rupees (approximately $930) on families whose members elope and marry “against traditional social arrangements.” (NDTV)

BJP MP Ramesh Bais told reporters referring to the rape case involving minor inmates of a government-run residential school:  “The rape of grown-up girls and women might be understandable, but if someone does this to an infant, it is a heinous crime and the offenders should be hanged.” (Firstpost)

Manohar Lal Sharma, a lawyer who represents three of the accused, speaking to Bloomberg in an interview: Sharma said the male companion of the murdered 23-year-old was “wholly responsible” for the incident as the unmarried couple should not have been on the streets at night. “Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady,” Sharma said in an interview at a cafe outside the Supreme Court.

“Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect.” … Sharma said the man and woman should not have been traveling back late in the evening and making their journey on public transport. He also said it was the man’s responsibility to protect the woman and that he had failed in his duty. “The man has broken the faith of the woman,” Sharma said yesterday. “If a man fails to protect the woman, or she has a single doubt about his failure to protect her, the woman will never go with that man.”

Asaram Bapu, self-proclaimed “godman”:She should have taken God’s name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said ‘I consider you as my brother’, and should have said to the other two ‘Brother I am helpless, you are my brother, my religious brother.’” In other words, if she’s begged for forgiveness and cited the fraternity of man and called to God for help, all would have been well. Bapu’s spokesperson later responded to criticism of his statements by saying that women who get raped bear a fraction of the responsibility. (Hindustan Times)

Puducherry Education Minister T Thiagarajan, on making girls in the tropical southern city wear overcoats so men won’t be driven mad with lust: “The meeting resolved to introduce overcoats for girl students, operate special buses for them and ban mobile phones in schools. Our government is committed to ensuring safety of women, particularly girl students.” (Hindustan Times)

Rajasthan BJP lawmaker Banwari Lal Singhal: A BJP MLA in Rajasthan has demanded a ban on skirts as uniform in schools to keep girls away from “men’s lustful gazes”. Alwar (Urban) legislator Banwari Lal Singhal has written a letter to the state chief secretary C K Mathew, demanding that skirts should be replaced by trousers or salwar-kameez. “The intention of this demand is to keep girl students away from men’s lustful gazes and for their comfort in hot and cold weather conditions,” Singhal told PTI. (Outlook)

Abu Asim Azmi, state president of the Maharashtra Samajwadi Party: “If you keep petrol and fire together then it will burn. There should be a law to ensure that there should be no ‘nangapan’ (nudity). Those who wear less clothes should also be banned.” Also, paraphrased: fashion and nudity are responsible for the current situation in India. And in rural India, “girls don’t go searching out for boyfriend(s).” It goes on: “I support death penalty for the Delhi rapists but there should also be a law that women should not wear less clothes and roam around with boys who are not their relatives. What is the need for roaming at night with men who are not relatives? This should be stopped.” To be fair, here is the response from his son Farhan: “We are a cosmopolitan family, I have five sisters, they are educated, they drive and roam around in cars, we have always respected girls as equals and is that how it should be.” (India Today)

Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee (son of President Pranab Mukherjee): “Those who claim to be students – I can see many beautiful women among them – highly dented-painted [sic] – they’re giving interviews on TV, they’ve brought their children to show them the scenes. I have grave doubts whether  they’re students, because women of that age are generally not students.” (Note: by dented-painted, we generally understand this to mean that they’re either a) a bit older and therefore need to be made up to look attractive, b) they’re like a car after a repair job, or c) they’re generally made up, and somehow not serious about their protests against the climate of rape and lack of prosecution in India. (Financial Express)

Madhya Pradesh BJP leader Vijayvargiya: “Only when Sitaji crossed the Lakshman rekha, she was kidnapped by Ravan. If Sitaji (woman) crosses the Lakshman rekha, then “Sitaharan” (crime against them) is bound to take place as Ravans are out there.” Here’s the background on that, along with one hell of a deconstruction of the plight of women “alone in the forest,” by Nilanjana Roy. Vijayvargiya withdrew his remark under pressure, by the way. (Deccan Chronicle)

Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar: “Harm can come on  a person if the stars are in adverse positions … We have no answer to this, only an astrologer can predict.” (India Today)

Mohan Bhagwat (chief of right-wing organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh): “A husband and wife are involved in a contract under which the husband has said that you should take care of my house and I will take care of all your needs. I will keep you safe. So, the husband follows the contract terms. Till the time, the wife follows the contract, the husband stays with her, if the wife violates the contract, he can disown her.” (NDTV)

More Bhagwat: Villages that embody the spirit of “Bharat” rather than “India” don’t produce a culture of rape. That’s something that you see in areas in which western culture’s poison has seeped into Indian souls, most notably in urban areas.

Jitendar Chattar (leader of a Khap Panchayat): “To my understanding,  consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts.”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee: “Earlier if men and women would hold hands, they would get caught by parents and reprimanded but now everything is so open. It’s like an open market with open options.” (CNN-IBN)

Dr. Anita Shukla, scientist at the Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya: “When a group of men intend to rape, they will do it. The victim should save herself for bringing the perpetrators to book … Had the girl simply surrendered (and not resisted) when surrounded by six men, she would not have lost her intestine. Why was she out with her boyfriend at 10 pm?” (Indian Express)

Jamaat-E-Islami Hind (Islamist organisation). Statement released by Secretary General Nusrat Ali: “Co-education should be abolished and proper education facilities meant exclusively for women should be available at all level of education. Educational institutions should prescribe sober and dignified dress for girls.” (Times of India)

MP Rajpal Saini: “Why do housewives and school going girls need mobiles? It encourages them to make futile small talk and get connected with people outside their homes.” (Reuters, citing others)

More than half the people you know: According to a survey by Sakshi, an NGO active in gender issues, 74% of judges surveyed a decade ago believed that “preservation of the family” should be a principal concern for women even in the event of violence in the home. And 51% believed that women who stay with abusive husbands are “partly to blame” for their plight. Some 68% felt that “provocative attire was an invitation to rape” and 55% felt that the “moral character of the victim” was relevant. (via Rupa Subramanya and The Wall Street Journal)


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as brown man, these people are dunb

Posted by lovebrown99 | Report as abusive



Posted by AvgIndianGirl | Report as abusive

You guys missed the very impressive Om Prakash Chautala commenting on rapes in general – where he says, “Girls should marry early to prevent rising number of rapes”

Posted by MeghaC | Report as abusive

This is even a more bizarre one:

“I don’t feel any hesitation in saying that 90 per cent of the girls want to have sex intentionally but they don’t know that they would be gang raped further as they find some lusty and pervasive people in the way ahead.” – Haryana Congress spokesperson Dharambir Goyat leader-blames-girls-for-rapes-says-90-pc -cases-due-to-consensual-sex/300037-3-24 0.html

What ever this person means? I didn’t even know if I should take it seriously and be offended. The woman doesn’t know she is in for a gang -rape?
As far as Avinash Mukherjee is concerned, was this shameless person checking out the protestors? Sick! I cannot help repeating what someone wrote on TV, he went to college but came back without education.

Posted by Woman21 | Report as abusive

Can I balance out some of the above views. This is a beautiful article published in an Indian daily. letter-to-young-men-who-protested-agains t-rape/article4269070.ece

As far as these conservative attitudes are concerned they are absolutely shocking and pathetic. A part of the problem I think lies in the way people perceive rape. Many think it as sexual lust (kinder ones believe it may degenerate the victim). There is a need to change this view. A rape should be seen as an unforgivable physical and mental assault on women. An incident that can leave it’s marks for a lifetime and affect normal life. It is not simple sexual lust provoked by female actions (this is where the idea like provocative clothes comes in). The key is woman’s consent, which has to be respected at any cost. She has entire right to her body.

Sexual lust is such a flawed argument! Does this society ends up justifying adultery too on the same lines. It’s a sexual lust, something that can never be controlled so bear with it. As far I have known if a husband cheated on his wife, the first reaction of any individual is disapproval of the male behaviour. In India we even call it characterless (that is the one doesn’t have enough character/ moral to resist). Then why in rape it is the opposite? Whenever such incident occurs the first reaction always is to find faults with the victim- her clothes, her behavior, her sexual history (that’s none of anyone’s business). Very few would condemn the male behaviour. No one would say he has no right, what so ever, to touch the girl? This case for the first time has rightly brought male behaviour under scanner. I hope a real change comes through it.

A few words for Asaram Bapu. The idea that God punished the young girl for not being being religious (that’s how I interpret his saying that the girl should have chanted the mantra and she may not have boarded the bus) is a highly condemnable statement. As far as I know God, I am sure He will never punish non- believers ever like this. He/She never forces belief on anyone. It’s not the fault of the young girl, but of those men whose deficient values made them like this. We (protestors) in fact are improving the spiritual ethos of all men, lest all of them end up in hell.

Posted by Woman21 | Report as abusive

Thanks, Megha – This is precisely what I was hoping someone would do. Could you send me a link to a good report about this? robert dot macmillan at thomsonreuters dot com — and I will look for one too and update this post.

Posted by Robert MacMillan | Report as abusive

Apparently, male entitlement is contagious and has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. One has only to look at the situation in Steubenville, Ohio to realize men act like they are entitled to grab women whenever they want and do whatever they want. This entitlement is a cycle that is taught to boys at an early age. It comes from their absolute terror of the power women have over them. If they were really men, they wouldn’t have to force women and they wouldn’t want to have forced sex at all.

Posted by Goodwinner | Report as abusive

Sounds like some of the Bob Packwood and Strom Thurmond stories from the U.S. Senate back when I was covering Capitol Hill… And remember the Tailhook convention?

Posted by Robert MacMillan | Report as abusive

All of these solutions are so incredibly insulting to men not just women. It says this culture believes that men are nothing more than clothed savages incapable of restraining their animal nature. That men are less than human, that they are incapable of morals and knowing right from wrong. It is all incredibly sad.

Posted by SMRD | Report as abusive

Quite shameful, really.

Posted by Robert MacMillan | Report as abusive

India needs a Second Amendment. That poor woman, or her companion, should have ventilated those animals. GUN CONTROL: The theory that it is morally superior to allow a woman to be raped than to have her explain to the police how her attacker died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Posted by jwsMiami | Report as abusive

All those people are to blame for what happened, and what continues to happen in India!…. They should be removed from their positions and never be allowed to lead any government agencies of India…..and their records should be checked, to find any illegal activities and THEY should be punished for it…….I hate these mentalities, they shouldn’t be tolerated anymore!

Posted by Jignya | Report as abusive

“so men won’t be driven mad with lust”. is Hindu a porn-driven society?

Posted by BogdanGherghel | Report as abusive

my name is Todd Akin / Richard Mourdock, and I approve this message…

Posted by hoxfan | Report as abusive

Bottom line, any female has the right of freedom from unwanted touching by anyone at any time. No woman is public or private property to be used by any man, or men, as they choose. This is a fundamental human right. Any woman has the right to use the force necessary to stop any unwanted touching by any man. This is a fundamental human right.

Posted by Eustacius_Elder | Report as abusive

if this wasn’t so disgusting it would be funny

Posted by froff69 | Report as abusive

Rape, abuse and such heinous action are not just started and all the holy books tried and trying to educate all that abuse to kids and women are neither fair nor justifiable at all. Still all are continuing since ages. It is neither country in the world are exceptional where recent past media is more open and educated young blood are confirming their social responsibility.
Major reason to current scenarios are most such activism are the out come of their own sufferings which need un corrupted officials and atleast 90% only corrupted politicians that 99% politicians are totally corrupted. Their wrong doings are behind the curtain directly or indirectly. Almost all the political employees are part of these crime that they are amassing huge wealth and their kids and dear ones are under the clutches of addition on one or the other then upon intoxication people connecting that it is the chance to do any doings in the name and performing well.
Execution is not at all a punishment at any reason what so ever the reason may be. The culprit what suffering on behalf of execution. Upto the day of execution the victim and other person are enjoyed as their own way and just died in the manner of once born only truth is death and accepting. instead of need to be certain area to be confirmed by females that dress code which is most inviting system of crime primarily. Boys and girls are now enjoying their dress in the form of showing their undergarments and up to pubic hair which is in general wrong or we can claim it is our choice. If such choices are coming out such people may forced to suffer by the provocated people.
All such rapes are situation based and not pre planned.
A thorough study are already their, based on the same tailor made orders to be performed and police and invigilators to be get monitored how they are supporting such challengs.
Simple, the normal police people are performed their duty then round the clock any one could travel anywhere with out any barriers and we have to confirm india is an open country and any one could travel free with out fear. To the same already rules and decrees are available only requirement is every one must follow

Posted by Vickynmp | Report as abusive

Rape is a crime of violence. Making out that it is somehow related to a girls dress or unmarried state is a fallacy. This simply gives men an excuse to blame women and not have to look at themselves. A rapist is responsibe for his own actions and blaming a woman for being unamrried or dressed by some code by men is an excuse. some men need to grow up and stop pretendingf that tha they have no control when they see a woman. They do. Perhaps a study of what Indian rape victims would help clear this fallacious lie. If I remember correctly a woman is more likely to be attacked when modestly in jeans.

The focus should be on men learing to grow up and take responsibility for their violence, desires and to stop blaming women.

Posted by opus125 | Report as abusive

In ancient India there was not seen any wrong to wear cloths from which any body can see his /her genitals or not wear any cloths only wear ornaments , at any place in private/public, we should have to behave like our old generations had in past centuries.
There was not any bad happenings like rape and was the society was more of peaceful.
I think we should have think like them , then we can change our society as a peaceful society.

Posted by siddhartharoy | Report as abusive

Blaming the women again, I see. Pathetic. A woman should be able to walk down the street, buck Naked, and have no fear of rape at any hour. A society that has no respect for women is an ugly society. Take a look at Afghanistan. They take little boys as lovers and treat women like breeding vessels.

Posted by krimsonpage | Report as abusive

Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saraswati + Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh: Or is it because after sex education and western culture “invasion”, they know what qualify as “crimes against women”?

The Anjuman Muslim Panchayat: The one who objectifying women is the male’s brian, not the women. The woman who dances is a dancing woman.

BJP MP Ramesh Bais: The rape of BJP MP Ramesh Bais is also reasonable then.

Manohar Lal Sharma: Because when you rape a woman, you are not respecting her as a “respected lady”. Next time your house got broke in and robbed, it is your own fault that you shouldn’t let your house stand in the middle of the night, you should demonish it at night. And show me how to defend a woman against 6 men next time.

Asaram Bapu, self-proclaimed “godman”: Or she should count from 1 to 1000 to hypnoise them…

Puducherry Education Minister T Thiagarajan: I will not bring my mobile phone again, I didn’t know it’s the reason for raping.

Rajasthan BJP lawmaker Banwari Lal Singhal: Maybe a ban on out-door removable pants for men is a better idea. Or a ban on openning of men’s eyes in front of women.

Abu Asim Azmi, state president of the Maharashtra Samajwadi Party: The victim’s father is responsible for giving birth of her, let’s ban all fathers.

Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee: Next time, the school interview for students has to reject those who are beautiful. And any students should be ugly and look like 3 year old baby.

Madhya Pradesh BJP leader Vijayvargiya: If you don’t breath out, the rapist will have not any air to inhale and die. So it’s your fault that you exhale actually.

Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar: So we have to destory the stars….

Mohan Bhagwat: can you say anything relevant? Oh i didn’t know that in the past, India had no rape at all…

Jitendar Chattar: Maybe peeing with stand up position also cause raping. From now on, all men should sit down when peeing.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee: Then please close your mouth.

Dr. Anita Shukla: show it to me next time how to do this

Jamaat-E-Islami Hind: Ban all schools! it’s their fault

MP Rajpal Saini: What do small talk and connecting outside deal with raping?

Sakshi: very convinient…

Posted by Probato | Report as abusive

My son and I regularly used to go to the mall in Saket where these two people boarded that bus from Hell. My son is 19 and regularly goes to the movies there along with other young adults. Most of the time, since many of these kids don’t have cars, they take public transportation. I did not hear any reports that this young man was her boyfriend. My son has accompanied many of his friends who are girls back home on public busses, the metro or auto rickshaws. There should never be a reason for people to feel unsafe on public transport. It is the duty of the local government to ensure their citizens’ safety.

That said, no man EVER has a right to lay a finger on a woman without her consent. EVER. ANYWHERE. The fact that these people are saying the things they’re saying shows clearly that they don’t understand that rape is assault, not lust. Blaming it on fast food and the victim’s dress is completely indecent.

I recently read that THE MAJORITY of the MPs have outstanding warrants and cases against them for domestic abuse, solicitation, and other acts of aggression against women. This is outrageous. I’m horrified.

We’ve just moved to Pune in the past week, and feel far far safer than we ever did in Delhi or Gurgaon. It is by far the worst place in India when it comes to violence against women. Shame on you people for saying these things and acting as if the victim were to blame.

Posted by jeanneleez | Report as abusive

Good Lord! I thought India was a modern society. I have the misfortune to be traveling there in a month. Had I known what an ignorant society they are, I would not have agreed to the trip. India should be ostracized by the international community until women are treated better.

If I was an Indian women, I would leave by any means possible.

Posted by unobtr | Report as abusive

I don’t know what country you come from, but if you scratch the surface a bit, you’ll find similar attitudes wherever you go. There is a low-grade fever of hostility toward women that I have observed in India, primarily northern India, and that has its own flavor, but you would be wrong to think that this is endemic to India. I also suspect that you will enjoy your trip. It won’t be a misfortune.
Robert MacMillan
Editor, global editions

Posted by Robert MacMillan | Report as abusive

I also think that your characterization of Indians as being members of “an ignorant society” is grossly unsubstantiated. For one thing, you’re characterizing the behavior of 1.2 billion people. Characterizing the behavior of 12 people is, by itself, an impossible task because of the risk of stereotyping. Also, you’re suggesting that India is not just one country, but one society. There are hundreds of ethnic groups, languages, cultures and so on there, as well as most of the major world religions. Surely they do not all think the same way…

Posted by Robert MacMillan | Report as abusive

Actually we will have no need of laws and rules if everyone had honor, love and respect in their hearts.

Posted by Sarayu | Report as abusive

Thanks for the contribution, and thanks very very much for reading. My reply: What specific steps must an entire nation take to achieve the state of having honor, love and respect in their hearts? Everybody knows this, but where do we begin? What are the first five steps? The first 10 steps?
Robert MacMillan
Editor, global editions

Posted by Robert MacMillan | Report as abusive

These statements reveal how deeply sown the psychological and phsyical oppression of women is. A thriving society, thrives completely, and allows for individual expansion and growth of all individuals.

I beleive that poverty is the cause of violence against women.. If people live their whole lives in fear and shame, they’re denied of any meaning to their existance. What is to stop them from doing anything?

Posted by cynisca | Report as abusive

When I think of the steps an entire nation would take to achieve honor, love, and respect in their society, I would first address the right of everyone’s right to a well-being:
1. Food: not industrial packaged chemicals, but vegetables and fruit made affordable to everyone.
2. Education
3. Generosity/Redistribution of Wealth. Everyone needs money.
4. Employment/A living wage: Federal jobs do this better than minimum wage positions for businesses
5. Safety.. Safe public transportation could be a start.

Posted by cynisca | Report as abusive

There are many very thoughtful and insightful comments I found here in this thread. If I may, allow me to create a hybrid comment from Robert MacMillan and GoodWinner that sums up the social and cultural issue that is at the root of all types of oppression towards women from all cultures but seems most obvious and shameless in the middle-east and India, “There is a low-grade fever of hostility toward women that comes from their absolute terror of the power women have over them.”

Posted by LemmingKiller | Report as abusive

Rape is not driven by the desire for sex. Rape is violent assault.

Posted by StnFlwr | Report as abusive

looking at the articles and statements written above it is no wonder India’s women live in a state of terror.

Posted by rlg61 | Report as abusive

All the comments seen are senseless, addressing with a band-aid to to cure a deep rooted problem including opposition by men to respect womanhood. It is shocking to see religious leaders dis-respecting women claiming to be pure while detached from society.From ancient Vedic periods, Hindu religion had considered women to be the most respected next to God; there are several Hindu goddesses involved in religious stories (Kali,Lakshmi, Parvathi),that commanded respect thereby the glorifying role of women among the people.Indian movies selling shapely and sexy bodies of ladies have been popular among men and Indians in general, especially a number of politicians who have contributed immensely to the lusty stories/direction and music all like to watch. That does not mean one has the excuse to handle other women assuming their orientation which is the girl or boy’s business in a democratic society. India has traditionally and prdominantly used a segregated school system for boys and girls. It was this type of mind set that can lead to a mentality that a boy sitting next to a girl may (or according to some commenters in the article will tend to invariably?)think about raping her! Social justice should not be taken in the hands of those with feelings against trendy and unintended behavior assumed or observed such as modernistic dresses and social association. Why don’t the male chauvinistic commenters suggest banning Indian parliamentarians using their handhelds to watch porn in the parliament? Wow that should stimulate rapist- violence that is – impulses! Or is it OK because they are males? Many Indian movies have frequently depicted social reformist stories depicting rape by male politicians and some of them are true stories. With these negative comments from some of the respected fanatics, any number of reforms will go into thin air. I am positive constructive cultured and educated approach can be developed by the women and men of India.

Posted by slnsimhan | Report as abusive

11 steps to move India forward:
1. Withhold all international aid to Indian men until women occupy half of all positions of power such as police officers, judges, prosecutors, legislators, etc…
2. Outlaw the caste system which officially enshrines and even glorifies prejudice, hatred, and the heinous abuse of others based on heritage.
3. An eye for an eye. Do enough men exactly as they are doing these women and the message will be sent and received. Men should fear abusing women, gang raping and torturing them. As of today, they do not because nothing proportional ever happens. If a “man” (an I use the term loosely) sticks a metal pipe so far into a women’s rectum multiple times so that her intestines are shredded and hanging out, do the same to him. If he throws acid on the face of a women, throw acid in his face. If he burns a woman to death, let him know the same fate. Make it a iron-clad guarantee! Televise it along with the message that he is getting what he gave and any other man doing the same will get the same. I know this suggestion will be especially controversial, but some people only understand consequences because they are sociopaths.
4. Since men who gang rape and otherwise abuse women nearly always go free— especially men of money and high caste— start and generously endow a charity that provides financial incentives to those brave enough to ensures the guilty’s eye-for-an-eye treatment.
5. Stop teaching men and boys that they are everything and the world needs to revolve around them. Patriarchy is the disease that causes the symptoms. Patriarchy is perpetuated by religious institutions, parents, educators, employers, legislators, etc… India needs a massive education campaign to change hearts and minds + fear of consequences.
6. Punish smaller crimes like street harassment of women and sexual harassment at work and in schools. Why let it escalate to a full blown gang rape / killing with a metal pole?
7. Integrate schools and workplaces and places of worship. Separate is inherently unequal as we have found with blacks / whites in the American South. Some things are plain wrong.
8. Stop arranged and forced and child marriages.
9. Stop burning women alive when their husbands die or encouraging them to “voluntarily” jump into the funeral pyre.
10. Stop the practice of women leaving their families of origin to go live with their husband’s family. This is why woman are not seen as valuable to their families of origin. They will just leave at a very young age anyway and not contribute materially.
11. Equal pay for equal work between the sexes and castes (which shall be abolished.)

Posted by EEDR | Report as abusive

..oh and punish female infanticide! It is murder.

Posted by EEDR | Report as abusive

People talk about hanging the rapists and changing laws and such but the true fact of the battle is people need to change. Women get raped in India because

Many parents in India raise boys differently compared to girls. There are given extra attention, extra love, even extra food at times, all at the expense of the young girl. They grow up feeling entitled, that they are better than women and women are just mere objects. Even when the parents die they give their land and possessions all to the son, while the girls are married off and in the “possesion” of their new husband’s. So this comes to me as no surprise. This upbringing has led to many men in india being chauvinistic and misogynisitic. I bet if you ask parents who attended the Delhi rape protest a huge chunk of them will admit to “son worshipping” (Now I know I shouldn’t generalize all Indian men are bad and that we have hugely diverse country with 32 official languages and whatever 56 religions and all the jazz) but this patriarchy exists in many parts of India. I find it hard to defend India anymore and even harder to call this an isolated incident even though there are hundreds of millions of good men in India.

Another thing is that laws don’t do anything in India. So that really would not cause a shift. The IMPLEMENTATION of laws of any kind by police officers or authority in India is poor. A bribe and you are free. Also, many ten of thousands of cases are not reported because it would take decades to go through the courts.

Posted by AaronCo | Report as abusive

These comments are absolutely shocking. Respected women get raped all the time, by their husbands when they get forced into an ‘arranged’ marriage by their parents, with someone of the same caste and at a young age. They just can’t call it ‘rape’ because it’s what is expected of them. The male attitude has always been the same and men expect women to run the house, have their kids, and always be available for sex whenever they want it. Now that women have more rights, they blame rape on the women of the society?
A mobile phone is not to blame for having a boyfriend. It makes it more accessible, yes. But are two people not entitled to love? Do they not have the right to love? Most arranged marriages go bust. They only stay together because of the ‘children’ and what ‘other people will say’ and the ‘shame’ they will bring onto their families. Until this mentality is changed, nothing is going to progress.
By giving into the demands of a dowry, you are SELLING your daughters. Refuse dowry, and you will find the men that want your daughter and not just the items she comes with as well as the freedom to demand more for her safety. If she falls in love, it doesn’t disgrace you. Indian women, falling in love and making love are two different issues. Don’t give in because he ‘loooves’ you. If he will own up to your parents and get his parents to come forwards with a proposal, he most likely loves you. But even then, be careful.
I’m not denying that there are plenty of good men out there, and that some arranged marriages work out etc. But blaming the victim is not the right thing to do. states that a victim is a person or thing that suffers harm, death, etc, from another or from some adverse act, circumstance, etc:(eg) victims of tyranny.
Why would a woman want this thrown upon her just because she is a part of the modernizing world? Can a woman not trust that if she wears western clothes and is friends with the opposite gender, regardless of being in a relationship with him or not, she cannot be out at this time? She would’ve been out later had she not decided to leave work early with him. If this were in the EU or America, those men would not have dared to do anything. This shows that it is the laws, jurisdiction and government of the area as well as the example set in the area and the mindset of society that is the problem, and not the victims.
I will end my endless rant here.
P.s. I am an indian, with a pure punjabi boyfriend who is from India.. I am from the USA and the UK, but my boyfriend has been with me for 1year and 8 months without a sexual relationship, introduced his family to me while I have done the same for him (his family are also indian, while my grandparents on both sides and my mother are from india at some point in their early lives), and we talk about these issues all of the time. We plan to not get married for another 4 years but will move in with eachother at somepoint, which our families know about. If only people could realise that if someone really and truely loves you, they will wait for you, and that it is the mindset of men in India and their perception of women and the law in India that is the reason for rape in India, NOT that women are becoming westernised or do not call the rapists her brother while holding the rapists hand… Why am I doubting that it would work. :L

Posted by Luvvy | Report as abusive

male’s wacky brain is the main reason behind rapes not our clothes

Earth to the “SHALLOW MINDED PEOPLE “(who think girls are responsible ) , 90% OF the cases, involved girls who were properly covered DUH people clear your facts out then utter such statements about us. What about the 5 yr old girl , who was raped brutally ?? was she wearing make up jewelry or revealing clothes??? Give your shallow mind a rest and GET A LIFE PEOPLE. We have the right to wear anything we want to. Who are you all to dictate us what and what not to wear. Those girls who wear shorts are rarely raped as compared to those girls who were properly covered. Get your facts and head right. Was the 6 yr old girl who lived in a slum raped because of her clothes? Could she afford shorts or revealing dresses?? Instead of blaming us blame those monsters who raped all those poor victims just because they wanted to get some PLEASURE out of it , it is not because of their mental state. Instead of encouraging us to join defense classes you want us to be caged in the four walls of our house? A cage of four walls is that our future

Posted by rheajj | Report as abusive

India is probably one of the most corrupt countries I have ever visited. I am utterly shocked at the lack of morals in Indian society, not to mention all the judges and law-makers who allow any kind of non-sense to occur.
For example, why is it that the judges in the Family Courts drag divorces on for years? Some of the worst corruption I have seen takes place in the Ambala court. I am thoroughly convinced that the judges there take bribes and allow for the continued harassment of women who are trying to get a divorce from abusive husbands who force them to have children.
I know of a case where a man found out that his wife was pregnant with a female child, but she refused to get an abortion. Both he and his family started physically abusing the young pregnant mother, and she had to flee to her father’s home in order to escape physical abuse and the possible murder of her unborn child.
How can the judges sit on their laurels and drag cases on for years when it is clear from various evidence that there were clear cases of abuse?
Corruption Corruption Corruption Corruption.

You have to first get some FEMALE judges in place who are not corrupt!

Posted by anonymouslegion | Report as abusive

This section with filled with several of our “modern” intellectuals valued openions. Every one seems to to be bashing male race as it is politically correct to do so. Most of you people are simply repeating what your western slave masters are feeding you continuously- crime against women, increase in rape..oppression in Indian society..corruption..politics..blah..bla h.. If any one will ever take real pain to understand the real situation and try to chalk out some sort of solution than may be we will have a better nation. If any one comments that “women should behave modestly” than suddenly your type jump in to criticize without analyzing the situation and put the involved man in victims position without a second thought. Yes it is true that rapists are animals and they will commit the heinous crime irrespective of every thing , but that is not a man-women problem. That is a law and order problem. None is interested to see the flip side. Now my question – Is it is a very dignified and social thing to dress like our savage ancestors and roam around,so that school kids will see us and learn how to masturbate!! When a woman is sleeping with several people without any kind of moral stigma, how on earth you can victimize any random male on her verbal complain of sexual abuse ???? Before blabbering about stories of women oppression in India, just go and look at your neighborhood. Every other household is breaking up thanks to our modern social norms. With a pool of so called modern women who have sold their soles to market , potentially we are heading towards a total social collapse and more interestingly we can see our future with the condition of sexually liberal countries(your slave masters-UK-USA etc.) They have successfully imposed your so called feminist model on society and within say few years majority of their citizens will be bastards(I am not abusing, till date oxford maintains BASTARD as standard translation for children born out of wedlock which already amounts to 35/40 % in several first world nations). And these children born to single (usually loose moral/alcoholic) mothers without any moral education and with psychological traumas, are potential criminals (Just check out the rape statistics of usa vs India). Lets protect our women, let’s learn to respect a homemaker, and let’s frame out a way to prosecute this new breed of corporate prostitutes who file a case of sexual harassment against their husbands and file divorce(along with alimony), only because they find their snoring unpleasant. I have answers to all your stupid propaganda. I dare challenge any man/woman who can prove me wrong.. Tribute To Our dignified Mothers and sisters.

Posted by angrybrowndude | Report as abusive


Posted by defecto | Report as abusive

I being an Indian woman find all the quotes highly offensive!
When law makers turn out to be hypocrites that’s when you know no one is no longer safe anymore!
Either find a way to protect Indian woman or just keep quiet!

Posted by Ultimatum | Report as abusive

This is exactly the reason why I love (in general) Western men. They see women dressed provocatively (in the terms of the people quoted in the article) all the time and we have never faced an epidemic of rape. I have never felt threatened by the men on US/Australian beaches as I surf nearly naked.

Weak men cannot control their impulses.

Strong men control their impulses, or they try to persuade you to have sex with them instead of taking it like a monster.

Western men rock!

Posted by PenDavenport | Report as abusive

This article is right and we need to plan something on a big scale to curb this.

We’d like to share what we are doing. If you find that right, please let us know. We at are promoting classes listed with us in 2 ways:
1. All Self Defence Classes which are designed for women are getting special attention
2. All Personality Development Classes which teach sensitivity towards women are being specially promoted.

Posted by FindURClass | Report as abusive

Indian tradition and culture is deep rooted.To integrate girls/women to western trends seems to me a big and indirect political plan.High lighting focus of western media for that Pakistan girl and information about rape incidents in India are astonishing.Women India I am sure will not be bullied.

Posted by gentalman | Report as abusive

These views are truly frightening, and probably representative of a substantial percentage of the population in many “developing” countries.

One can only hope this will change over time. These sorts of views would have been fairly common in the West, say, back in the 1940s or 1950s. While there are probably those in the West who still hold these views, fortunately they have been marginalized.

Posted by MonicaMiller202 | Report as abusive

Its a pattern of behavior seen in many corners, political, corporate, social alike.

Your leaders would only be an echo of the people behind them, who elected them, and who wont object or be able to voice against infractions.

Unfortunately, democracy treats everyone the same, the vote of a goon would be just as good as that of a sociology scholar from a reputed institute.

Therefore, we need constitutional mechanism to govern the leadership and disqualify if need be.

Above is a result of such a mechanism being absent.

Posted by JayaBalanAaron | Report as abusive

underlying this problem is the one of severe rates of Indian women committing suicide. They must be poorly treated over there…in large numbers….more than the USA, I would say, which of course, does have its own problems…but unfortunately, India’s suicide rate for women seems pretty compelling…

Posted by Steven3 | Report as abusive

What a sorry litany of stories is in this report. First the men are demeaned by being portrayed as savages ruled by uncontrollable urges. Then their violent behavior is excused by attempting to blame their innocent victims. Who’s responsible for these incidents? This is your chance, folks, to stand up to political power. The bald-faced truth is:
the men are.

Posted by Yowser | Report as abusive

What amazing mor ons these people are.

Posted by CJ-51 | Report as abusive

How does local “culture” ever excuse any kind of physical violence or rape?

“Boys will be boys” cannot be said of young men of legal age attacking women or girls in public places.

Posted by DonD1977 | Report as abusive

If Indian men took the time to be a little more handsome and pleasant for the local women, they would not be in this desperate angry way. Be more presentable, Indian men. You are not currently the subject of many youthful crushes.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Mr. MacMillan as a long term subscriber to Reuters service and someone who has deep respect for the news side of Reuters, I would like to state that your article is one sided and is singling out one country and religion while the problem is global. The instance of violence against women in India though deplorable is not unique to the country. The US, UK and specially Australia have the higher instances. During my trip to Australia and visit with social workers they informed me that the country has one of the highest instances of domestic abuse.

India has issues, however having being educated in the US and living all over the world I moved back to India to raise my young daughter as the positives outweigh the negatives. Where she goes to school young girls walk by themselves to school and back alone or with friends. In addition she has met many strong women role models in India from Dreamliner captains and pilots to educators and more.

Please state the news but do not single out a country. In doing so you either on purpose or Inadvertently foster prejudice and hatred which is never good. This can be seen from many comments on your article. Perhaps Mr. MacMillan you believe like the Aborigine or Canadian indigenous people girls in India should be forcibly snatched from their parents by “civilized Christians” and then raised in Church schools where they are sexually and otherwise abused.

Posted by Thinkagainand | Report as abusive

It is the changing culture influenced by western culture.There is no remedy unless ther is higher education level to make both boys and girls responsible to society.
In America,ther is no taboo about boys and girls relationship.Both mix at all levels but responsibly.
There is enough enlighten ment with proper sex education. Girls are courageous to face boys morally and by laws and law strong law enforcement.All this is absent in India but there is hope to improve the situation with improved education levels and government laws and enforcement of laws.
Social preachers in schools also can influence to make boys and girls more conscious.
Sex is the human instinct which can only tamed by making boys and girls conscious of their society and family life. Free sex education is a must.I am in America.My grand daughter at 16 bit me on my conservative Indian ideas.

Posted by gentalman | Report as abusive