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Updated: January 6, 2013 15:18 IST

Chhattisgarh women panel chief denies remark

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Vibha Rao
Vibha Rao

The chairperson of Chhattisgarh State Women Commission Vibha Rao on Saturday denied making the controversial remark that women are "equally responsible" for sexual offences committed against them.

"The newspaper has misquoted me. The report is baseless," Ms. Rao said, adding that she would move court if necessary.

The Hindu has published the audio excerpt in its website. The interview is in Hindi.

“The interview was conducted in Ms. Rao’s office of Chhattisgarh State Women Commission in Raipur on December 29. The interview was recorded with Ms. Rao’s permission. None of Ms. Rao’s words, related to the print or online story, have been edited or distorted to change the sense or meaning of the sentence,” said Suvojit Bagchi, The Hindu’s Chhattisgarh correspondent.

The report had quoted Ms. Rao as saying that women were equally responsible for sexual assault against them and they should avoid wearing provocative clothes.

It is no wonder that so many rapes and crimes happen against women in Chattisgarh when such a dubious person is sitting as chairperson of State Women Commission.

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Jan 7, 2013 at 12:24 IST

never mind that women in sarees and churidars get molested and raped
using the false logic that some not so clear thinkers promote:
If a woman, by dressing provocatively, "asks for it" or is paritallu responsible for being sexually assaulted, then are people who wear gold jewelry asking to be mugged, or someone driving a fancy car asking to be robbed, or someone living in a luxurious house, asking to be burglarised???

from:  Hari das
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 22:59 IST

Her words seem like that "If a bank has money and its robbed then its mistake of bank to have money, than who robbed it. Because money attracts robbers." If women put on lipstick and if they are kissed then its mistake of women as they are attracting men by polishing thier lips. So lipstick should be banned. And if a woman wears a saree and her wiast line is seen then its also attracting and alluring men. So saree should be banned. why not they all these Sadhbodhacharis' come together and support women wearing burka???why not she herself follow the same code of dress?? Respect women for what she is. Not for what she wears.

from:  swati
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 18:10 IST

People in positions of power can talk whatever and retract them.
When I first read her comments, I was shocked beyond words. A statement as such from a woman. Height of hypocrisy, toeing the party line rather than the reality.
Just because a female is raped does not mean that she's a loose woman. She was just vulnerable to the non-humans under the circumstances. Rapists do not care if the woman is wearing revealing clothes or for the age. They want the control and target vulnerable innocent man, woman or child. There needs to be nothing provocative in clothes or words from the victim. Beauty or being pretty are not the criteria either.
Her earlier statement is a prime example of an arrogant, holier-than-thou attitude, now retracting it. Isn't her party the one that sues people for hurting the feelings of Indians? Another I-don't-like-what-you-said-so-I-can-sue-you stupidity? May be she should be booked under the hate speech act.

from:  Prasad
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 16:30 IST

Instead of suggesting what women should wear to deter rapes: just live & let every men & women live their lives as they wish.Let India be free again.Criminals must be locked up & purnish for their crimes.Let India move forward.Though I was born in a foreign country, I still call myself Bihari babu from london when people asked.Hope I will regain that pride before I die.

from:  Hahltahl Lekha
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 16:18 IST

What is wrong with all these leaders. They all think that there is a need for them to give lecture to families on how to bring up their daughter. As if in a competition, amongst them, to give free advice. Are they in lala land. How come they have lost touch with the aspirations of common people at grass root level. Don't they have a responsibility to make our women stronger in this global village.

The problem with all these leaders is that they are under the intoxication of power. They lack the knowledge on how women these days succeed in a dignified manner and transform societies for better. Clearly these leaders are in 19th century and have failed to realise that there is an urgent need for cultural changes in their own party and families.

The need of the hour is to to keep the government honest and demand them to take swift and sincere actions by joining with all parties and religious groups on these important social issues.

from:  Hari
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 14:45 IST

I fail to understand Mrs. Rao`s concept of dress. In Nirbhaya`s case is
it her vulgar dressing? She came out of her duty from the hospital and
definitely she would not have been in the vulgar dress. I agree with her
view point that the film making in which these scenes are made is
influencing these radicals. Yes the present day nucleolus families where
in both wife and husband are going to work leaving the boy(s) alone is
also responsible for such behaviors. So one should give a rational look
and thought to address this issue.

from:  Ramanasree
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 14:21 IST

With comments like Atis's there is no hope for Indian women.

from:  Jay
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 13:24 IST

I agree with Ms Rao.With the law of prevention of cruelty and dowry act, it is increasingly being used to target men by unscrupulous women to extract money from men.

from:  Atis
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 12:06 IST

Just by retracting from your their own statements, these government
officials and politicians show how responsible they actually are. It
show their fickle mindedness without any moral responsibility. How can a
simple citizen depend on officials?

from:  Vinci
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 11:46 IST

The more controversial comments are about tribal women, among whom,
it is being suggested, rape is often consensual sex gone wrong.

It doesn't help that you have a correspondent speaking broken Hindi
interviewing a native speaker.

from:  A. Kiragan
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 10:37 IST

She is partially right - all those women who endorse the notion of male superiority and have no qualms in blaming the victim are equally responsible for the rape culture. Equality shouldn't be a word to be quoted for political leverage but should be truly believed in by all if we are to be a civilised society.

from:  Anitha Jayaraman
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 09:48 IST

Can someone tell Ms. Rao that there is NO EXCUSE FOR RAPE. It is so
sad and surprising that a woman in the 21st century will be making
such comments about women. Even if the victim in Delhi rape case was
in Bhurka she would have been attacked. If Ms. Rao does a good
research she will know that studies shows that a rapist don't care
about the who the victim is or what she is wearing etc. They just want
to show their power over the other. How these rapists treated the
young girl had nothing to do with her. These rapists just wanted to
show their aggression. Studies have show that such people are actually
sick. What Ms. Rao has said in this tape is simply baffling and she is
giving more excuses to all the future rapist. This is not done and I
am sad that these comments are coming from a chairperson of
Chhattisgarh State Women Commission. She can sugar coat her words now
but the truth is in the audio tape. There are no words she can say
other than "sorry" to retract her words.

from:  Neeta Jha
Posted on: Jan 6, 2013 at 09:32 IST
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