It was disappointing and shameful to hear Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav talk about rapes as “mistakes” committed by boys (April 11). India got a strong “anti-rape law” after a Herculean effort. Why does Mr. Singh now want to undermine it? His statement displays the predominantly patriarchal view that the exploitation of women by men is common. It is disappointing that even after 65 years of Independence, our leaders live in the Stone Age.

Manoj Kumar Singh,

Hyderabad

Mr. Singh should be forced to apologise before the nation for making such a derogatory and chauvinistic remark trivialising the crime of rape. If he can whitewash such a heinous crime, then he has no right to contest any form of election. The Chief Election Commissioner needs to take stringent action against such leaders who make it a habit to insult the people of this country.

Anushyuta Basu,

Kolkata

It is an uncomfortable and unhappy thought that we have such “leaders” in this country. It is also a reminder that large parts of India are still far from being civilised. This unfortunately is the flip side of our open electoral system and our universal suffrage. And to think that this personality has aspirations of becoming India’s Prime Minister. God save India.

G.S.S. Dutt,

Thiruvananthapuram

A politician says the Kargil war was won because of the efforts put in by jawans of a particular community. In another instance, we have a leading politician saying that rape is a mistake. The real threat to the unity and integrity of India appears to emanate from our politicians. Why do voters/audiences keep quiet? The moment Mr. Singh made the statement, they should have all walked out. Why does not the Election Commission punish such anti-social elements?

Rohit Kothari,

Bangalore

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