``RSS chief's statement anti-women''

NEW DELHI, MARCH 24. The All-India Democratic Women's Association has condemned the "anti-women and anti-democratic'' statement reportedly made by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, K. Sudarshan, at a meeting of the Rashtriya Sevika Sangh.

Mr. Sudarshan is reported to have favoured the segregation of young men and women to avoid the "evil consequences'' of interaction. He decried women's independence that was in tune with the RSS' view that the main role of women was within the four walls of home and the training and education of girls should help them in this as their future role, the AIDWA vice-president, Brinda Karat, said here today.

The practical application of such views was seen in the horrific violence against young people who chose their own partners, including the public lynching of young couples in the name of "saving the honour'' of the caste or community, Ms. Karat said and added that Mr. Sudarshan's statement would only strengthen such forces. Subordination of women and perpetuation of caste as a `Hindu' tradition were the cornerstone of the RSS `sanskar.' It might be recalled that the RSS had spoken against women seeking a job career as well as against the Women's Reservation Bill, which, according to it, would "disrupt family relations," Ms. Karat said.

However, what was of deep concern was that the pronouncements were made in the presence of the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, L.K. Advani. "He did not say a word against Mr. Sudarshan's statements,'' Ms. Karat said while seeking an explanation from him on behalf of women.

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