Indian Leaders Blame Deceased Rape Victim, Western Culture for Attack
Indian officials have stirred further outrage over the now infamous brutal gang-rape and murder that occurred on December 16, 2012 on an Indian bus by insulting the deceased victim.
The brutal assault became a murder after the victim, a young student, fought for her life until her final passing on December 28, 2012 when she succumbed to the injuries she sustained.
Further inflaming Indians who have already taken to the streets and clashed with police, government officials and political leaders have made a series of comments and expressed horrid sentiments blaming everything from “western culture” to the victim for her outfit and being out late at night.
Some of the examples are laid out by the Washington Post’s Rama Lakshmi in an article titled "Amid Rape Fiasco, India’s Leaders Keep Up Insensitive Remarks." The article offers quotations from various significant Indian leaders on the rape, some of which actually either blamed the victim’s outfit or otherwise accused her of being a prostitute.
One leader, a female lawmaker named Sushma Swaraj, is reported as stating:
“Accused in such cases should be hanged. Even if the 23-year-old survived she would be a living corpse, traumatized for life."
Swaraj reportedly made this statement in India’s Lower House as the victim was still battling for her life.
Sadly, the sentiments weren’t expressed by just one political party or a narrow, non-representative sliver of the Indian government and political body. The callous attitudes to rape victims were widespread.
Mohan Bhagwat, head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, known as the RSS, went as far as blaming “Western Culture” for the incident and claiming that such rapes only occur in big cities where Western lifestyles are prevalent.
The RSS was the more militant nationalist faction in the fight for Indian independence from the British and still play a huge ideological and cultural role in Indian politics and thought.