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RSS light on Bharat

New Delhi, Jan. 5: The RSS today tried to clarify the controversial comments on gender crimes by its chief Mohanrao Bhagwat.

Bhagwat was quoted as telling a gathering of eminent citizens in Silchar on Thursday that rapes and molestation rarely occurred in “Bharat” but were frequent in “India”.

A subsequent statement claimed: “You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang rape or sex crimes.”

Today, the Sangh’s media cell issued what it claimed was the full transcript of his statement. According to the transcript, a member of the audience made an incendiary observation and asked for Bhagwat’s view.

The Sangh chief skirted the inflammatory innuendo and addressed the topic using the “Bharat” concept. “This is happening in India; such things do not happen in Bharat,” he said.

He explained that Bharat was not a geographical or even a social or economic entity, taken to mean only villages and small towns. To Bhagwat, reared on the Sangh’s worldview, Bharat was a land where families and societies co-existed harmoniously because of certain “values” and “traditions” that were passed on from generation to generation.

“Whoever has cut his relations with Bharat has had to face consequences,” he said.

Bhagwat did speak of women with respect but sought to reinforce the “devi” cliché abhorred by many women.

“In reality, women are independent entities and, therefore, they should be treated with the utmost respect. But this does not happen,” he said.

“We say women are ‘devis’; pre-pubescent girls are worshipped to such an extent that they are not expected to even touch the feet of their elders.”

Many women say they want to be treated not as devis but as normal people, whose safety and security should be ensured.