Here’s Narendra Modi’s answer to Manmohan Singh on Kathua, Unnao rape cases

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New Delhi | Updated: April 19, 2018 1:17:52 PM

Narendra Modi had broken his silence over the rape incidents at an even in Delhi while commemorating the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar on April 14.

narendra modi in londonIndia’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, greets British-Asian entertainers during a visit to the Science Museum in London, Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Modi is in London to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Britain is seeking to bolster its trade ties in anticipation of Brexit. AP/PTI

A day after ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked his successor to speak up “more often”, PM Narendra Modi talked about the rape incidents in the country during his visit to the United Kingdom.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Singh had taken a swipe at Modi, saying the current PM should follow his own advice and speak up more. “But I think the Prime Minister should follow his own advice to me and he should speak more often. Through press (reports) I know that he used to criticize me for not speaking up. I feel that the advice that he used to give me, he should follow it himself,” Singh told IE. The senior Congress leader had made this remark while reacting to Modi’s long silence over Kathua and Unnao rape cases.

In Kathua an eight-year-old girl was raped and murdered, while in Unnao, a teenager was allegedly raped by a BJP MLA, who has now been arrested.

Modi had broken his silence over the rape incidents at an even in Delhi while commemorating the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar on April 14. The prime minister had said the “daughters of India” would get justice.

On Wednesday, Modi spoke about rape incidents in the country once again during the ‘Bharat Ki Baat Sabke Saath’ programme at London. While stressing that rape incidents can’t be tolerated, the prime minister suggested the matter shouldn’t be politicised. Rape incidents are a problem of the society, of perverse men and it needs to be addressed in a new way, he said.

Modi recalled his 2015 speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort when he had addressed the issue of women’s safety in a new way. The PM had then urged parents of the country to keep a check on activities of their sons.

The prime minister said, “...Jab kisi chhoti balika par balatkar hota hao, kitni dardnak ghatna hai ji. Lekin kya hum kahenge ki tumhari sarkar me itne hote the, meri sarkar me itne hote hai? Mai samajhta hu isse bada galat raasta nahi ho sakta. Balatkar, balatkar hota hai. Ek beti ke saath ye atyachar kaise sahan kar sakte hai? aur isliye maine lalkile par se naye tarike se is vishay ko pesh kiya tha. Maine kaha agar beti shaam ko der se aati hai to har maa-baap puchhte hai, kahan gayi thi? Kyun gayi thi? Kisko mili thi? Phone par baat karte hue maa dekhti hai, he – baat band karo, kisse baat kar rahi ho? kyun baath kar rahi ho?

“Arey bhai, betiyon ko to sab puch rahe ho, kabhi beto ko bhi to puchho, kahan gaye the? Ye baat maine lalkile se kahi thi. Aur mai manta hu ye burai samaj ki hai, vyakti ki hai, vikriti hai, sab hone je bavjood bho desh ke liye chinta ka vishay hai. Aur ye paap karne wala kisi ka to beta hai. Uske ghar me bhi to maa hai.”

(How deplorable is it when a small girl is raped. But can we say that (to the opposition) that in your government these many incidents used to happen and in mine these many? I understand that there can’t be a big wrong approach than this. Rape is rape. How can we tolerate rape of a daughter? And for this, I had presented this issue in a new way from the Red Fort (in 2015). I had said that all parents inquire about when a girl comes to the home late. Where had he gone? Why had she gone? Who had she met? When the mother sees her talking on the phone then asks – stop talking, whom are you talking to? why are you talking… everybody is asking daughter, sometimes asked sons, where they had gone. I had said this from the Red Fort. I believe that this is a problem of the society, of person, it is a perversity, it is a matter of worry for the country. And the man doing this sin is someone’s son. There is a mother in his home also.)

At the event, PM Modi also spoke about a lot of initiatives his government has taken for the benefit of women in the country.

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