‘Is it necessary to go out after 6pm’, and other tips for women safety by NCP leader Asha Mirge

Later, Mirge apologised for her comment seen as “insensitive” by many people.

By: Express News Service | Nagpur | Updated: January 29, 2014 7:45 pm
Maharashtra Women Commission member Asha Mirje has said that women are themselves responsible for rape. (Courtesy: NCP Website) Maharashtra Women Commission member Asha Mirje has said that women are themselves responsible for rape. (Courtesy: NCP Website)

Asha Mirge is a women’s activist who carries a strange combination of conservative views on how a woman should behave publicly and a heart to support victim of sexual attack.

A month ago, the NCP activist and a practicing gynaecologist from Akola was nominated as member of Maharashtra Women’s Commission (MWC). At the party’s women’s wing programme here on Tuesday, she stirred a controversy adivising girls to dress up and conduct appropriately in public and not venture out at lonely places. She later apologised too.

It was Mirge, who doggedly pursued the matter of a 7-year old deaf and mute girl from Washim district of Vidarbha, who was allegedly raped by three men at a school in Hingoli district of Martathwada on January 13.

The victim was brought to Nagpur’s Government Medical College, where Mirge visited her along with NCP women’s wing chief Supriya Sule.

Three men Rajaram Bhagat (teacher), Jamil Patel (peon) and Pramod Kharat from Sharadchandra Pawar Muk Badhir Shala from Vedona village in Hingoli district of Marathwada, were arrested in connection with the alleged rape.

Incidentally, Mirge’s “advise” to girls came with Sule listening.

“Girls must realise that their body language and clothings must be appropriate. Was it necessary for Nirbhaya (Delhi rape victim) to go to cinema with a friend at 11 in the night? Was it necessary for the girl (woman journalist) to go to Shakti Mills in Mumbai at 6 pm? Four questions should be mulled before venturing out: where I am going, why, with whom and is is necessary for me to go there,” Mirge said.

She also cited a Marathi poem “Saavadh harini saavadh ga, kareel kunitari paaradh ga” (be alert, deer, someone might kill you) to buttress her point. “Why female deer, not nale, is advised in the poem to be alert,” she further asked.

She further said, “if the girl must still go out, she must be ready with a response to anything untoward that could happen. She must watch the people around her and their body language. Someone might call his accomplices. You will get time to run away from the spot.”

Sule reacted only saying, “the comments were personal views of Mirge.”

Mirge later told mediapersons at a press conference that she apologised for her comment seen as “insensitive” by many people.

“There were my personal views, borne out of my personal experience and from my interaction with many people. These are not MCW’s views. I apologise if they have hurt anyone. But I think just as it is time for men to change, it is also time for girls to think. It is, of course, desirable that gender equity demands that women must be safe under all circumstances. All I feel is that the girls should remain safe,” she said.

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First Published on: January 29, 2014 4:54 pm
  1. R
    rajesh verma
    Jan 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm
    At the cost of being called insensitive, I think she is right. Police can not be everywhere and the criminals do not fear the law or punishment. So better be careful.
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    1. M
      Mavala
      Jan 29, 2014 at 3:30 pm
      Why should she be penalized for airing her views - just 'coz it's not politically correct.
      Reply
      1. A
        anon
        Jan 29, 2014 at 3:32 pm
        The working hours for women should be reduced from 6 PM to 5 PM, so that they can reach home in time.
        Reply
        1. B
          Bhagwan Das
          Jan 29, 2014 at 2:26 pm
          She has a point and her views are worth considering.
          Reply
          1. S
            San Jose
            Jan 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm
            Appalled by this lady's insensitive atude. I think she does not even know that many women work in BPOs and are out to work late at night.She is talking of a pre-independence era when women were told not to step out of their houses after 6 PM for many reasons, including the possibility of being abducted by mobs belonging to various communal gangs.She should keep her personal views to kitty parties.
            Reply
            1. G
              G
              Jan 29, 2014 at 4:33 pm
              i can not beleive how many stupid people like her are in leadership positions. She should be fired immediately, to the least.
              Reply
              1. A
                Ash
                Jan 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm
                We all know viruses kill. While we eradicate viruses it is common sense to take precaution. That’s all she said and in that sense I agree with her.
                Reply
                1. J
                  Jason
                  Jan 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm
                  I cant see anything wrong with her comment. Suppose, every parent who wants their children to be safe would advise so.How does this comment tantamount to gender bias?Of course, it is everyone's desire that people should be able to move around anywhere without fear at any time of the day or night. But we are not living in an ideal world and there are pervert people out there and one should behave and react to the prevailing situation.
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    Nirvikar Goel
                    Jan 30, 2014 at 4:40 am
                    What has been suggested by Mirge, was observed up to late sixties, we can not out right reject the suggestions given by her, the so called modern pattern of living by the women/girls, calls the attention of evil minds.
                    Reply
                    1. Z
                      Zooyorker
                      Jan 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm
                      Asha Mirge,How about you keep your mouth shut and keep these bright ideas to yourself. Stop mentally raping us with your ed beliefs!
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        shohreh
                        Jan 29, 2014 at 11:58 am
                        Once again we have a sad state of one woman curbing another woman's freedom.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Satya
                          Jan 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm
                          I dont see any wrong in the views she expressed.. and i can hear noise shouting at me too..but let be practical for a moment friends.. it is a fact that women have the right to go anywhere and do whatever they want and wear anything they wish but for a sec if you are really a well wisher or parent of a girl don't you think the questions she raised makes sense? if not, you are one of those women activists and feminists who look for a reason to be in limelight and try to fool people. why? the reason is simple, you cannot change the society in a day or two.. there are thieves around us waiting for a chance to steal whatever they can..that doesn't mean you go with all your money recklessly to a remote area or roam in the midnight with your suitcase swinging to and fro.. do you do that? in fact how much care do you take when you have lot of cash with you? how many times do you think about possible situations you may encounter and how to react to escape if any thief approaches you and tries to grab your suitcase or wallet or handbag? why not raise voice to change the mindset of thieves and see that nobody robs anybody. mind you am not supporting rapists but you must remember one fact here, rap***s and thieves are everywhere and it takes lot of time and change in system to get to a day where no such incidents happens but in the meanwhile it is YOUR responsibility to take minimum precautions from your side. there is no use blaming the police or government later.
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            Satya
                            Jan 29, 2014 at 5:02 pm
                            it is a fact that women have the right to go anywhere and do whatever they want and wear anything they wish but for a sec if you are really a well wisher or parent of a woman don't you think the questions she raised makes some sense?why I agree with her partially is simple, you cannot change the society in a day or two.. you cannot change the mindset of animals who call themselves men. there are thieves around us waiting for a chance to steal whatever they can.. how much care do you take when you have lot of cash and valuable things like jeweller with you? how many times do you think whether to take that path or not and about possible situations you may encounter and how to avoid or react and respond if any thief approaches you and tries to grab your suitcase or wallet or handbag?it doesn't work if one points fingers at govt and police or society and say change the mindset of thieves and see that nobody robs anybody. mind you am not supporting ra***s but you must remember one fact here, ra****s and thieves are everywhere and it takes lot of time in educating and taking necessary steps to get to a day where no such incident happens but in the meanwhile it is OUR responsibility to take minimum precautions from your side. there is no use blaming the police or government later. ask honestly how many times you would have asked questions similar to the one she asked before letting you dear ones go out? if you have never asked then you are either too reckless or too much confident that every man out there is a human being.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Satya
                              Jan 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm
                              test
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Satya
                                Jan 29, 2014 at 4:33 pm
                                why dont you allow comments?
                                Reply
                                1. V
                                  Vrtta
                                  Jan 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm
                                  I think this was a well meaning comment. There are times and places even in the progressive West where you simply don't venture out immaterial of your gender. The folks who are protesting should consider the fact that Indian cities have become extraordinarily unsafe and should exercise due caution. Avoid lonely places and ensure known and safe transportation if at all you decide to step out.The lack of safety and brutal rapes are a great slur on our country which witnessed two historic epics Ramayan and Mahabharath where in the entire focus was the extraordinary destruction one begets when a woman is insulted. Both Ravana and the Kauravas despite their military might were destro due to the callousness toward Sita and Draupadi respectively.
                                  Reply
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