As voices of protests and outrage snowballed to demand justice for the Kathua and Unnao victims, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was questioned for his long silence over the horrific crimes. It was only last Friday, at an event in Delhi commemorating the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, that PM Modi, in a delayed response over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua and the alleged rape of a teenager by a BJP MLA in Unnao, said the culprits will not be spared. Thereafter, in London, he insisted that rapes should not be politicised.
Here’s what PM Modi has so far said about the Unnao and Kathua incidents.
Our “daughters” would “definitely get justice”
“I want to assure the country that no culprit will be spared, complete justice will be done. Our daughters will definitely get justice,” said Modi in Delhi while reacting for the first time to the crimes in Kathua and Unnao. Modi’s comments came on a day when the Supreme Court took serious note of the attempt by a group of lawyers in Jammu to prevent Jammu & Kashmir Police from filing a chargesheet at a local court in the Kathua case.
After his statement, Congress president Rahul Gandhi ‘thanked’ the prime minister for breaking his silence cases while asking when will the victims finally get justice.
A day before, former prime minister Manmohan Singh told The Indian Express that Modi “should follow his own advice to me” and “speak more often”.
PM Modi: A rape is rape, don’t politicise the issue
Addressing the Indian diaspora in London on Wednesday, at a mega event titled “Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath,” PM Modi said rape should not be politicised. Modi, in a veiled dig at the Congress, also asserted that one should not compare the number of rape incidents between governments as it was a sensitive and emotive issue.
“Crime against women worrying. A rape is a rape. It should not be politicised,” Modi said at the event. “But can we compare the number of rapes in different governments? We cannot say there were this many rapes in our government and that many of yours. There cannot be a worse way to deal with this issue,” he said.
“That’s why I presented this issue from the Red Fort in a new way. I had said that if a daughter comes late, parents ask where had she gone and why. Whom did she meet? Everyone asks their daughters, but you should also ask your sons where had they been,” Modi said.
Also read | Kathua, Unnao rape cases: PM Modi breaks silence
Social justice is a a commitment
Social justice is not a lip service for the government but a commitment, “but the kind of incidents we have seen in the past challenge the very concept of social justice”, said Modi. “It is an insult to the sacrifice made by the freedom fighters who gave their future for the nation.”
Teach sons to treat girls with respect
The prime minister recalled one of his independence day speeches in which he had asked parents to question sons and not only the girls. “We will have to strengthen family systems, social values and justice delivery system,” he said.
Calling it the evil of not just the individual but also of the society, the PM said people need to teach their sons to treat girls with respect. He said one should remember that the one “committing the sin” is someone’s son.