EXPRESSING CONCERN over the rising cases of rape reported across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that the recent amendment passed in Parliament shows that that the “nation will not tolerate” such crimes.
In his Mann Ki Baat radio address, the Prime Minister said: “No civil society can tolerate any kind of injustice towards the woman-power of the country. The nation will not tolerate those committing rapes. With this point in view, Parliament has made a provision of strictest punishment by passing the Criminal Act Amendment Bill. Those guilty of rape will get a minimum sentence of 10 years and those found guilty of raping girls below the age of 12 years will be awarded the death sentence.”
In this context, he pointed to decisions taken by fast track courts in various states. “A court in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, after a brief hearing of two months, pronounced the death sentence on two criminals found guilty of raping a minor girl. Earlier, a court in Katni in Madhya Pradesh awarded the death sentence to the guilty after a hearing of just five days. Courts in Rajasthan have also taken similar quick decisions. This Act will play an effective role in curbing crimes against women and girls. Economic growth will be incomplete without a social transformation,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister also congratulated the Indian contingent participating in the Asian Games in Indonesia — making a special mention of the “large number of our daughters” winning medals.
“Indian players are performing exceedingly well in shooting and wrestling but our players are winning medals in competitions, in which our performance has not been so good earlier — like wushu and rowing. These are not just medals but an evidence of the sky-high spirits of the Indian players,” he said.
“Among those winning medals for our country are a large number of our daughters which is a very positive sign; so much so, that youngsters of only 15-16 years of age have brought honour to our country by winning medals. This too is a very positive indication that most of the medal-winners hail from small towns and villages and these players have achieved this success by putting in sheer hard work.”
Paying tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi again referred to the idea of holding “simultaneous polls” in the country.
“…you can see that currently efforts are afoot and discussions are being held about simultaneously holding the elections for Lok Sabha and for state assemblies. The government and the Opposition are putting forth their viewpoints. This is a good development and a healthy sign for our democracy. I must say that developing healthy traditions for a sound democracy, making constant efforts to strengthen democracy, encouraging open-minded debates would also be an appropriate tribute to Atalji. Reiterating our resolve to fulfil his dream of a prosperous and developed India, I along with all of you pay tributes to Atalji,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that the country will remain “ever grateful” to Vajpayee for bringing in the 91st Amendment Act, 2003.
“This change brought about two important changes in India’s politics. First one is that the size of the cabinet in states was restricted to 15% of the total seats in the state Assembly. And the second one is that the limit under the Anti Defection Law was enhanced from one-third to two-thirds. Besides, clear guidelines were defined to disqualify the defector,” he said.