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A student shouts slogans seeking punishment for rapists of the 23-year-old woman, during a protest in Bangalore, Jan 4, 2013. — Photo by AP

KARACHI: Activists in India slammed Asaram Bapu, a so-called spiritual leader, over his comments regarding the Delhi gang-rape victim, reports in the Indian media said.

Asaram had stated that the 23-year-old gang-rape victim was "equally responsible for the crime and the girl could have called her assailants brothers and begged them to stop", a report published in the Hindustan Times said.

The girl was gang-raped on the night of Dec16 and had died nearly a fortnight later at a Singapore hospital.

In a recent address to his followers, Asaram had said that when the girl had encountered the men "she should have taken God's name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said I consider you as my brother and should have said to the other two 'Brother I am helpless, you are my brother, my religious brother.' She should have taken God's name and held their hands and feet...then the misconduct wouldn't have happened".

"Galti ek taraf se nahi hoti hai (mistake is not committed from one side)," he had stated in his address.

"The accused were drunk. If the girl had chanted hymns to goddess Saraswati and to Guru Diksha then she wouldn't have entered the bus...," he had said.

In the wake of the comments, activists have demanded that India's religious and political leaders be held answerable for their statements.

All India Democratic Women’s Association’s Sudha Sundaraman condemned the remarks and advocated stern punishment against leaders making irresponsible statements, the Times of India stated in a report published Tuesday.

Sundaraman termed the statements “highly objectionable, regressive and anti-women”.

“Such people should be called to question. This is further victimisation of the victim and deeply insulting to women,” the Times of India quoted Sundaraman as saying.

The statements were also condemned by Ranjana Kumari of the Centre for Social Research.

Kumari said such "irresponsible and ridiculous statements were responsible for encouraging rapists."

"Such people should be socially boycotted. It is these people who are responsible in society for creating misogynist values," the Times of India quoted Kumari as saying.

The statements were also condemned by activist lawyer Brinda Grover, social scientist Imtiaz Ahmad, academic Ayesha Kidwai and lawyer Kirti Singh.

Comments (37) Closed

s Jan 08, 2013 03:47pm
Its publicity time for everyone and his brother. The subject is sensitive. If they say anything controversial , they will immediatly make news. Naturally some dont want to let this opportunity go.Why give him so much importance in the first place.
Raj Jan 08, 2013 03:50pm
Because of large number of uneducated though they have college degree followers they are out og their mind.politician protecting him for vote bank policy.
Leftist Jan 08, 2013 09:40am
LOL, same ol' Mulla mentality !
r.s.soni Jan 08, 2013 09:55am
sir, i have never seen such a fraud y baba. his remarks has no sanity. he has large following by be fooling innocent people. i just ca not imagine in twenty first century, such mad people command large followings.. having collected huge wealth from his following, these babas lead. luxurious life this baba has sluggish intellect. when goondas were mounting on the poor girl, she should have made them brother. what a shameful statement?he should be tried for spreading canard in society and punished for at least five years..senseless bugger.
Noelia Jan 08, 2013 04:06pm
I wonder if this "Guru" were to be attacked and assaulted in a similar manner, would he take his own advice?
Mohammad Jan 08, 2013 11:01am
ohh my God what is he talking about, I am sure if he had gotten the opportunity he would have jumped and later blame the poor girl for it. Would he say the same thing if it was his own daughter???????
rich Jan 08, 2013 01:50pm
i just had a briliant idea pakistn was created on the basis of religion, and india was secular, but apparently some religioe leader like these babas have remained in india, so its not a correct situation, as secularism does not suit these religious babas, mullah ect i am sure in pakistn there are many secular muslim so all pakistnis who are secular in outlook irrespective of religion should move to india and all communal elements in india should move to pakistn eg latest the owaisis brothers from hyderabad, seal indian border and let these holy men fight it out in pakistn jo jeeta who sikander, but they should not be allowed in india, so they can be happy doing waht they like and we the aam aadmi can live in peace with our gods and our fellow human beings
Rosemary Jan 08, 2013 11:34am
Such statements from the so called "Guru" does not deserve - should not deserve - public attention or comment !
Mohammad Jan 08, 2013 03:32pm
well said Imran
kadir Jan 08, 2013 06:39pm
who is this bapu?? he sounds like a professional rapiest himself for giving such brutal statements!!!! it seems he has all knowledge of how girls are raped and how they have to say "brother" and then raper stops!!! what a irresponsible "guru"
Rahul Jan 08, 2013 10:33am
I think its a lesson to people from India and Pakistan and south asia in general that the so called experts and scholars on religion are nothing but ....... not to say about the allegations of disappearances of children from Assaram Bapu's ashram and ofcourse not to forget his die hard supporters !! The only difference people like him are on fringes of India and Pakistan they are heading the mainstream, go figure !!
undying_lament Jan 09, 2013 10:16am
let's put this"guru" in a similar situation. He clearly needs some serious dose of reality
Amit Jan 08, 2013 05:24pm
I marvel at the ability of the media and the politicians of India to deflect attention from the real issue to inconsequential ones. The real issue was the brutal rape of a women and how India could prevent such an incident. Now our the government controlled media has removed the entire attention from the crime and the law and order situation of India to such useless sound bites. Well done Indian media!
Sam Jan 08, 2013 02:37pm
Who is Asaram Bapu?!!! Why give him so much importance??!!
rich Jan 08, 2013 01:53pm
oh and i missed a point these baba should be booked for abetting in the crime, eg justifying the rape, if there is no such law then we should create it
Imran Jan 08, 2013 06:30am
Ha Ha Ha what a joke by Sadhu Ji, reminds of a Hindi movie with the same scenario where a woman was at the mercy of few drunks and she said " Bhagwan ke liye mujhe choor do the drunk replied agar bhagwan ke leye tujhe choor dain to hum kia karen gay". Those were animals and animals have no religion cast or creed. Such animals should be dealt with firmly and made an example.
znasim Jan 08, 2013 02:07pm
this guru is the biggest idot on planet earth.
Nony Jan 08, 2013 08:07am
This reminds me of the statements from some pakistani religious political party leaders when malala was attacked.
Sudeep Kanjilal Jan 08, 2013 09:35pm
brilliantly put, sir. brilliantly put. Just goes to show the curse of self-appointed religious 'leaders' run amok is a south asian phenomena, not restricted to any one country here
Saeed Jan 08, 2013 10:53pm
I totally agree with guru . One should used God power in the time of crises. If you are in problem you should ask for help of God. I never see bad thing happen to relgious people but All the bad thing happen to decent people.
Sam Jan 09, 2013 12:03am
Sir, India is rapidly trying to deflect this real and current problem in its society towards women by trying to focus its populations issue towards the age old problem of its arch enemy Pakistan and Kashmir issue. We have to acknowledge such deflections from real issues and learn to ignore them so that we are not distracted. S
AHA Jan 09, 2013 12:11am
Religion, the common thread.
A Jan 09, 2013 05:02am
There is this religio/political leader in Pakistan as well who sometime back said that girls of women who get raped, shouldn't make such hue and cry in the media, and quietly sit at home. I can't seem to recall, his name,
Mudassir Hussain Jan 09, 2013 05:08am
These sort of irresponsible comments are like putting salt to the injury. For sure It is not the matter of religion, its the matter of misusing it.
Sandeep Jan 09, 2013 06:35am
Dont compare them with animals Imran, because animals never r ape. They follow the law of nature.
Rak sharma Jan 09, 2013 08:14am
In india if your are good for nothing then u become so called god man or preacher and make lot of money. He is one of them, but that does not mean that whole country or community is falling at his feet. he is only as good as stated by his own followers which may be in lakhs only and not crores as stated by him. he is a lump o sh-t. regards
Devil Jan 09, 2013 03:14pm
Can't agree more !! Religion! Someone has truly said, religion has and will always be used to hide the crimes rather than stopping it. Religion, used by few to make fool of many !!
Steel_exorcist Jan 09, 2013 07:09pm
Hats off to you sire. Its your time to take tablets and sleep
Imran A. Jan 09, 2013 08:07pm
Oh boy! I can't believe the guru said such a thing. He sounds like Taliban Guru to me, leave everything to God, but please don't take action against people.
Kausik Jan 09, 2013 08:34pm
We need political reform from parties like loksatta and honest leaders like jp.india trying to distract loc issues with Pakistan.shame on politicians and their sons and evil gurus.
aka Jan 10, 2013 03:26am
I live overseas with 2 Indians in same house and we all love each other. When i used to live back in Pakistan, i remember media and religious leader presenting as if Hindus are bad,evil people here i live with them and trust me some of them are better humans than my fellow Pakistanis.They are far better than my fellow Pakistanis i lived with , not going into details of what they did.Religion don't matter, whether you are Indian Hindu or Pakistani Muslim or American Christian , what matters is how good a human you are.
james Jan 10, 2013 11:55am
I think killing of Pakistani soldier by Indian army is an attempt by Indian government to divert attention of public from rape issue and try to hide such negative aspects of the society and system failures.
Osman Jan 10, 2013 06:02am
The same thing applies to good for nothings in Pakistan btw
Ghalib Khan Jan 10, 2013 07:25am
Dear Rich, There are more Religious fractions in India, then can ever be in Pakistan, or anywhere else in the World for that matter, better wake-up and smell the coffee.
Zimbo_Indian Jan 10, 2013 02:33pm
Do you mean that religious people are not decent?
Zimbo_Indian Jan 10, 2013 02:38pm
Religion is the opium of the masses ....
zaffar Jan 11, 2013 08:26pm
These so called religious people on both sides of the border try to score points for their own benefits.