RSS Supremo Mohan Bhagwat’s Thoughts on Rape

The RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat (or to call him out in the way he is referred to in the Sangh – Sarsanghchalak Param Pujya Shri Mohan-ji Bhagwat-ji) has now joined the pavilion of eminent Bharatiya moustachioed misogynists. In a breathtakingly revealing statement, he has told us that rapes happen in India, not in Bharat. What he means is that rape only occurs in urban areas where the influence of Paschatya Sanskriti (western culture) leads women astray into being raped by men unable to help or control themselves in the face of the assault of women, out and about, by day and night, defying Mohan Bhageat’s Sangh-mandated Lakshman Rekha.

When an upper-caste landlord in a village claims his ‘droit de seigneur’ (land-owner’s claim) with a Dalit woman, it is not rape, it is a yagya, a time honoured shastric ritual. When husbands persuade minor wives on their ‘suhaag raat’ with a few disciplinary measures that leave them with black eyes and sore limbs, it is not rape, it is the carrying out of an Upanishadic injunction. When swamijis, babajis, acharyas and prachaks have their way with ignorant and nabalik shishyas, it is not rape, it is the partaking of the naivedyam of a woman’s body. It is the realisation of a ‘pushp ki abhilasha’, even if the pushp gets pushed around a little bit in the process.Yo-Yo Honey Singh, that other eminent Yug-Purush echoed Shri Mohan Bhagwat when he asserted in his prayer, C***t Vol.1, that he would cure the waywardness of the Indian woman’s sex organs by strictly traditional, bharatiya and shastric methods.Yo Yo Mohan Bhagwat. Param Pujya Honey Singh. Sambhavami Yuge-Yuge.

These gentlemen truly deserve Mardangi Maryada Medals (MMM) or Paurush Pratiraksha Puraskars (PPP). In these beleagured times, when Bharatiya masculinity has faced such severe stress and strain, it is only real self-serving (swaysmsevak) men like Mohan Bhagwat and Globally yet Traditionally Bharatiya International Villagers like Yo-Yo ji Honey ji Singh ji who can hold up its otherwise flaccid standard against the corrosive attack of urban femininity.

Hey Bharat-Purush, gird your loins, hoist your petards, tackle your gaandiv, gather your legions. Mohan Bhagwat has sounded the panchajanya. the battle is joined, you have able and eminent warlords. S.O.P. Shri Abhijit Mukherjee of the Congress Party will lead the charge against dented and painted enemies. Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Raman Singh (both BJP chief ministers in Gujatar and Chhattisgarh) will demonstrate how well rape either by righteous rioters or by counter-insurgent policemen can defend Hindu honour and national security. Comrade Anisur Rehman of the CPI (M) will defeat all his female adversaries designs by buying and selling them. Shri Naveen Jindal of the Congress Party will handle the war-chest and rally the troops of the brave Khap irregulars. Shri Shahshi Tharoor of the Congress Party will tweet the name of every woman fallen in the battle-field. Shri Botsa Satyanarayan of the Congress will secure the hours after midnight so that no wayward women are about. Yo-Yo Honey Singh will lead the yuddha-ghosh, the martial music band. Janaab Akbaruddin Owaisi of the Majlis-Ittehadul-Muslimeen will behead errant women writers. Baba Ramdev ji will straighten all queer women with yogic power. Shri Kailash Vijayvargiya (Cabinet Minister in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh where he is – Minister of Industries & Employment, Information Technology, Commerce, Rural Industry, Science & Technology and a passionate leader who continuously strives for development while advocating that women will not find themselves raped only if they stay within the Lakshman Rekha of Bharatiya Sanskriti will map the battle-field. You need all the strength that you can get.

Many years ago, almost twenty years ago, I was a young and nervous assistant working on a documentary film on the RSS called ‘The Boys in the Branch’ (directed by Lalit Vachani, 1993). The film was shot in Nagpur, partly in a sort of ‘commune’ where some young men in their late teens, an elite crop from various RSS shakhas (branches), were being groomed for future leadership within the organization. We also shot extensively within the RSS headquarters, Hedgewar Bhavan, in Mahal, Nagpur. We interviewed Mohan Bhagwat, who gave a chillingly lyrical account of how a particular game-exercise helped a young swayam-sevak mentally prepare himself for the ultimate sacrifice by linking death to re-incarnation, through a series of calisthenic metaphors and manoeuvres, such that death itself could become a move in a game. During this time, I got to be friends, In a way, with some of the boys. Occasionally, I would spend a night with them in their ‘house’. They would cook, sing, play the flute, ask me about Delhi, about girls, about whether i had any Muslim friends, and what they were ‘really’ like. I never made a secret of what my politics was, or the fact that I had a ‘communist’ upbringing because of my family. But sort of grudgingly at first, and less grudgingly later, they gave me a sort of ‘enemy respect’. More importantly, because I was someone close to them in age, and a total outsider, they sort of trusted me with their secrets. I have never betrayed those confidences, even as I sometimes wondered what happened to some of those who spoke to me, mainly off camera, after the shoots were done.

One day, one of the boys asked to see me and the director, in our hotel room. He came late in the evening and talked for many hours. He spoke about being sexually abused by senior functionaries within the RSS for several years, inside the RSS headquarters, beginning around the time when he was eleven years old. I strongly felt that we should not record his testimony, because I was aware that even if we protected his identity in the film, there was no way by which his anonymity could be safeguarded, especially within the RSS headquarters. Basically, he would be ‘disappeared’ in a way that I don’t even want to think about. We talked long into the night. He left, and told me he felt better after having talked, without shame, to someone his own age who could listen without standing in judgment. He told me that he was leaving Nagpur. I never saw him again. I have no idea where he is, and I don’t really want to know. But I think of him sometimes, wonder how he is doing, whether he found the kind of love and affection and respect that he wanted. Whether he has any nightmares. I wish him well, and hope he is as far away from the enclaves of Bharat presided over by the RSS as it is possible for him to be. I do not remember his name. He is another unknown citizen.

The RSS wants to be to be an arbiter of public and private conduct to ‘Bharat’. It wants to be what the Vatican thinks it is within the domain of Roman Catholic orthodoxy. Both are citadels of misogyny and homophobia. Both conceal under their knickers and robes the darkest secrets of abuse and violence. The sexual abuse of minors is statutory rape in most jurisdictions. The yagya of statutory rape has a time honoured place in the dungeons within the citadels of Bharatiya and other kinds of purity. Perhaps it is time that this pretence at purity was shown up to be what it actually is.

Sambhavami Yuge Yuge.

73 thoughts on “RSS Supremo Mohan Bhagwat’s Thoughts on Rape

  1. Shuddha, once again I doff my hat to you. Please confirm that you will be in YODAKIN on 16 Jan to talk about Aggressive Masculinity and the Rape Culture. We need your voice on that day.

  2. Sucheta

    Bravo! Let’s talk truth to power, no matter who. If this is the time to do so about sex, and choice and abuse of the powerless, children or adult women or adult men (they too get raped, especially gay men), then let it begin. It is time we stopped this charade of hypocrisy.

    1. Ankush

      Praveen – Sushma’s statement was on the ferocity of the attack on the Nirbhaya. How was she wrong when she said that even if Nirbhaya was to survive, the physical brutality inflicted on her would cripple her in multiple ways, making her like a ‘living dead’

      Check the web for her speech in the parliament and you may feel the need to correct yourself

      1. Ankush,
        I hope yo are not implying that she is better off dead than alive. Any human being is just that. A human being. Calling a person handicapped or otherwise ‘living dead’ and specially because of rape is to my mind actually perpetuating the feel of power which the rapist inflicts on the victim. Please also see the first post on this subject by Shuddha.

  3. Completely agree with you , Shuddha, except for the rogue’s gallery inclusion of Shashi Tharoor. Tharoor’s response has been the only one from an Indian politician that even begins to approach modernity — in the non- or pre-postmodern sense of the word.
    The concealment of identity is also a matter of the individual assaultee’s choice — ndtv has a woman coming forward to speak out, and there is the Sohaila Abdulali post at kracktivist. It cannot be left solely at the discretion of state policy. The crushing effacement of identity is precisely what rape believes it achieves, and is the trophy the rape society awards it when it’s done.
    What I read in Shashi Tharoor’s tweet (hopefully not too much to read into a hundred and forty characters) is a suggestion to India that it consider that it is not the assaultee who is required to be shamed. That the woman assaulted is a woman to be extended care and honour to — not consigned to a windowless room where she may mask her shame. I salute the courage of the Girl’s parents for stating, in the face of all doubters, that they would not object to having the proposed law named for their child — I assume that the world they come from is the same that the rapists did, and in that world the shame is the woman’s, not her attackers. I applaud their refusing to go along with the lie about the imminent wedding that would paste over the Girl’s socially inexcusable post-sunset outing with a man not her relative. Given all one hears of the village, I think there’s hope if this is how a family from Baliya can respond.

    1. Dear Thirty Nine. Thank you for your comments. I too salute the courage of the unknown citizens parents. However, the woman was an adult when she was assaulted. And the ultimate decision on revealing identity, was I think her prerogative and not her parents prerogative. We have no way of knowing any longer, what she would have liked, and therefore, we must not presume on her behalf. I see the reality of rape survivors coming out into the open as a very positive sign. But as in all things, informed consent takes priority. If we had a declaration from the woman I call the unknown citizen, or were such s declaration to be unearthed and authenticated, now or in the future, I would have no hesitation in hearing and speaking and writing and reading her name. But until that time, I think it would be prudent to be reticent. As for Shashi Tharoor, I am not inclined to be as generous as you. I think the government and the Congress Party are in a real paralysis about this situation. And part of that has to do with the fact of the unknown. Itien’s anonymity. It is this anonymity that enables all kinds of analogies to be drawn, in a manner in which identity politics always permanently disables. It allows young people in the streets of Delhi to link the fate of this 23 year old to that of women in the countryside, to Dalit women, to women in Kashmir and the north-east. For the first time in my life, I have been able to have reasonable conversations about the AFSPA with ordinary, otherwise so-called apolitical people in Delhi. There is something profoundly disturbing in this for the state and for political elites. Suddenly, boxing her destiny within a name, an identity, will neutralise the deep strength that this anonymity gives to the conversation around the incident. My hunch is. That is what Tharoor is trying to do for the Congress. But I think that even in his own party there are more sensible people, and they understand the implications of playing with the deceased unknown citizens identity in public.

      1. 3thirtynine

        And, though in context it is a very trivial point to raise, I did say I’d have preferred my earlier post removed. Doesn’t matter now.
        And I’m not trying to raise cheap chortles here.

        1. Dear Thirtynine, in deference to your wishes, I am unapproving your earlier comment in this thread. best, I respect the points you are raising, and do not think that you are trying to raise cheap chortles. best, Shuddha

      2. First of all, congratulations on a brilliantly written article. Though I believe that, at least among informed people, the pretence of purity has not been holding up very well in the recent past. Allusions to the papal paedophilia, for instance, are everywhere now. Anyway, I’ll reply here to your comment above.

        As Thirty-nine puts it, “The crushing effacement of identity is precisely what rape believes it achieves, and is the trophy the rape society awards it when it’s done.” Now, I agree that your reply, “It is this anonymity that enables all kinds of analogies to be drawn, in a manner in which identity politics always permanently disables,” makes sense. But is that not far more relevant for the rapist hiself? It’s much easier to convince oneself that the identity, upbringing and background of an individual makes him more prone to become a rapist, than that the identity, upbringing and background of an individual makes him/her a likelier victim of sexual assault (unless you happen to be a proponent of the Laxman Rekha bullshit.)

        I thoroughly doubt that naming a rape victim would help the identity politics much. Do you seriously think that a name would reveal a whole lot more about the general image of a twenty-three year old anonymous Delhi girl? It’s not as if all that was revealed was: “There has been a rape. Period.” If so much could already be revealed about her, would a mere name really box her destiny so much more? Think it over. The only reason for not revealing the identity could be (and indeed is in most cases) to protect her from social stigma – which itself is a controversial point, since it upholds the very views this article is aimed against. Clinging on to that anonymity is plain ridiculous.

        Of course, we have no way of knowing what the motives of Shashi Tharoor are. My contention simply is that there seems to be a perfectly plausible explanation for his proposal.

      3. priya vk singh

        agree with the rest but IMHO, Shashi Tharoor had no ulterior motive, he’s not a man given to deep or incisive analyses and made the shallow, superficially attractive suggestion of the kind he usually does

      4. 3thirtynine

        @Priya, Shashi Tharoor’s politics, his motives, the workings of his mind, are not of my concern — any more than are, let’s say, Shuddha’s politics (he’s had so many hard things to say about the Congress, that maybe he’s actually a BJP guy — but so what). Tharoor has, however, in *this specific instance* posted a tweet that is along a very different line from the near-majority Indian way of thinking. This line appears, on the face of it, to agree with my way of thinking, and I appreciate that — as I would, even if it had come from Mohan Bhagwat.

  4. Raja

    Where is Mohan Bhagawat defending the rapists? Have you gone bonkers? You filthy sick perverts were waiting for some such harmless statement from the Right while holding your constipated rear ends tight when Akbaruddin Owaisi was spewing venom on Hindus! Do you have that thingy between your thighs, you fukking idiot?

    1. Dear Raja,

      Thank you for your energetic response. If you spent more time reading and less time being apoplectic, you might have noticed that Akbaruddin Owaisi finds a prominent place in my gallery of yug purushes – surely he and Mohan Bhagwat set shining examples to each other. You might have also noticed that I have not said that Mohan Bhagwat is defending the Delhi gang rapists. I have suggested something quite different, perhaps much more disturbing.
      Meanwhile, do look after your thingy.



      1. Goutam Bhattacharjee

        Bengalis do have a peculiar habit of indulging on “bigger” contexts, even when their own house is in disorder. Bengal currently is ruled by a lunatic CM. She does not accept any rape case as truth, anybody asking slightly difficult question is tagged as Maoist, her partymen celebrates New Year in cabaret style, her local chieftains drives out businessmen from the hapless state, and what does an educated Bengali babu do? Write up scathing comments and diatribes against the Hindu right-wing (who are anyways insignificant in Bengal) as if that is the biggest calamity looming upon the state.
        The lust to portray yourself “secular” is too much to to contain, eh, Mr. Sengupta? And what better ways to advertise “secularism” than to pounce upon a random comment from the chief of RSS – the so-called edifice of Sanatan Dharma ethos? Secularism gives best returns in search of 15 minutes of fame.

        1. Mr. Bhattacharjee, I happen to live in Delhi, not in Bengal. Bengal is not my house, and I do not have a special responsibility to either set it in order, or to account for its disorder. I have been writing in this blog about some terrible things that have happened in my city. And then Mohan Bhagwat has the temerity to say that this happens in my city, because it is somehow a less of a space for ‘authenticity’ than some unspecified vague ‘Bharatiya’ hinterland. When I write about his imbecility, I am responding as a citizen of the city, if you like ‘the house’ in which I was born and raised. And while I do think about the ‘calamities that are looming upon’ your precious state, including the misfortune that you have as your current chief minister and the misfortune that you have had as your previous previous chief ministers, I have to say that I am not the kind of narcissistic Bengali who can scarcely look outside his monkey cap. I was born and raised in Delhi. I speak and read Bangla, Hindi, Urdu and English. Are you suggesting that because of the accident of my name or my genealogy I should only confine myself to thinking and talking about what happens in your relatively narrow corner of the world? Clearly, you and I share little more than an ethnicity. Going by your arguments, you should not be speaking about anyone who is not in Bengal. That includes me. I am not saying that. You are welcome to say any kind of nonsense you please. That, clearly, is your prerogative. regards, Shuddha.

  5. Nice Guy

    This article is ridiculous, at least in some paragraphs, where the writer writes in a completely prejudiced and poisonous mind and tries to sell and propagate the poison and hatred of his PERSONAL MIND to others !!!

    While it is agreed that RSS is not perfect (no one is in the world, by the way), the writer must not make them devil OUT OF NEARLY NOTHING !!!! The way he badly visualized and blamed leaders is a CRIMINALISATION AND MISUSE of journalism.

    At the same time, he must be reminded that his preferred communists, who although are very very meager in Indian scenario, had done so may damages to the nation. While he speaks big for those communists, they have their share for damaging the entire nation by:
    1. Completely ignoring Industrialization of their ruled states, esp. W. Bengal, where Industry was used to be at a prime at one time.
    2. Blatantly supported Bangladeshis (mostly muslims) to enter India and issue ‘Ration Cards’, which now had changed the demographical patters in W. Bengal and other states bordering area for “VOTE BANK POLITICS”.
    These are the people, who in Bangadesh, are used to torture minority Bangaledeshi Hindus, disrespect their women since independence time.
    3. They also had misruled severely, there are Govt inaction, corruption and many issues in Tripura and W. Bengal !! Who will forget the infamous Bantala case in West Bengal, in just after 1977 (Left Front came in power), where several middle aged women were gangraped in daylight in the middle of the road by bunch of party supported hoodlums, and they were NEVER PUNISHED !!!!!

    I humbly suggest to look at things with clearer mind and try to perform ‘NEUTRAL JOURNALISM’ and NOT ‘BIASED JOURNALISM TO PROPAGATE MISINFORMATION AND HATRED’.

      1. Nice Guy

        I also love to advise that if you speak about the RSS speech, the answer is very clear !!!

        We must ask these mindless people for a proper clarification of this “Bad words and strange advises” about women and make them apologise for their “MIS-STATEMENT” and if not properly clarified, we should mark such person as “MENTALLY UNBALANCED AND UNFIT TO STAY IN PUBLIC POSITION” and we should inform them in public forums.

        That”s obviously the answer !!!

        Hope that issue is clarified here.

        Thanks for pointing out !!

    1. Mr. Nice Guy,

      You might want to look at earlier posts that I have written on this blog – to try and get a sense of how I view the record of the several decades in which the Communist Party of India (Marxist). If you read them, you will perhaps get a sense that no matter how hard I tried, I never could be, a nice guy. As for Bangladeshis of all religions and persuasions, I know that the vast majority of them in a city like Delhi for instance hold up this city, by plying Rickshaws, doing domestic labour, working in many small workshops. There presence in my city makes it richer, fuller. There absence would make us poorer, duller. And the people in Bangladesh who torture Hindus are exactly like the people in India who torture muslims. They belong together. In Hell.



  6. Ankush

    What is it Shuddha? The mere glimpse of a slip and you could barely contain your glee? Shameful is your attempt to invent such monikors and juvenile is your understanding of class when you reduce exploitation to mere caste

  7. shashikumar

    Sarsanghchalak Param Pujya Shri Mohan-ji Bhagwat-ji should better read the so-called holy texts of Hindus – the Maha’bharat’ and Ramayan before talking about ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’. He should know how was our Bharat and what was our ‘rich’ parampara and sanskruti, what did Srimannarayana do to Tulasi and all. Thanks for writing such article and publishing it. That apart, I understand that this article was written in hurry hence we can find some spelling mistakes. Please correct them. They are as follows: “What he means is that rate only ” in which ‘rate’ should be ‘rape’, and “Mohan Bhageat’s Sangh-mandated Lakshman Rekha” ‘Bhageat’ should be ‘Bhagwat’.

  8. Vandana

    Awareness through education is the only light I see at the end of this dark tunnel. Cliche-like, but probably the only effective solution that could impact over, lets say a generation.
    I once met someone highly educated and successful who mention an experience like that youth you talk about. I respect that he was able to not carry forward the cycle of abuse but decades later he, and I am sure many, still deal with it where they are unable to get past it in a lifetime.
    I wonder if revolting against those who are blind in the cycle of abuse OR informing / showing them how they are in it will help them change their attitude and behavior?
    Often disciplining/revolt/resentment doesnt go far with rebellious spirits or with entrenched thoughts with convenient religious twists. A law will help. But, maybe behavior change in large groups maybe provoked by conflict in personal thoughts created by, such speakers with personal stories, as you have arranged.
    I also once met someone with long string of titles attached to his name, and a ‘Swami’ who inspite of having a highly qualified background chose to serve the community by becoming a religious/spiritual leader. Powerful use of education. I guess there all sorts of twists possible within education too.
    Kudos to speakers and organisers of such events.
    Just a thought: will it help to pass a hand-out/comic book about cycle of abuse so that some may reflect upon in private spaces and realise that they do different forms of abuse not just with strangers, but inevitably with their near and dear ones too?

  9. Kudos on a wonderful article.
    Personally I’ve felt for the longest time that India as a country, general culture and society has a very mixed, confused and too-often hypocritical way of functioning – ends justify means and both of these tend to be constantly evolving in negative ways to suit inhuman, hostile and self-serving folks and groups.
    With a world of potential within it, we do more to damage ourselves than any outside enemy ever could. No disrespect to those hurt by the attacks in Bombay and other parts of the country over the years, but the damage that has been done, is being done and will come about as a result of the things we tolerate and often teach our children is at times reprehensible and the mind-set regarding women is a HUGE part of this.
    People talk about laws and punishment and crackdowns and increased security and blah, blah… bottom line is that all that is just a salve and a partial solution and some of it crosses moral lines of its own, not to mention make India feel even more like a police state than it already does a lot of the time – and I’ve had this pointed out a lot by people from all over the globe, we’re a free nation and a police state all rolled into one.
    Until we acknowledge our own inherent flaws as a people and accept what we are doing wrong, nothing will get better for long. And the saddest part is that the people who NEED to be feeling those flaws and the guilt and the shame are not the people who are doing so – it is the people you point out/talk about/refer to in this article, and they I think feel little to none whatsoever.

  10. neerajn

    Brilliant write-up. Btw, Just because Cong is in mess, that does not mean Shashi Tharoor has to be dragged in. He has not named the victim. Shinde, probably, would have been a right example.

  11. Unknown

    I am just surprised how fast our intellectuals responding to Bagawath Statements…really good. But may I know why Kafila has no post on Akbaruddin Owasi Hate Speech? He made series of speeches from couple of months. Do you want to underplay it? IS it not important for discussions ? You are taking up the issue means you agree with him…..Kafila does not dare to raise this issue…..

    1. Dear Unknown,

      Not at all. Akbaruddin Owaisi is the scum of the earth, a communal and fascist rabble rouser of the worst kind, and deserves all the indignation that he can get. In fact even in this article, there is a reference to him, though with a specific mention of how he called for a beheading of a writer.

      1. William

        Dear Shuddhabrata, this particular reference made me wonder why you’d associate the act of beheading more with a Muslim bigot than a Hindu bigot. Is it because we are culturally given to understand Muslims are more prone to violent behaviour? You attribute non-violent imaginary roles to Honey Singh, Ramdev and others but a very violent one to Owaisi.

        Also, clubbing Honey Singh with all these other political people appears unfair. Honey Singh is an entertainer. If his sexist body of work is to be held against him, so should be that of the likes of Sunny Leone, Rakhi Sawant, Sherlyn Chopra and practically every personality from the world of entertainment. Even Big B has stalked women in films. Salman Khan has glorified violence and reaffirmed stereotypically lopsided gender roles in society.

        For the record, I despise Honey Singh’s music. But to single him out as a hate figure in the aftermath of the Delhi gang rape and murder has been one of the aberrations of the conscientious mass movement caused by the incident.

      2. Goutam Bhattacharjee

        Thank God! We are so grateful that your majesty dared to mention Owaisi in this tirade against RSS and attempted a beautiful balancing act. So that hapless Hindus can take a bit of solace by thinking “Oh, he condemned Owaisi too, so he is a truely principled journo, not a professional secularist”.

      3. Rags

        Oh Shuddhabrata, lets cut this…
        Janab Owaisi made a speech on 24th December, and that speech itself was one of the last in a series of speeches he was making for days together – and none of us got to read even one comment about it in Kafila.

        Mohan Bhagwat talks some nonsense and the Kafila response is up in 20 minutes.. Varun Gandhi talks rubbish and retirbutions start pouring in within 10 minutes. Very good..
        Janab Owaisi goes around insulting Hindus, advocating terror – nonstop for hours and days together – govt: looks the other way, Media doesnt report it, Authors in Kafila pretend that such a thing hadnt happened at all..

        A group of similar rants in Mumbai by some Raza academy and we all saw what happened – all we got in Kafila was an article blaming “facebook” and irresponsible social media and a sympathetic article about an Urdu periodical where the author discussed “How they got it WRONG”… Basically an attempt to deflate the blame and whitewash the perpetrators and provocateurs..

        How can one explain this “fraternal” mindset and “kid glove” treatment meted out to proponents of ISLAMISM by “critical left” ? Thats some food for thought…

  12. Reggie Dharma

    Mohan Bhagwat and chaddiwallahas are predictably wrong. They cant stand scrutiny to liberal values.

    But what is more important in this particular case is to study the caste/class nature of this horrible incident. Is there a co-relation between the low class / caste of the rapists to this crime. We will come to know soon and it is highly probable that the Rapists belongs to OBC and Dalit castes as a couple of them are from the Ravi Das Slum in Delhi and the Juvenile pervert is a Muslim. What is the value system / environmental factors which have contributed to such perverted and violent minds. Last I heard the Hindutva influence was very limited amongst these castes/classes. It is important to impartially study the cultural influences of these rapists and the potential ones before coming into conclusions like masculinity of Hindu nationalism. A more objective and scientific study rather than emotional stereotyping is needed to get to the bottom.

    1. Dear Reggie Dharma,

      The identity of the adult rapists in the Delhi Gang Rape Case is known – their surnames – Thakur, Sharma, Sharma and Singh do not suggest that they belong to what you refer to as a ‘low caste’. The identity of the juvenile is not known, and need not be known, just as the identity of the raped woman is not known, and need not be known, because the law protects the identity of juvenile offenders as well as raped individuals against disclosure. One of the two Sharma’s charged with the crime happened to occasionally work as a purohit in a neighbourhood temple. We should indeed reflect on the value system, cultural backgrounds and other incidental factors that would have contributed to such perverted and violent minds. The last that I heard, the influence of Hindutva values was quite prevalent amongst upper caste men. I hope i have made myself clear.

      1. Nice Guy

        Your analysis is incorrect,

        Criminals are criminals … as in your own words.

        Blaming Hinduvta for criminal work is grossly erroneous and apparently motovated.

        Sorry to see a supposedly intellectual’s comment.

  13. pranshant

    Well said , And I also read few comments and your replies to them , I must say your reply has hurt them very badly (in between their legs might be) .

  14. Jerome

    Thank you for the comparison with that other Old Boys Club, the Vatican, which remains the shining example of how you can be immured in pedophilia and yet be revered by a billion people. In some many ways, both these groups deserve to become extinct, but the question is how and not when… Kudos to your article…

  15. Rags

    And Shuddhabrata, why this hate for Shashi Tharoor ? Isnt his idea the most strong step one can take against the “patriarchal” notion of “chastity” ? Criticising Congress and the inept governmental machinery is one thing – Ridiculing the most sensitive and sensible idea from a member fo that party is quite another.

    Please dont include Tharoor in the group of stupids like Sushma Swaraj (for her statement made long back on tonsuring her head and not “Zinda lash” – Zinda lash is a reference made specifically to the condition of the Delhi rape victim), Sushil Kumar Shinde etc.

  16. Raghu

    Spineless people who could not even comment on Owaisi hate speech are trying very hard to interpret the comment made by Mohanji in the wrong way. Shameless creatures. Please refer below for what Mohanji acutally meant.

    Ram Madhav speaks:
    As few Media/Journalists today distorted the statements of RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, RSS senior functionary Ram Madhav said, “The statement should be taken in the right prospective. He has condemned the heinous crime and said that if necessary people who are involved in such kind of act should be hanged to death. He said that in Bhartiya tradition, we have great respect for women and if we go away from the Bhartiya tradition of respecting woman, one will end up in indulging in such criminal acts. There is no need to give other interpretations to his statement.
    Details in

    1. As someone mentioned in this thread before, even a cursory study of our holy epics reveal the kind of respect our culture had for women. Also, did you choose not to read the following lines from the article?

      “When an upper-caste landlord in a village claims his ‘droit de seigneur’ (land-owner’s claim) with a Dalit woman, it is not rape, it is a yagya, a time honoured shastric ritual. When husbands persuade minor wives on their ‘suhaag raat’ with a few disciplinary measures that leave them with black eyes and sore limbs, it is not rape, it is the carrying out of an Upanishadic injunction. When swamijis, babajis, acharyas and prachaks have their way with ignorant and nabalik shishyas, it is not rape, it is the partaking of the naivedyam of a woman’s body. It is the realisation of a ‘pushp ki abhilasha’, even if the pushp gets pushed around a little bit in the process.”

  17. Eloquent. The facade that RSS has veiled themselves in should be fall into bits. They want Indian calendar to swing backwards in time. Time when the atrocities against women were considered ‘rituals’, when misogyny and male chauvinism were the fore pillars of our so called traditional and ‘beautiful’ Indian culture.

  18. Ramesh Narendrarai Desai

    Thank you for doing my job. I was mulling over writing a piece that wanted to tell the readers what kind of frogs in the well we have elected or have bestowed celebrity status on. Each one revels in his well and imagines that the whole world is like the well that he resides in. Shouldn’t the media boycott such frogs in the well ?

  19. thethinkertank

    I think it’s time we launched a campaign or protested against these cynical netas who make such statements. There should be a monetary or other sort of penalty for people such as Abhijit Mukherjee too, considering they RUN our country. People look up to them and their opinions.

  20. noncon

    I dont think anywhere in his speech, Mohan-ji Bhagwat-ji, did try to put the blame on women. He was sorta blaming western culture (by referencing India vs Bharat). The only accused are still the rapists – but the statement tries to focus on the reasons for the de-sensitization and moral bankruptcy of such a large number of people in India (going by the number of rape cases being reported). And the role of western culture in this discussion cannot be ignored.
    This article again shows the prejudice and bias of the author against the RSS and right wing politics lacking any objectivity.

    1. aj

      I would be interested to know what exactly is it about the western culture that has such a negative effect on us. What exactly is it about western culture that leads to more sexual crimes. I have never understood these concepts

      1. noncon

        Well, that would be the usual suspects like objectification of women (and men) and their sexuality, broken down marriages, hyper violence, drugs to name a few. I am sure you must have heard these before. Even the western world is ready to take a serious look at the problems they face.. but I guess you are happy looking the other way.
        And the point is having such an opinion does not make Mr Bhagwat a misogynist as the article or you claim. This could a limited view of looking at things, but that is all it is.

        And the thing remains that since you and the author do not agree with the right wing politics that Mr Bhagwat believes in, you want to believe that there is not a single shortcoming of character that he should not be accused of. And that is the lack of objectivity plaguing the left politics of today.

    2. Usman

      I would sincerely urge you to please tell me what it is about “western culture” that is the cause of this rape culture? You certainly must have some points on this as you say “the role of western culture cannot be ignored.” I am not trying to mock you at all. I am asking you to be specific because I have an interest in knowing your argument.

      Can you identify characteristics of “western” and “indian” culture and list them please?

      My sense is, once we start doing this we realise there isn’t such a thing as “western culture” that we commonsensically think lies outside of us somehow because we are pure Indians. There certainly are differences, but to think of some ideal in our ancient past that should inform our culture today is clearly misplaced. Rhetorically the argument has tremendous appeal, especially when it can be linked up to a religious identity of being Hindu (it appeals even more in a situation when the “muslim” identity is seen as something opposed to the Hindu, and two are represented to be in conflict historically).

      This is what Bhagwat is trying to use for an argument that has much wider implications. Implications as to what the morality of Indians (especially indian women) must be, what the permissible code of conduct should be, etc.

      This essay is a tremendous critique of that argument and much more.

      1. noncon

        I did answer the differences typically referred to when comparing Indian and Western cultures. And yes, there is good as well as bad in any culture. Also just to make it clear, I would hate anyone telling me how to behave or what my culture should be, just as much as you.

        But my objections with this articles (which I also pointed out in previous comment also) are lack of any objectivity and misrepresentation of facts to further a political agenda.

        1. Mis-interpretation of the statement to suggest that Mr Bhagwat implied that the women should be held responsible for rapes.
        2. The title of the article was called Rapist-Suraksha-Sangh (changed later). But the url still contains the clues.
        3. Putting Honey Singh and Bhagwat together, again suggesting they somehow agreed with each others’ views. If at all, RSS would be an organisation that would protest against the earlier songs from Honey Singh (and I and many other would protest that – considering it a violation of right to free speech).
        4. The story about the sexual abuse in an RSS organisation – to somehow prove that RSS promotes sexual crimes. The only thing it proves is that any person in a position to manipulate, be it bollywood (casting couch), political parties (Abhishek Manu sangwi), top officials of church, can misuse his/her power to gain sexual favors. And RSS is also not free this curse either. And, remember this is story we are supposed to just believe, because no sources can be named (The fear of having people disappear).

        ..and this is not even a complete list of faults in this article.

        RSS might not among the most liberal of the organisations (and nor would they claim it), but to refer to it as Rapist Suraksha Sangh shows real insight by the author! I fear the left leaning writers in this country are just as much (or maybe even more) blind to logic as they accuse the right wingers to be.

        PS: Dont bring in Hindu/Muslim angle to every discussion, which kind of skews the discussion. For example, I had to write the 1st para, just to prove that I am not a complete bigot; something I shouldnt need to prove.

    3. Usman

      your comment where you identify drugs, objectification of persons and their sexuality, hyper violence and broken down marriages as the usual suspects when referring to what is ostensibly “western culture” appeared after i had posted my comment. nevertheless, i would again say that it is a commonsensical assumption that somehow these things are purely western and that we as Indians are somehow under attack by them or being overcome by them. if you can for example agree that a pure indian (or bhartiya in the language of the RSS) can remain a pure indian even if he/she works in an advertising agency or if he or she is a stock broker (both of which can only work through layers of objectification), then the claim of objectification of sexuality and of people themselves as being western is void. i dont see how drugs and hyper violence have not been a part of what can be seen as indian culture. consumption of what are now considered ‘drugs’ has been part of the cultures of various peoples that have resided in what is now geographically known as the indian subcontinent. and we have a history of violence that we needn’t be proud of, the most wretched and enduring examples of which are instances of caste violence.

      i am not trying to say there are no differences and that we can’t identify “western” and “indian” culture as separate, but rather that cultures change. and there isn’t something essential to any of the things you pointed out which is at odds with something that can be seen as an essential “indian culture”. rather any identification of a singular “indian culture” is a political project and one which should be viewed with suspicion. and this is really the point as to why i asked you to list down characteristics of a western and an indian culture. because even if we can identify characteristics, we cannot essentialise (especially not in this commonsensical way).

      Mohan Bhagwat is pretty clear as to what indian culture is. Time and again one can hear the refrain of going back to the ancient values of scriptures and tradition from Bhagwat and the RSS in general. In the above article and in other places people have shown time and again as to how the very value system upheld as the “original and only” Indian value system by the RSS is a brahmanical, male dominated system which does not allow for freedom of women among other things. Now once you understand Rape as a phenomenon made possible by the fact of sexual domination of males over females, as an act of power rather than simply lust, you obviously protest against any cultural code that allows for (and is based on) the oppression of women. In short, Mr.Bhagwat’s Bhartiya tradition (or the singular image of “bharat” he stands for) has patriarchal norms. he deserves to be criticized for that if one believes in opposing patriarchy, which allows for and requires rape to maintain sexual dominance of males over females in society.

      In Bhagwat’s defence RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav and BJP spokespersons have time and again said that the woman is treated as the “mother” in Indian tradition and is accorded great respect – well the woman is only looked at respectfully (if at all) only when she conforms to certain roles in this so called “indian culture”, and any woman found transgressing these roles is sought to be put in her place. so many people out on the streets today are shouting out against this culture. in my opinion it is not respect when you are living a bargain in which the odds are clearly stacked against you. if that is respect for someone, i would rather see it as ideology. the disadvantaged position of the woman is not the case just in Brahmanic Hinduism, but also in almost all other major religions including Islam.

      to the point about not bringing in Hindu-Muslim angle as you called it: i really do appreciate that you made the effort to not come across as a bigot (not that i thought of you as one), because most times people dont. but you’ve got me wrong here. i brought it in the question of the relevance of hindu-muslim identity opposition in the context about the rhetorical appeal of a singular “indian tradition” argument (made time and again by the RSS) because i think it had merit for the argument i was trying to make. not because i want to skew the discussion as you seem to allege. my argument here is about the fallacy of the claim that there is an essential/original “indian” culture, not directly about the bharat/india claim. i can repeat what i was trying to say in my earlier comment – an argument that seeks to present a particular value system as representative of the original ancient “Indian culture” is a political project. the RSS has this as its politics, and there is a clear link between a certain ‘hindu’ identity it promotes (a certain way of being hindu, which according to the RSS is the only way) and this project. and this project gets a boost if there is another cultural identity it (the promoted hindu identity) can be shown to be in conflict with, through history as it were. in the case of the RSS this has been the muslim identity. to sum up, rhetorically the argument of a singular “indian culture” linked up to a certain “hindu” identity has tremendous appeal in a situation where the “muslim” identity is seen as something opposed to the “hindu”, and the two represented as historically in conflict. i’m not saying this because i have a bias against hinduism, to my mind this is presenting the matter in its context. i wouldn’t use the word objective because it implies being able to somehow abstract oneself from a situation in order to comment on it, but it is most certainly a fair (and necessary) way for a good commentator to making an argument.

      finally, this is also why i think the author of the article cannot be blamed for “lack of objectivity” as you put it. the author clearly has a politics, and admits to it. so does mr.Bhagwat. the author is trying to put something in context. to do this he not only cites examples from his own research (which are sensitive and open to critique), but writes at length. If we are commenting on a statement made by the RSS chief i can’t see why we should not keep in mind the politics of the man and the organisation in trying to understand what he is saying. in fact, that is being fair to Mr.Bhagwat i would think. lumping Bhagwat and Honey Singh in the same category is not to show an exact (word-for-word) corelation between the two. if you are opposed to patriarchy and in your opinion Honey Singh and Mohan Bhagwat support/advocate/glorify patriarchal cultural conduct, then they do fall under the same category here.

  21. While a civil point could have been made about a certain mindset I’m afraid the headlines that you have placed on this article are completely a lie and do no justice to what could have been a very needed debate. The RSS head did call for the rapists to be punished and the law to be made stringent . Selective use of a video from NDTV, so patently a biased news channel , also does not help the article. By making villains of a particular class we do the cause for gender equality no service . More chilling is the fact that nobody stepped out to help the victims when they were in need. Misogyny runs way deep in our society and that is what should make us all think and see what will change this deep rooted malaise. The veneer of modernity does not seem to have helped at all else why would well qualified doctors indulge in sex selective abortions using the most modern of technologies. Complicit also is the media which allows a certain commodification of the persona to be blatantly sold . In this we all should plead mea culpa rather than resorting to plain and simple baiting . To say the least I am disappointed with your undoubted intellect running such an unsatisfactory article.

  22. Alok Shukla

    I hold no brief for RSS or Mr. Bhagwat, but this time it is case of poor journalism!

    Actually I just saw Mr. Bhagwat’s speech on You tube! HIs speech was primarily about loss of values in men that they do not respect women. His India-Bharat context was also about men in India have lost values while Bharat provided them. You may disagree with this influencing, but still the news as reported is fraud.

  23. Freud

    Freud would have had a field day with this post, especially the projection onto RSS of what is probably the author’s own experiences.

  24. Rashid

    Someone recorded his statement on mobile with video and he has said something everyone should watch. Cut paste on YouTube. Please check his statement on YouTube : what he actually said on the Bharatiya tradition of respecting woman

  25. Abhishek

    Khailanji is in Maharashtra and not Orrisa, seriously how illiterate these NDTV guys are?

    A few days ago, Ujjain was in Uttar Pradesh, in some story.

    Perhaps they should spend lesser time on Twitter and more on proper facts in their stories.

  26. harpreet singh

    But this news paper has either forgot to quote the rapes on Sikh women in 1984 by Hindus or deliberately escaped? no voice ever raised to give justice to them , no tear rolled as they were not Hindus.

    Kind Attention RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

    1. Khairlanji is not in India.

    2. Vachathi (TN) is not in India (Super cops hunting forest brigand Veerappan raped many Adivasi & Dalit women in this village)

    3. Women raped and killed during 2002 Guj riots are not from India.

    4. Girls raped and killed by CG police, SPOs & CRPF jawans in Dantewada are not from India.

    5. Many women were molested, raped and killed in Nandigram. But Nandigram is not in India.

    6. Dalit & Adivasi women face maximum molestation and rapes. Are they from India?

    7. Scores of women disappeared from J&K and NE due to army operations. Are these areas in India?

    8. Very recently a policeman was hunted & killed in Punjab when he tried to protect his daughter. Was he from India?

    9. Draupadi was not molested in India.

    Can you expect better things from those who glorify Manu Smriti, Agni Pariksha and Sati?

    1. JGN

      @ Harpreet Singh, you remember all the above incidents but do you remember the slaughter of innocent civilians in Punjab during heydays of militancy? One of my friends (Mr.Ramakrishanan), hailing from Tamil Nadu, on deputation to an Acrylic Plant being set up by Siemens was shot dead alongwith 7 other Engineers, though they had nothing to do with Punjab. About 200 “commies” were also killed in Punjab duirng the days of militancy.

      Will you (or the author of this article) talk about the atrocities committed by other than “those who glorify Manu Smriti, Agni Pariksha and Sati?” or is that politically incorrect?

  27. Yuvraj Rohan

    Shuddhabrata Sengupta ji,

    This is a criminal type article to paint RSS as a group of rapist just due to someone’s controversial comment.

    If he had said something controversially, you had acted like a criminal in your mind to start a hate campaign, the reason of which is just in your mind !!!!!!!

  28. Paritosh

    You have based this article purely what was reported in Media not looking at what he said actually , shame on you , Sudha and to prove the point you have twisted ,and for those who said Draupadi was molested in Bharat may be you dont know that what happened to Dushasan for trying to pull sari of hers. And no where in Hindu Scriptiures SATI is glorified. Regarding Agni Pariksha , if you dont know Sita Mata was in Agni’s Home all the while when Maya was kidnapped by Ravan and after the war was over in form of Agni Pariksha maya devi went in fire and real Sita Mata came out . Lord Vishnu married Maya Devi in Kalyuga in form of Lord Venkateshwar and Maya Devi as Padmavati. Half knowledge is dangerous Harpreet

  29. Rags
    Will “Kafila” be responsible enough to approve this comment and isnt an apology in order ?

    Will Shuddhabrata-da be responsible enough to write another article admitting that he was wrong and publish it on the front page ?
    If not, whats the point in being “intelligent” and being “able to do deep analysis” unlike Sashi Tharoor (as told by one of the commenters) ?

    1. My post in Kafila on Mohan Bhagwat’s thoughts on rape refer to his statement, made in Silchar, Assam that more rapes occur in India than in ‘Bharat’, not on his quote, delivere in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, on what he considers to be his ‘social contract’ theory of ‘western marriage’. I have not as yet seen any refutation of his misogynist Silchar statement, and I have seen the video of his Silachar statement. There is nothing in that video, or in that statement to qualify or in any way moderate his inherent misogyny. I do not see what I owe an apology to, or why Kafila should owe anyone an apology.

      I have also seen the extended clip of his Indore video. He clearly says ‘aap jise Vivaha la Sanskar mangey hain’. (The sacrament that YOU consider marriage) while referring to the marriage contract. The audience he is addressing is not western. There is no reason to assume he is talking about a ‘western concept’ of marriage, whatever that might be. If he is talking about ‘Christian’ marriage, then, that is not a contract, it is a sacrament. And so he is only demonstrating his ignorance, while he speaks. The earlier part of his speech in Indore, is some undigested rubbish about the Higgs Boson. I wonder whether I should be more offended by his ‘molestation’ of history, political theory and philosophy or by his attempted rape of the history of science. Either way, Mohan Bhagwat comes across as a pompous dimwit. And I have no problem calling him out as one. So, no apologies. None at all.

  30. seeta

    ughh. asaram bapu and now ramdev have made totally inappropriate comments too.
    united they stand in blaming the girl.
    one for not invoking the sacred bond of being sister enough.
    the other dabbling in percentages and saying its a 90% to 10% blame ratio in cases of molestation and sexual offences, with the girl(s)/women being responsible too.
    why do people have to talk at all.
    sometimes, a maun vrat would be really useful.

  31. AP

    As to this post, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, somewhere in the comments you did acknowledge that you mentioned Owaisi’s name. However, the title of the post remains the same and is much more a prominent heading and thereby intends to reflect a bias, which anyways you heartily acccept(having a marxist teachings right from the childhood).

    Lets first study the post, apart from making the usual remarks about RSS, you also made sure that the incident which may [or not] have occurred about you having a face to face chat with the child molested in RSS HQ, assures any centrist person to necessarily disagree with you, which in turn results in him[her] being labelled as Rightist, only because [s]he doesn’t concur the thoughts that you (or similar left leaning intellectuals) may have.
    This further results in the society (importantly, intellectuals) being divided into either right, or, left, not because they are, but because you want them to be. I know Bhagwat’s statements do not have much substance as per statistics.
    However, let us take an analogy. When we learn about a term Jihaad, does it mean the internal or external struggle. Lets assume that it is “internal struggle” (though it also may mean outer struggle, or struggle in all forms), but then we allow Muslim brethen to shape the definition of the term that belongs to their culture. Who, therefore, are the people of West to create some definitions of a term and impose it on the world as the only definition, terming Jihaad = terror. I am sure you would agree with me on this.
    What, however, is ironic is the fact that the same right would be denied to Dharmic traditons in India (though leftist champions would jump to support the Muslim/Jihaad cause, mentioned above), and any attempt to redefine the terminology and more indegenious understanding of the dharmic (particularly, Hindu) culture would be termed as attack on human rights, and denegration of women, caste groups etc.. So when Bhagwat said something, there was absolutely no effort to try to understand the perspective he might have meant (the same case as Jihaad), however all attempts were made to distort the meaning and the language of reporting to make it appear as it fits the ideology.
    Naming some other people in the post doesn’t suffice. This was especially true on the IInd incident (contract marriage: Bhagwat) when the reports were already out distorting the meaning, only to be backtracked the next day with apologies in some cases.

    Further if you study the history of India after independence, the political right did not come to prominence itself, but in fact center got shifted too much towards the left thereby creating a void to be filled by Right. I don’t think you would disagree a lot on that, given the rise of Hindu Right politics in 1980s and not before that. Infact it can be argued (using same propositions as you have used in this post) to say that left doesn’t want the Right to go away, which the Left so dearly hates. In some cases it is exactly like Pakistan, which exists only to hate India.

    My concern is not you bashing a person (here, Bhagwat, mainly) or a group (here, RSS), but an intended explicit bias in reporting and expressing such topics. Somebody in the comments already mentioned that Owaisi was not reported on Kafila even after (approx.) one month of his delivering (not the “Alleged”, but actually a hate) speech. Given the uproar on social media post 24th December, it became a liability of english reporting media (may be including yours) to include the Owaisi in atleast “One” post (on Kafila). However, the point to note here is not that the post appeared on Kafila, but that none of the regular writers (see members sections : could give merit to Owaisi incident that it could ask for some labor on their part. All that could appear was a single post which was a translation from another Hindi post on some other website.
    Further looking at Kafila/about, it says that it arises from the dissenting voices which are not heard in the corporate media, whereas the dissenting voices of the people of India were not heard for about a month after Owaisi spoke. It appears that you (in this post) and others in general on Kafila profile a person based on community (primarily) to know if the voice is dissenting or not.

    Not to mention that specifically, Kafila was so much in debt for reporting on Owaisi, that it could not let go the fact that Owaisi was actually reported and created a new post saying, now that Owaisi is IN, where is Togadia ?

    I know some of this is not related to your post directly, but I could not stop myself today from dissenting from your “alleged” reporting of dissented voices.

    Though I am not a leftist (and doesn’t automatically imply I am a rightist), I go through most of the blogs on and appreciate the critiques and analysis of variety of topics. However, there is no one denying the fact that the ideology of blogs here is not centrist (which I consider to be more liberal than left). For your ready reference on this topic, this is what I would refer to you –

  32. Pingback: Anatomy of Rape | Politically In(correct)dian

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