Gender bias: remarks by Indian politicians

As the nation debates society's attitudes towards women, here are some misogynistic remarks made by leaders. Many “withdrew” the comments later.

Rapes in “India”, not “Bharat”: RSS chief

Rapes are rare in ‘Bharat’ (rural India) but frequent in ‘India’, said Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He explained, "You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban

Women who cross “Laxman Rekha” will be punished

"There is a Laxman rekha for all. One has to abide by certain moral limits. If you cross this limit you will be punished, just like Sita was abducted by Ravana,"said Kailash Vijayvargiya, a minister in the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh.

“Painted and dented ladies”

"Women who are participating in candle-light vigils and those who are protesting have no connection with ground reality. These pretty ladies coming out to protest are 'highly dented and painted."

“No freedom at midnight"

"We say we got freedom at midnight but doesn't mean we can roam around freely at midnight," said Botsa Satyanarayana, the chief of the Congress party in Andhra Pradesh.

“Skirts cause sexual harassment”

Banwari Lal Singhal, a BJP legislator in Rajasthan said skirts should be banned from school uniforms because they provoke sexual harassment. "Wear pants or salwar suits," he advised. Students gifted him a skirt.

“Rate for rape” controversy

Anisur Rehman, who is from the CPM and is a senior legislator in the West Bengal Assembly, asked publicly what rate Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would charge for rape, after she announced compensation of Rs 20,000 for a rape victim.

Park Street rape: a “deal gone sour”

Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, a senior leader of Mamata Banerjee's party, said that the Park Street case - where a woman was raped by five men after she exited a nightclub - was not a case of sexual assault but a misunderstanding during a deal between a woman and her "client".

The attack on Smriti Irani

During a televised debate on the Gujarat elections, Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam said to Smriti Irani, “You used to be paid to dance on TV. Now you’re an election analyst?”