As if our own politicians were not enough, now Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan blames women for inviting rape by wearing revealing clothes. In an interview with Axios on HBO, Imran Khan said, “If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men, unless they are robots. It’s just common sense.”
Earlier in April too, the cricketer-turned-politician courted controversy when he said the concept of ‘pardah’ in Islam is intended to “keep temptation in check”.
There are many people who cannot keep their willpower in check, the Prime Minister of Pakistan said adding, “It had to manifest itself in one way or the other”.
Reacting to Imran Khan’s remarks, his former wife Jemima Goldsmith had said, “The onus is on men.”
Well, his compatriots across the Wagah border have pretty much made similar outrageous comments in the past inviting nationwide criticism. Here is a brief flashback:
Tirath Singh Rawat, Uttarakhand Chief Minister of the ‘ripped jeans’ fame
He is pretty much fresh in our minds because it was only in March this year that the CM made an offending remark soon after taking up office. He blamed ripped jeans for all that ails the young. Speaking at a workshop organised by the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, he criticised an unnamed woman he met on a flight.
The woman, he said, was travelling with two children and was “wearing boots, jeans ripped on the knees, and had several bracelets on her arm”. “You run an NGO, wear jeans ripped at the knees, move about in society, children are with you, what values you will teach?” he asked.
He went on to describe ripped jeans as clothing that both caused and was symptomatic of moral turpitude and criticised parents for allowing their children, especially girls, to wear them.
Panchayat in Baraut
In 2016, A village council 50 km from Delhi has asked girls not to wear jeans, tight-fitting clothes or use mobile phones as they can “land girls in problems and lead to teasing.” The panchayat, however, said it was more of a recommendation and not a diktat. Even boys were discouraged from wearing tight-fitting clothes.
Asha Mirje of the ‘Nirbhaya was responsible for her rape’ fame
In 2014, NCP member and Maharashtra State Women’s Commission member Asha Mirje said women too were “responsible to an extent” for rape and that their “clothing and behaviour” played a part. She also claimed the Delhi gang-rape victim (Nirbhaya) had only herself to blame for the sexual assault.
Uttar Pradesh police
Responding to a Right to Information (RTI) request regarding the rising incidents of sexual crimes against women in the state, the police cited reasons ranging from mobile phones and indecent clothing to lack of entertainment.
In 2014, policemen from Nasirpur in Firozabad district blamed rapes on “lack of entertainment options.” In Allahabad, policemen posted at Parvai station blamed “women’s clothes, appearance, DD telecast, mobile phones and vulgar songs.”
Police stations in Etawah
In 2014, police stations in Etawah district said “too much intermingling of boys and girls is resulting in rapes.”
Sudin Dhavalikar, BJP leader
He said women should not wear bikinis on beaches “for their own safety”, and “girls in short skirts visiting pubs” is against the culture of the popular beach destination.