Nagpur: A Maharashtra Commission for Women member belonging to NCP kicked up a major controversy by suggesting that a woman's clothes and her behaviour are also responsible for rapes.
Dr Asha Mirge, a gynaecologist from Akola, said that girls should be mindful of their body language and attire to not invite the attention of potential rapists and asked why the Delhi gangrape victim went out for a late night movie show.
"Girls should be very careful about what they wear and at what time they move out in city. Their body language should not invite attention of the potential rapists lurking around in the streets," Mirge said at NCP's youth wing convention yesterday where she shared the dais with party chief Sharad Pawar's MP daughter Supriya Sule.
"Why should Nirbhaya go for a late night movie show at 11 PM? Why should a photo journalist in Mumbai go to an isolated place like Shakti Mills at 6 PM? Girls should always remain alert?" said Mirge while responding to a question by a young participant about women's safety. She also advised the girls to introspect about what they wear and their hair style. An embarassed Supriya Sule later admitted that what Mirge said was inappropriate.
"We are absolutely a gender-equal party. We want every man or woman to get security, have the freedom to travel to any village, taluka, city safely at any time of the day," Sule, NCP MP from Baramati, said. Mirge later admitted her mistake and apologised.
"I am not a politician, my intention was not to hurt anyone. I express my regret." Sule pleaded for the matter to be closed after Mirge voiced her regret.
"Mr Pawar (Union Minister Sharad Pawar) was the first person who got women's rights endorsed in Maharashtra. We gave women 50 per cent reservation. Our party is very pro-women," she said. Asked why she did not interrupt Mirge's speech when she was seated right next to her, Sule said," The manners that I have learnt from my parents as a child is that if somebody is making a speech, one should not interrupt. Once she had completed what she had to say, I made my intervention.
"She is older than me, she is my mother's age. She was speaking what she felt was apppropriate. I wanted for her to finish her speech and then I made my intervention which is on record which can be verified. Many TV channels were present there," she said.