Cause for Concern

Published Nov 10, 2017, 12:00 am IST
Updated Nov 10, 2017, 7:07 am IST
At a time when PM Narendra Modi is poised to strengthen the social campaign Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.
Picture of a rally against sexual harassment carried for representational purposes only
 Picture of a rally against sexual harassment carried for representational purposes only

People are witnessing quite the contrary. Incidents of politicians’ family members being involved in cases of harassment and rape are on the rise. A recent study by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO working for electoral reforms, made an alarming revelation that 51 MPs and MLAs have been accused of crime against women, including alleged rape.

City statistics are no better. The sons of several politicians are under the scanner for such crimes. Recently, in a bizarre incident, Abhishek Goud, son of Malkajgiri corporator Jagadeeshwar Goud was arrested (for the second time) for allegedly harassing a woman on Facebook. He apparently insisted on cyber sex and uploaded her morphed photos. 


Inspector Md Riazuddin, cyber crime police, Rachakonda, says, “It’s a case of impersonation and we have managed to identify the account,” adding that they will not reveal the modus operandi as it might alert others. Earlier this year, Nizamabad MLC Dr K. Bhoopathi Reddy’s son Snehith Reddy and two others were booked by Cyberabad Police in a case of alleged rape of a 23-year-old beautician from Hyderabad. 

Similarly, last year, AP SC-ST & Tribal minister Ravela Kishore Babu’s son, Susheel Ravela, was arrested by the Hyderabad police after a case of outraging a woman’s modesty was registered against him. And the ‘shame list’ is only growing.

Shame list
Abhishek Goud (son of Malkajgiri corporator Jagadeshwar Goud) was arrested for allegedly sexually harassing a woman on social media. A case was booked against former MP Nama Nageswara Rao for allegedly threatening a woman that he will make public her private pictures

Nizamabad MLC Dr K. Bhoopathi Reddy’s son Snehith Reddy has been booked by Cyberabad Police in a case of alleged rape of a 23-year-old woman. AP Minister Ravela Kishore Babu’s son, Ravela Susheel was arrested after a case of alleged outrage of modesty was registered against him K. Varun (along with his friends), son of MPTC Angadha Rao, was allegedly involved in a gang-rape of two tribal girls at Tajangi (Visakhapatnam agency)

Wrong means wrong
Politicians wield a lot of clout! When their family members misuse the power and harass ordinary folk, it makes the crime even more inexcusable. Leaders across parties comment.

So what if he is a politician’s son? All are equal before law. Be it an MLA, MP or a corporator’s son. People are not afraid of the law. If women start agitating, politicians suppress them with their clout; it’s spoiling the system!
Thota Seetharama Lakshmi, TDP MP, Rajya Sabha

Even in high profile cases, using the latest technology, we can track down anyone. The success of these cases is empowering women to come out in the open, no matter how big the offender is. Women should be aware of the laws, their significance and their power to rescue them.
Swati Lakra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crimes)

A  politician is also a parent. It is his duty to create a congenial atmosphere at home so that the attitude towards women is not regressive. But, there is a lack of elderly advice at home these days. I am glad that women are now becoming bold enough to voice their agony.
Geetha Reddy, former minister for Major Industries, Sugar, Commerce and Export Promotion; Congress MLA

Even if the offender is from a political family, crime against women is highly unacceptable. The politician should be made responsible. He should not be a disgrace to the fraternity.–D.K. Aruna, former minister for Information and Public Relations

When politicians’ families are involved, governments have to act more responsibly.
— K Kavitha, TRS MP

Such incidents are extremely shameful. I strongly feel that we as a community need to protect our women from sick minds and make our environment safe. However, saying something like ‘because he’s a politician’s son he did this shameful act’ is wrong! We have scores of respectable politicians who give their blood for India! Categorising them with such sick people is bad. One Tarun Tejpal molesting a woman does not make the entire media bad. One is wrong whether he is a politician or an actor...
— Anil Kumar Yadav, President, State Youth Congress

It is shameful to hear about such incidents and an embarrassment if the person belongs to a political family. But not all politicians’ children are bad apples. 
Having said this, I will end with the caveat that we as politicians are the leaders of this society and people tend to look up to us. So when it comes to immediate family, we must be extra careful about their behaviour, habits and the company they keep.
— Karthik Reddy, Young Congress Leader, Telangana
– As told to Swati Sharma