File photo of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
She emphasised that while discussing crimes against women, a fine line should be drawn
Amid the outrage over the Kathua and Unnao incidents, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today lamented that crimes against women were getting politicised based on the identity of the perpetrators.
Addressing a gathering as part of BJPs women outreach interactive programme called 'Karunada Mahila Jagruthi', Sitharaman said "You see every morning how such crimes against women are vitiating atmosphere. It is even more painful when that gets politicised."
"Crimes against women "who's the perpetrator, whos not the perpetrator" based on that, agony is replayed and charges are levelled," she noted.
"But does that mean that you don't talk of politics at all in the context of women? You do! You make parties which don't mouth or make lip services for women in parliament, their emancipation or empowerment," she stated.
Sitharaman felt that security of women was not a new topic for India at all.
"But periodically the country faces such unfortunate situation of one after the other diabolically human crimes, especially one targeting women, adolescents and sometimes even children who are not even in their teens," she said.
She emphasised that while discussing crimes against women, a fine line should be drawn so that the issue does not get politicised and the exercise should not restrict only to lip services but finding out a concrete solution to the problem.
Every government, said Sitharaman, has the responsibility to make sure such crimes are prevented.
"If there is difficulty in preventing crime, the government should have stringent laws," Sitharaman added.
Citing the example of BJP government at the Centre, the defence minister said the government came up with the ordinance because the parliament was not in session.
She said, "We brought in an ordinance to make sure that the punishments are even more stringent."
The Union Cabinet recently approved an ordinance to provide stringent punishment, including death penalty, for those convicted of rape of girls below 12 years amid a nation-wide outrage over cases of sexual assault and murder of minors in Kathua and Surat and the rape of a girl in Unnao. Taking a dig at the Congress government in Karnataka, Sitharaman said the government here failed to identify that such crimes have to be prevented with "methods which meets something."
"We are tolerating a lot in Karnataka... Corruption has known no boundary," said Sitharaman.
During the question and answer session, a woman asked why the BJP, which talks about women empowerment, gave inadequate number of tickets to women to contest in the May 12 assembly polls, Sitharaman said it was not the gender but the candidate's winning chances which matter.
In this context, she cited the example of BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje, who was sitting next to her.