In a bizarre and grotesque statement, the state Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Abu Azmi said women who were raped should also be punished. The statement came after this reporter questioned Azmi about SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comments on rape.
Yadav had, at a rally in UP, said that the death sentence, as punishment, for rape was too harsh. “Ladkon se aisi galtiyan ho jati hain, to iska matlab yeh to nahi ki unhe phaansi de di jaaye (Boys make mistakes, but this doesn’t mean you hang them),” he told the gathering. (Mulayam’s shocker on rape: ‘they are boys, they make mistakes’)
To the gallows
When this reporter asked for Azmi’s comments on his chief’s statements, he replied that rape was punishable by death in Islam.
He further added, “In India, if you have sex with a person with consent, it’s fine. But if that same person complains, it’s a problem. Nowadays, we see a lot of such cases. Girls complain when someone touches them, and even when someone doesn’t touch them. It becomes a problem then, and the man’s honour is ruined in this. If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam.”
When asked for a solution to the problem of rapes, Azmi had this to say: “Solution is this: any woman if, whether married or unmarried, goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged.
After saying all this, Azmi remained pretty diplomatic about reacting to his boss’ comments. “What context has he spoken in? Sometimes, the wrong people go to the gallows. Josh mein ladke aisa kar jaate hai. I won’t speak against Islam,” he commented.
However, his son Farhan Azmi, who is contesting from the Mumbai North Central constituency, disagreed with his father and party leader. “I believe a rapist should be hanged a hundred times. I have five sisters and everyone in my family believes the same.”