There are thousands of godmen in India. They fool people using their little magic tricks. They walk across hot coals, burp out gold eggs, make ash out of thin air, turn water into blood etc. These charlatans are called ‘baba’. Baba business flourishes in India because a large number of people are ignorant and idiot. Politicians, players, film stars, and many famous people are their disciples. They give babas hundreds of millions of rupees. Some babas or spiritual gurus have followers even in the Western countries. The Beatles once fell for a charlatan.
A godman called Asaram Bapu said something bizarre and insensitive today. He said that the victim of Delhi gang rape was as guilty as her rapists.
Despite the continuing national outrage over the brutal gang rape of the 23-year-old student in Delhi, a small minority on the fringe has said, in a case of blaming the victim, that women are also responsible for the sexual crimes against them. The latest to join their ranks is self-styled spiritual leader Asaram Bapu with his suggestion that the gang-rape victim should have prayed to god and begged with her attackers to let her go.
He also said:
Those who were at fault were drunk. Had she taken guru diksha and chanted the saraswati mantra, she would not have boarded any random bus after watching a movie with her boyfriend. Even if she did, she should have taken god’s name and asked for mercy. She should have called them brothers, fallen at their feet and pleaded for mercy. Had she said, I am a weak woman, you are my brothers”, such brutality would not have happened.
Misogynist godmen influence their millions of followers to become misogynists. The female followers also turn terribly anti-women. Misogyny is norm here. Most people protesting against rape of women because they believe their family’s honor lies in their women’s vagina or sexual purity. When a woman is raped by strangers, her honor and the honor of everyone in her family, they are sure, get destroyed. What we need now, is, desexualization of rape. I do not think people in patriarchal society would protest against rape if rape were considered as violence but not sex. People do not take to the streets to protest against violence against women. Hundreds of thousands of women are victims of domestic violence, dowry murder, bride burning etc. But rape makes people angrier than any other violence. The truth is, rape doesn’t destroy women’s honor, if it destroys anyone’s honor, that is rapists’.