In another instance of victim shaming by our elected representatives, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that women file rape cases to get back at their boyfriends. While addressing a public event in the state on Saturday, Khattar said that such cases happen only between people who are familiar with each other.
“Around 80-90% of the rape and molestation cases happen between people who are familiar with each other. They roam around together for days, and when they finally squabble one day, the woman files an FIR saying that she has been raped,” he said. His statement came in the backdrop of the increasing number of cases in the state.
According to a recent report tabled in the state assembly, there has been a 47 percent increase in rape cases since 2014-15. Apart from that, the state has witnessed a 100 percent spike in kidnapping cases. But for the chief minister, making such statements is the norm since it wasn’t the first time
In January 2018, he blamed media for ‘sensationalising’ rapes when a reporter confronted him on the issue of women’s safety.
Khattar has also made problematic statements about women’s dressing. In 2014, he said that women dress ‘indecently’ which instigates men to sexually assault them. “If you want freedom, why don’t they just roam around naked? Freedom has to be limited. These short clothes are western influences. Our country’s tradition asks girls to dress decently,” he had said.
While justifying khap panchayats and their harsh rulings, he also said that pre-marital sex is ‘against Indian tradition’. “Pre-marital sex is a blot. Sex after marriage is acceptable. Pre-marital sex happens as the minds of the girls and boys are not on the right track,” he said.