“Girls should be married at 16, so that they don’t need to go elsewhere for their sexual needs. This way rapes will not occur.”

Is there any doubt that we need sex education? And it should begin with teaching Indian men and women about ‘consent’. That only Yes means yes.

Link shared by Bhavna Shivalkar.

Haryana Khap panchayats says marry them young to avoid rape cases

“As soon as the children attain puberty, it is natural for them to have sexual desires but when these are not fulfilled, they stray… so there should not be any minimum age limit for marriage.” [link]

One comment suggested, ‘Make prostitution legal’.

Do some people believe that all men should be provided with legal sexual partners – either wives or prostitutes, so that they don’t rape random women? This is why marital rapes and sexual assaults on sex workers are generally not seen as crimes.

Even our courts seem to believe that rapes are a natural outcome of men having no sexual partners. “In Rape Culture, we understand that if the rapist was living alone, away from his native place, he could lose control over himself.

Society also seems to accept men straying when wives are pregnant- like in Masoom.  (Read comments here –  I Want To be A Dad – Radhika Vaz)

Also, does marriage protect women from sexual assaults? Take a look at these random cases [link]

1. “On October 4, a newly-married woman registered a complaint saying she was allegedly abducted and gangraped by four men at Banwasa village …”

2. “In another incident, a 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 45-year-old neighbour in Rohtak, about 70 km from Delhi on Wednesday evening.”

Was the 45 year old man unmarried? Should the 13 year old have been married? 

3. “In the same area, a minor, mentally-challenged Dalit girl was allegedly raped last Monday. The 15-year-old victim was allegedly lured by three women relatives in Kachchi Garhi Mohalla colony of Rohtak and then raped by a man in an abandoned house.”

4.  “…a 12-year-old girl from Panipat was abducted and allegedly raped on October 3 by a distant cousin, 25. This sixth such case reported since Tuesday and the 13th in a month from the state.” [link]

5. ‘Armyman’s wife raped by cabbie in Kolkata‘, and Park Street rape victim in Kolkata was married and had a child.

6. The Pub attendant in Gurgaon where the radio cabbie was not afraid of being arrested, was also married and a mother.

But none of this makes sense to the Khaps. Here’s what one of them claimed causes rapes.

Sube Singh said “… I think that girls should be married at the age of 16, so that they have their husbands for their sexual needs, and they don’t need to go elsewhere. This way rapes will not occur,” [link]

90 thoughts on ““Girls should be married at 16, so that they don’t need to go elsewhere for their sexual needs. This way rapes will not occur.”

  1. wow ..wow.. I couldn’t help coming here after seeing the title of the article.. no wonder the mess we are in. The society still thinks that it is ONLY woman’s need for sex. And they never explain that it was the man’s need for sex that caused rape at the first place, isn’t it?

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    • not only do we need sex education here, we also should mandate self-defense classes for girls in schools .. when the cops, govt dont take enough steps to protect us and when we have to fend for ourselves, thats one route we should take ..

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      • Self defence classes would not help little kids against gang rapes or cases where seven men rape one woman, or where women are blackmailed after rapes are filmed. I think what women (and men) need to fight against is the careless attitude towards rapes and sexual crimes. Fast track courts, timely convictions, zero tolerance for statements and indirect (and of course direct) support for rapists.

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        • somehow we tend to neglect these kind of crimes adn push them back and drag the case thro courts, not to mention the media exposure.. along with //Fast track courts, timely convictions, zero tolerance for statements and indirect (and of course direct) support for rapists// we also need severe punishments for such crimes ..

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        • I agree too that self defense classes are NOT the solution. First society puts the onus on women by blaming what they wear for atrocities committed on them. How long before they blame women that they should have learned self defense and saved themselves from attacks? If she hasn’t that means, ‘she asked for it’? Is it only me, or can you hear this argument being touted?

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        • We don’t need a lot of practice just few techniques and we can protect ourselves. Self protection also means raising our voice against wrong . We need to come out of our homes and speak out . Many times people are scared to do so . Yes obviously better policing can help but still police can’t be present at every corner. Laws should be made stricter but for how long will we wait ..??

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      • Self-defence doesn’t help very much, for a multitude of reasons. I’ll mention a few reasons why that’s not a solution, but there’s many more:

        1) The attacker can freely choose the victim, he’ll tend to choose a victim he feels confident he’s physically superior to. 2) Often attackers are men and victims women, the size and strength-difference is such that even with reasonable amounts of self-defence training, most women are not a physical threat to most men. 3) Self-defence does not help at all against blackmail or sexual assaults on intoxicated victims. 4) Most assaults and rapes happen between people who know each other, including among partners, there’s psychological barriers against using violence in such situations.

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        • Shail…yes. Even if one were to become Ms. Bruce Lee fending off 10 rapists at one go – she’d be blamed for kicking men…so totally against Indian culture. Some lawyer might even put a case …’hurting the sentiments of Indians by lifting leg and making contact with this limb.’

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      • Self defence will not help much. I am a man. I do not count on my fighting abilities if I am attacked by some robber. I would rather hand him what he wants and then contact the police. Now consider the fact that women are in general much weaker physically than men. How can it be expected from all women to confront the criminals physically?

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        • Exactly. Also, the rape of the 13-year old Dalit girl was pre-mediated. A woman stood guard as three men, one of whom was her brother-in-law, raped the child.

          It’s sickening. Sometimes I feel the state of Haryana should be placed under quarantine. Besides rich landlords, the only other thing the state is famous for is violence against women. It has an abysmally low sex ratio and increasing violence against women. Yet the government sees no connection between the two.

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      • What can be taught though is some common sense measures, like how to make a noise or how to attract attention of outsiders. But they can be thought of just the last resort, and will actually not help in most cases.

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    • India, is it? The place seems to be more than a bit f…. up . What a backwater country, there are some 3rd world countries with less ignorance.

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  2. Hi,
    Its sad to hear such comments from a person who is regarded as the head of the village. This clearly indicates a lack of education in the people. By education i do not mean just obtaining a degree but ‘developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life’.
    It is equally shocking in the case mentioned that another girl stood guard while the crime took place !

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    • I also feel girls need to be told they are not to blame and they do not ask to be raped, no matter what they were wearing, how they laughed or socialised etc – why do they commit suicide? We are a failure as a culture, if we drive innocent young women to take their own lives while rapists roam free.

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      • “We are a failure as a culture, if we drive innocent young women to take their own lives while rapists roam free.”
        That reminds me of the little tyst I had with a cop during my student days. There was this guy from my part of India, who shared a flat with his sister in Gurgaon, both working in call centers. In the same building, there were also a bunch of hooligans who’d catcall, pass comments and sometimes try to get uncomfortably close to her. After one particularly harrowing incident, the duo decided to report the ‘eve teasers’ to the local police, only to have the police blame the girl’s choice of cloths and her supposed ‘attitude’ for the incidents. After being denied help, they approached me and since I had a friend who was in good terms with some of the cops, I went with them and successfully lodged a ‘report’ (note that the police in North India rarely ever registers a proper FIR, unless it is a murder or a crime against a high profile person).

        Having done that and dismissed the duo, the cop made a casual, offhanded remark about how a brother like that could ‘tolerate’ his sister wearing clothes and showing attitude like that. He also commented that as a man, it is my responsibility that women of my community don’t do things that ‘invite’ predators. When I responded back that the issue here is the predators and not the victim’s provocation, he simply remarked back (in Hindi) that where women wear ‘small clothes’, rapes are high. Telling him that rapes are extremely rare and pretty much unheard of in my part of the world (something that even the United States would be beat), he simply diverted the issue on the militancy factor, saying it is the media, which is more interested in documenting militancy in my part of the world, rather than bringing rapes out of the open.
         
        The conversation gave me an interesting perspective, about how warped and twisted people’s idea of gender relationships can be, in cultures where the genders are segregated to such an extent that men and women develop an adversarial and zero-sum-game competitiveness towards each other.

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        • “…in cultures where the genders are segregated to such an extent that men and women develop an adversarial and zero-sum-game competitiveness towards each other.”
          Sums it up.

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      • We are a failure as a culture, if we drive innocent young women to take their own lives

        There is a scene in the Rajnikanth movie Endhiran where the robot saves a girl from a burning house but she’s naked when he brings her out. She kills herself by running into a bus. That one scene pushes a culture where it’s more honorable for a woman to burn to death, a painful death, than be rescued if it meant she’s be naked for a few seconds.

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  3. I say all the KHAP heads should be sent for Psychological evaluation. That is when we will realize (to our horrors), that they belong to a new undiscovered species who look like humans but have the brain of an Orangutan.
    I can site instances when a two year old was raped. Maybe we should have a gender test during pregnancy and if it is a girl, we should marry her off before she is born.

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  4. This actually sounds like it is the minor girls who go around raping people … perhaps that’s what the khaps think? That the young girls seduce the poor uncontrolled men and make them rape her.

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  5. I can’t believe the Khap member’s brain is so under developed. I will give him a better idea.
    How about killing all girls before they are born? No girls, no rape, right? After some time you don’t even have to kill.
    Such an easy solution, you uproot the root cause. There is no chance the crime will ever occur again in the near and far future of mankind.

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    • He’s thinking with his *other brain. As Robin Williams famously said — men have two major organs; but only one works at any given time. Ok, I’m being mean. Sorry guys!

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  6. First of all the khap panchayat needs to get their logic straight. Girls having sex outside marriage is not called rape. Forcefully having sex with them is called rape. Marrying off girls early is not going to make a difference on men who don’t understand the concept of consent. The only thing achieved by marrying off the girls early is ensuring that they never get a chance to voice their opinions or choose their partners.

    It is amazing how time and again it never strikes these people that they can prevent rape by punishing the men engaged in rape. The go around making life more and more complex for women but do not want to try out this simple and straightforward concept of punishing the criminal.

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    • Yep, god forbid they punish the rapists! Oh no, what blasphemy!

      I just don’t get how people keep missing the most obvious thing. It’s a crime, punish the criminal. Simples.

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    • That would mean holding men accountable for rape. We don’t want that do we?
      The khaps want to engineer a situation where men have no responsiblity yet unlimited power and women have no power and unlimited responsibility.

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  7. Do these people who say such things even think about what they are saying? Ya bas kuchh bolna tha to bol diya??

    Do the girls rape men for their sexual needs? Don’t know whether to laugh or roll my eyes.

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  8. What else can we expect from Khap people? The average age of most of the Khap heads will be 70-80 years. They are the ones who cannot accept change and thinking from their mindset which is lagging a couple of generations.
    And the sad part is these Khaps have more power over the villagers than police and court. So either you accept and live as they wish or else flee from there. Khaps boycotting a house and even murdering people are not very uncommon.

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  9. There’s a tiny fragment of truth in this: It *is* natural for young people who reach puberty to have sexual desires. And it is true that it can be frustrating when those desires aren’t met. The rest of his recommendations however, are nonsensical.

    We already, as this blog amply demonstrates, have many many people marrying the wrong person, this causes suffering for both, but particularly for the woman since she is most often expected to make the biggest adjustments.

    Instead of adjusting the marriage-age, allow young people to be together without restriction. Educate them about sexuality, about consent, about contraception, about responsible sex. Teach them respect for each others autonomy and that a persons right to decide over his/her own body and sexuality is absolute. Also, one doesn’t actually go blind from masturbating, if one is sexually frustrated and have no partner, this is the best option.

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    • I am quiet happy that Sampat Pal has joined big boss to use it as a platform to send her messages across , Hope other bitchy politics doesnt hide her message.
      Actually I watched the show for first time : amazed at what Sampat pal said , we educated urbanites also can have so clear views , we can see in so many posts…
      She said ” There is no point of having reservations for women , until we first know our rights and use them , as we are already equal”.
      Another ” Nobody can force you or ask questions on being unmarried and when you feel like getting married no one can stop you , it is your choice”

      Hello Urban educated women who are still looking for male “sahara and approval ” and love nonsense demeaning traditions, Please learn something…

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  10. I think the Khap doesn’t know who rapes and who is getting raped. The person who rapes has a sick body and he is looking for his sexual need..and they should get married .If they are so much in sexual need why they don’t get married to adult girl without dowry. No at that time also they need dowry with a bonus house maid for life..

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  11. …and married women don’t get raped. That’s news to me. Oh these poor innocent men, what are they to do? Women are vile, it’s better just to kill them off in-vitro.

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  12. Oh wow, so anyone who gets raped is above 16 years, unmarried and has sexual needs who went asking to get raped? Wow. Now that’s twisted! I got no words for such perverts. I wouldn’t be surprised if they turn out to be child molesters themselves.

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  13. This is bizarre.. what the khaps mean is that marrying girls off at 16 will prevent love affairs and girls losing their almighty virginity before marriage. What they are trying to do is protect men’s interest by assuring they marry a young virginal child who they can then control sexually. This way the men can indulge in love sex and dhoka with other women with no threat of having to marry a non-virgin some day themselves!

    What they are saying has absolutely nothing to do with rapes at all.

    I think the khaps are clever enough to realise that and are just trying to jump on the rape-prevention bandwagon to further their own ulterior agenda. It’s just an excuse to impose all sorts of restrictions on women and girls (no cell phone, child marriage etc) that they have really been itching to impose but were against the law.

    The government needs to seriously rein in these khaps. They are dragging us back a 100 years.. and it makes sense because these khap men are about 100 themselves.. they probably don’t understand today’s world at all. Why aren’t women married off at age 10? Why do they study and work? Why do they have the right to roam around and *gasp* go to the market? All this nonsense didn’t happen in their heyday and they’re just trying to restore that! The most painful thought is that the government/police lets them carry on with this not just because of vote banks but also because it agrees with them (as Atheist Indian’s comment about the police indicates).

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  14. What absolutely twisted logic. What an irony — the countries within which the worst sexual crimes occur are those where the general public’s ‘moral sentiments’ are the most staunch and archaic.

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    • Not an irony, but a logical result. If you teach young people that sexuality is a sin, that feeling lust is bad, that sex is inherently damaging and bad, you cannot at the same time teach them about healthy, positive relationships, about mutual respect and acceptance, about consent and bodily autonomy, about contraceptives and safe sex.

      If you compare USA to Europe you see the same thing: A more conservative and restrictive and less open culture about sexuality is pushed by conservative folks under mottos like “true love waits” and “abstinence is the best contraception”. The results are catastrophic. USA has 8 times as many teenage pregnancies as Scandinavia, and a much higher prevalence of unsafe sex-practices, the average age of sexual debut is *lower* than in more liberal countries, while safety is much poorer.

      It makes total sense. Think about it.

      Which teenager is most likely to have safe sex ?

      The one with accepting parents that they can and do talk openly with, the parents who buys condoms and leaves them in a drawer, telling the young ones to please use them if they decide to have sex. Or the one with conservative parents that would freak out if they even caught whiff of their innocent child doing as much as kissing someone ?

      Having desires, is part of being human. You can either condemn that as bad, or you can accept that as part of being human, and teach the young how to be responsible with their sexuality, like we already teach them about other human emotions.

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      • I don’t think young people in India are taught emotional empathy either. Besides physical sexual urges, a successful rape also requires the rapist to feel no empathy towards the victim.

        Many men experience sexual frustration, but few attempt rape. The one who do obviously have poor impulse control and severe empathy deficits.

        Also, Indian society forgets that young men can ALSO be raped. In India, male rape is even more stigmatising than female rape.

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  15. Marrying people at young age will not reduce the rapes. As a matter of fact, I highly suspect that a novice inexperienced guy, who never had sex before is capable of executing penetrative rape successfully.

    However, there is another aspect of the discussion. I strongly feel that it is rather cruel to forbid young people from having sex. Sexual desires are at peak at around 20, and with the increasing age at which people are marrying nowadays, it is rather unfortunate that the society still demands from all these people to not enjoy sex by admonishing pre-marital sex.

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    • I totally agree.
      I believe prohibiting pre-marital sex has a great effect in sustaining the patriarchal mindset. This makes adult males wanting to get married primarily for having sex. So the guy’s parents can choose a girl of their choice who fits the bill of ideal sanskaari bahu for their son who is waiting for an opportunity from his teen ages.
      If sex is not linked with marriage, then the raging hormones wont come in the most important decision of one’s life.

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  16. I think the main reason behind this statement is that these people basically see rape and “illegitimate sex” as one and the same thing. Here, in Pakistan, I have observed a lot of confusion in people’s mind regarding the difference between the two, while discussing the hudood laws. I guess the main mentality is that women’s sexuality and body is owned by someone else, and when this ownership right is usurped, either through woman’s own free will or against her will, the consequences are pretty much same for the owners.

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    • Well said. That’s exactly the source of confusion. Seeing the world from a perspective of women and their sexual rights being a property of the owner. Consensual pre-marital sex and rape do the same damage for the owner. This explains why their solutions are always about locking up the women tighter instead of punishing the rapists.

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  17. I am sorry but only one word comes to my mind, WTF. Are they fucking crazy. 16. marriage. They don’t even understand what’s going on in their bodies. Let alone marriage. Now this means, marriage is for sex and fulfilling your sexual desires. How stupid!!!

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  18. There was a little girl standing behind this guy in the video, maybe his granddaughter. Wonder what sort of a woman she would grow up to be. Would she even know that she has a right to live happily and make decisions of her own? Would she even feel loved like a child or just feel like a commodity?

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    • I wondered about the exact same thing: What will be done to that child in the name of “kalachar”?
      When I saw that little girl standing behind that man, looking so trustful, I felt a great wave of gratitude rise up inside me towards my father who raised me as a human being and not a mere girl, as this man obviously would have done.

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  19. I wonder what Madhu Kishwar would say to these khap members? I remember her saying some guff a while back about how khaps are not all bad, and urban educated people need to understand the “moral universe” that khap members inhabit. And she’s supposedly a women’s rights advocate!

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  20. IHM the title is wrong it does not say just girls ..

    it says “Boys and girls should be married by the time they turn 16-year-old, so that they do not stray… this will decrease the incidents of rape,” Sube Singh, a Khap representative, had said.

    Not just girls…

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  21. its sad that these plp think the worse thing than can happen to a girl is sex outside of marriage. They dont care about the consequences of marrying the girl off early. All they care is that she doesnt have sex with anyone other than her husband.

    As for these rape crimes, instead of the that guy suggesting that girls be married off early why doesnt he suggest that the plp who raped should be hanged. I think that would definitely stop these rapes.

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  22. And of course, behind all this discourse, lies the ridiculous assumption that there can be no non-consensual sex (aka rape) within a traditional marriage.

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  23. Anyway, having read the transcript of the statement, the implications here do not make sense. Is he suggesting that if girls are married at 16, they will not longer be raped, because married women are off-limits to rapists? Or is he implying that if baccha (~children, gender neutral) are married off at 16, then men would no longer have to rape to satiate their sexual needs? While the latter seems the more likely implication, it is still warped and twisted.
     
    And frankly I doubt how educating people on basics of consent, as helpful as it may be, would do much to eliminate rapes. It might reduce chances of rapes where consent is ambiguous AND it might change how people see rapes – as a crime against a person rather than a mere legal offense (like not paying taxes); but the sociopathic aspect of rape would always remain – the typical rapist is rarely ever deterred by a lack of consent (which is at times, very obvious, especially if the victim is ‘punished’ for a rapist’s own victim complex/power issues).
     
    Regarding the ambiguity of consent, I think we’d run into cultural issues here. In my own experience, mainland Indian women still tend to be rather disingenous about whether they mean ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when it comes to sexual matters. The culture pretty much ‘programs’ women not to initiate AND to be reluctant to men’s sexual advances, even if they otherwise want to. So the idea of ‘enthusiastic yes means yes’ and ‘no=no’ can be problematic in traditional relationships in mainstream Indian cultures. Men are not mind readers and unless a man is in a league where he can date a more liberated (read westernised) woman, he has to play his chances, no matter how much of a gamble it is. This is one area where we need a cultural revolution of sorts (apart from covering several gender/caste issues).
     
    Also, there seems to be an culturally conditioned idea, usually among men that women are somehow obliged to satiate a man’s sexual arousal, especially if she ‘provoked’ it. I think it is unjust and unfair on women, to be obliged into such unwritten socio-sexual contracts. This is one area where a good grounding on ethics and social conduct should go hand-in-hand with sex education.

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    • this is really saddening !
      This country needs better informed, educated leaders only then something sensible can be expected from them. If the leaders have this kind of opinion then God help the women/girls of this country.

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    • My goodness. I expect nothing but nonsense from these khap panchayats, but an ex-chief minister too?!

      And what is the reasoning – how will girls getting married at 16 actually prevent rape? What warped logic are they seeing in this? Maybe they think that by getting married a girl becomes the husband’s property, so rapists will stay away?? Or that men will be less likely to rape if they are married (have an outlet for their sexual needs)?? What brilliance.

      And at 16 girls should be in school! These people just want women to stay at home, cook, clean, give birth and look after the family. No education, no rights, nothing – just life for a woman as it was set out in the manusmriti. Why are these khaps allowed to run? Surely the things they are doing are unconstitutional.

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  24. fuck you all
    ve come through all the comments folks but aint understand the thing y do u take women side all the time. let me ask you a thing few days ago girl been attacked by group of boys just outside the pub at midnight and u know she is 15 years old. what the fuck she’s doing at 2’o clock. did u see what dress she got ” mini skirt”.. fuck u alll…. dont just take women side all the time…

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    • The group of boys just outside the pub at midnight, shouldn’t they be punished to set an example for others who might be planning similar attacks? And wouldn’t they have attacked her if she was 25 or 35 and was wearing a different outfit? Did they know that some people would try to excuse their crime and blame the girl’s age, dress or timing?

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    • What she is doing at 2am outside a pub in a *gasp* mini skirt is , in your own words, none of your effing business. If the boys outside the pub were so concerned that she was breaking the rules, then they should have done the decent thing and called the cops. Rape is not an approved punishment under the Indian Constitution and neither is misplaced vigilantism.

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    • Siggghhh…Bobji, the reason we need to take women’s side most of the time is, sadly, because of people like you. Going by your own example, a 15 year old girl was attacked by a group of boys…a civilized response would have been to blame the attackers…they are the depraved criminals who have committed the horrible crime…yet you feel the need to blame the victim (who hasn’t committed any crime at all)…and you still wonder why we support women??

      If someone gets drunk and falls down, we can blame them for being so drunk that they are not able to stand or walk. However, if someone gets drunk and gets raped, then her being drunk is no longer the issue. She got raped because someone took the decision to rape her. Someone consciously made the choice to attack her and violate her dignity. The blame now wholly rests on the attacker. The question that civilized people should be asking is what those boys were doing attacking a 15 year old girl (no matter the time or the place). Instead of asking why the girl was wearing such short skirts, we should be asking why the boys were not able to keep it in their pants.

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    • You say the girl is fifteen year old – Do you even know or care about how old the boys were ?

      You say that girl was outside at 2’o clock – But were the guys not out there at the same time – or is that for you, guys can be outlate night but girls should not be ? Or does the law of the country changes after midnight and rapes are allowed ?

      She was wearing mini – skirt –So what ? Is she hurting anybody by wearing mini skirt ? Is she breaking any law ?

      The question you should be asking is – why did these guys impose themselves upon her ? What purpose was there to this action? Nothing but lust.

      The truth is a girl can walk down naked at midnight and even that does not constitute an invitation for sex or permission for rape. Nothing does. Ever

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    • I was going to write an elaborate reply to this. But then I realize your comment is not worth it. Instead I will say only this:

      We take womens side all the time because of people like you.

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  25. (sigh) Because of course there is not rape within marriage, right? And at 16 she isn’t old or mature enough to had autonomy over her body and sexuality, but is definitely ready for marriage??? I wonder if these men ever process what comes out of their mouths before they speak. It sickens me to no end that they just spout off such nonsense and people willingly back them up.

    Like

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