We Are A State Of Men: Rajasthan Law Minister Shanti Dhariwal Legitimises Rape

Dhariwal's statement seems to imply that since the number of men in the state is more, the number of rape cases will be more and there is nothing the government can do about it.

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shanti dhariwal on rape
Law Minister of Rajasthan Shanti Dhariwal is facing flack on social media, for trivialising a heinous crime like rape during the state assembly session.  Dhariwal, who is also the Parliamentary Affairs Minister was replying in the assembly on why Rajasthan is at the number one spot when it comes to rape cases in the country. "We are at number one in rape cases. There's no doubt. Why are we ahead in rape cases?... Rajasthan has been the state of men," said the Congress leader.

The video of Dhariwal's inappropriate comment, which received applause from some other political leaders present in the assembly, was shared by a politician from the rival party who called the comment "shocking, disgusting, but not surprising," while also accusing the minister of "legitimising rape."

Shanti Dhariwal On Rape

This statement by the minister was also shared by the National Commission for Women Rekha Sharma who condemned it and wrote on Twitter, "Rajasthan government has ministers like these that's why women of the state are suffering gruesome gender crimes and police just don't do anything. How will women of the state feel safe if it has ministers like these? NCW India is taking strong action against Mr Dhariwal."

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Dhariwal's statement seems to imply that since the number of men in the state is more, the number of rape cases will be more. How is this an excuse to justify the rising number of rape cases in the state? Does he mean to say that law and order have failed women because of more men? Or is he trying to hide the inefficiency of his government by putting the blame on demographics? Should women of Rajasthan simply give up on their expectations of having a safer state, because the government has held up its hands clearly in resignation?

To justify what he said, Dhariwal recently told ANI, "I've always respected women and encouraged them to participate in everything. It was a slip of tongue, I wanted to say 'iss pradesh mein ye marz kahan se aa gaya' but ended up saying 'ye mardon ka pradesh hai.' I'll apologise in the house."

At times when a minister from one particular party makes a statement, the opposition parties take the turn to criticise and condemn. But then these same members fail to look at the similar trivialising statements being made in their own political parties or state.

Last year, while speaking on the alleged gangrape and murder of a 50-year-old Aganwadi worker from Badaun, a member of the NCW, Chandramukhi Devi had said, "Even under any influence, a woman should keep track of time, and should not venture out late. Perhaps, had the victim not gone out in the evening, or gone along with a family member, she could have been saved."

The same year, Karnataka's Home Minister Araga Jnanendra blamed the survivor in the Mysuru gangrape case, for heading to a desolate place.

Time and again, people in power, regardless of their gender, have ended up blaming women for sex crimes committed against them. These are the people who have been elected by voters, across the genders, to create a safer society. They were elected to improve our living conditions, not provide excuses. And yet, trivialising rape seems to be a much-loved hobby among Indian politicians, which exposes how regressive their mindset is.


Women should keep such comments in mind and use their power to vote for politicians who take issues like sexual crimes serious and are willing to do more than just lip service during election rallies. They should especially demand answers from politicians who present themselves as leaders who understand women-centric issues but go back to their misogynist ways that minute they are elected to power.

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Views expressed are the author's own.

sexual crimes against women Rape cases in Rajasthan