Ashis Nandy says Bhagwat is right

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Delhi: While Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh supremo Mohan Bhagwat is being criticised for his comment that rapes occur only in cities, not in rural India, prominent public intellectual and social scientist Ashis Nandy has come out in his support. Speaking to Tehelka, Nandy says there is a connection between modernisation, urbanisation and rape.

“It is not only in India but in most of the world. So I don’t think Bhagwat was wrong because in India there are many instances, even in rural India there are many instances of rape. I must tell you that the future is loaded in favour, if I may put it that way, of urban India and modern India. In other words you will hear more instances of rape in cities and metropolitans,” he says.

Bhagwat sparked off a controversy on Friday 4 January with his remark that rapes occurred only in cities and not in rural India. “Such crimes hardly take place in Bharat, but they frequently occur inIndia,” he said while addressing a citizens’ meet in Silchar, Assam.

Bhagwat criticised the “western” lifestyle adopted by people in urban areas and blamed it for the increase in crime against women in cities. “You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gangrape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. Besides new legislations, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values,” he said.

Defending Bhagwat’s remarks, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav on said, “The statement of RSS chief should be taken in proper perspective. He (Bhagwat) has already demanded strict punishment for rapists and even called for death penalty if required,” Madhav said.

“All that he said is that in Indian tradition we have great respect for women and we should learn to uphold this tradition. If one goes away from this tradition it will result in rise of crime against women,”  he added in the RSS chief’s defence.

Nandy further added that the reason why he sees a rising incidence of rape is “because the kinds of rapes that we hear of now are mostly violent”.

“You can almost call it anomic rape. These are typical characteristic of anonymous cities. Highly individualised, personally thin cultures and it is so not only inIndia, I repeat, but perhaps all over the world from which we have data. So in one sense, Bhagwat is not wrong, but he has absolutised this difference to make a different kind of point to protect India perhaps, its so called pristine purity as it survives outside urban India. In anonymous societies kinship dies and community ties weaken and become superficial. It is in these circumstances that you see the kind of rape that you are seeing today,” Nandy says.


Sociologist Ashis Nandy expands on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment blaming rapes on increasing western values


  1. Sorry – I beg to differ on this view of twisting words, Bharat/Hindustan/India are no different to me. Rapes in rural are hardly reported and women suffer silently whole of their lives, including forced rapes by other famaily members in certain states. Pls use all these energy to crear zero tolerance plocy towards any verbal or physical abuse (of suxual or non-sexual in nature).
    PS – There is such thing as eve-teasing, this word should never be used in reference to any physical or verbal abuse.

      • What does it mean? If you don’t think India and Bharat are the same countries, say so. There are more rapes in villages of India than in cities, except they are not reported. The panchyats of the khap and non-khap variety never let these be reported and who is collecting the statistics. Wake up India or Bharat or whatever country you want to be called these days.

        • Mr. Puri….Khap etc…is tiny part of Bharat there is much more Bharat in Rajahsthan, Gujarat, MadhyaPradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Orissa, Tamilnadu – Have you heard series of sex crimes in these cities unlike Delhi, Haryana & Punjab? Mr. Bhagwat is absolutely right. Just by giving spins to his statements will not change situation. You morons remain in denial mode & keep suffering 🙁

        • Mr. Puri….Khap etc…is tiny part of Bharat there is much more Bharat in Rajahsthan, Gujarat, MadhyaPradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Orissa, Tamilnadu – Have you heard series of sex crimes in these cities unlike Delhi, Haryana & Punjab? Mr. Bhagwat is absolutely right. Just by giving spins to his statements will not change situation. You morons remain in denial mode & keep suffering 🙁

  2. How are the rapes of women in Kashmir and Manipur made to fit in to this rather strange explanation?

    Also are these events in someway related to massive liberalisation of the economy in name of “devlopement”? Doting that had changed people’s lives totally

  3. I am little perturbed by this distinction of Bharat and India…..It is like un-attaching oneself with all the evils that Bharat has taken up to become India.

    Urbanisation does weaken the social and cultural ties, considering the different backgrounds of high number of migrants in metropoles. It is indeed difficult to find the common thread to bind them all except for the language/ civil codes …..maybe.But the rural scenario in India is not perfect either. Khap in Haryana has proven that and so are the regular incidents in rural and tribal India doing.

    If urban women are suffering from public apathy, then the rural women in India are suffering from nothing less than the distorted notion of power play between castes and genders!

  4. @Manish.. ubderstand what he meant by Bharat & India. the incidents have gone up as the society is getting more liberated. may be its a transition phase but Bhagwat is right.

  5. How would Mr.Nandi like to see the caste based violence and rapes in rural India? Can we put the onus on urbanisation? How will he expalin the rapes of Dalit and tribal women in rural areas? As Ashish Nandi observes, there may be a connection between modernisation, urbanisation and rape. But, this argument in no way legitimises RSS supremo’s argument that such rapes hardly take place in (Hindu) Bharath. His Bharath essentially contains within it upper caste dominance and marginalisation of Dalits and other under privileged castes. Therefore, he can see things only in that way…

  6. Is Modi’s Gujarat (since 2002) a part of “BHARAT’ or ” INDIA’, or totally independent KINGDOM/EMPIRE/MONARCHY, in the context of horrendous beastly mass gang rapes followed by brutal murder that took place in Feb-March 2002?
    Ashish Nandi Or Mohan Bhagwat, who can dare to give a convincing reply? Remember BIG BROTHER is listening.!!!!

    • horrendous beastly mass gang rapes followed by brutal murder that took place in Feb-March 2002 in Gujarat actually happened in Delhi in TV news room.
      From there they spread in whole of India.

      A lie does not become a truth even if you repeat 1000 times.

      • “bhookhe ghuse to koi na koi to phal khayega, na” – Suresh Richard, one of the key accused in the Naroda Patiya massacre.

        “Suresh Richard told TEHELKA that there were many instances of rape and he himself was involved in one of them.”

        “After the first round of assault, the Muslims barricaded themselves into their homes and
        remained there till around 3pm when the attack intensified. Between 5 and 6 that evening, the mob reached the height of its frenzy; many women and girls were first raped and then doused in kerosene and petrol and burnt.”

        Source: Dance of Hate – Ashish Khetan – Tehelka Magazine – Nov 3rd, 2007

      • Correct. Aptly applies to the lie you just said. Facts will remain with the ones on the receiving end. The oppressors just move on till they themselves become the targets when they are forced to acknowledge the facts.

      • Rajesh, Pl try to read “TEHELKA’ volume 9, issue no:36, dt 8th Sept.2012.
        If your inverted brain (washed by poisonous venom) still finds the TRUTH as LIE, no God can save you . Keep remaining in the HELL.

      • You mean that Bilkis Bano Case and the Naroda Patiya Verdict which indicted a BJP MP Maya Kodnanai and a Bajarang Dal member was also not in a court? Please my friend read the verdict. Ever since there has been violence women have been at the receiving end be it Bharat or India!

  7. How does Mr. Nandy and Bhagwat explain rapes in the Congo? There so many holes in this idiotic pronouncement both from an RSS functionary and asocial scientist that my head is spinning.

  8. Has anyone actually seen thevideo.someone recorded his statement on mobile with video and he has said something everyone sh watch. please cut paste following on YouTube :what he actually said on the Bharatiya tradition of respecting woman

  9. Has anyone actually seen the controversial video.someone recorded his statement on mobile with video and he has said something everyone should watch. please cut paste following on YouTube : what he actually said on the Bharatiya tradition of respecting woman

  10. These kind of people are responsible for slowing down the growth of India, I would have agreed to him in case he would have given the figures that the women in Sari and suits are never raped and all the women in western country are raped.These people just don’t have right mindset to lead the people.
    Only if like western countries and minister they can ensure that the rules are implemented in our country can be a far better place but she and no minister is interested.
    If cases in so called Bharat does not get registered because ppl are scared to raise there voices and no one there to listen to them it doesn’t make it a better place to live.
    And so sad to see a sane journalist supporting this hope this is not for the extra coverage to support some thing which probably is against the view of most of the young India.

  11. where do khap panchayats exist? In Bharat or in India? And what Indian culture RSS talks about? Bhagwat’s `Bharat’ culture was never about equality of women. Indian culture either deified women or enslaved them with various `cultural’ methods.

  12. Both Ashis and Mohan Bhagwat have de-contextualized rape. Rapes never occur in a social void. As in other parts of the world, rape at times also becomes the instrument of the state to subdue its subjects. One cannot see Delhi’s rape in isolation. Along with that we have to think about rapes in Delhi 1984, Mumbai 1992-93, Gujarat 2002, Kandhamal 2008, Kashmir and Manipur et al. Pray, tell us Mr.Nandy and Mr.Bhagwat, whether Khairlanji, Adivasi hamlets in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are in Bharat or India…

  13. The statistics shows that there is no less evil of rape and women oppression in rural India. In a ‘honour and shame’ culture; truth, justice and righteousness are sacrificed. Family reputation is important. A daughter or sister-in-law who is raped has to be silent to protect the family honour. This has discouraged many to come out in open. Whether rural or urban human nature is same.

  14. While that may be so,there is a cultural issue here.
    Males, North Indian,breakdown into community, caste,revenge,have shown an inclination to consider this as their BIRTHRIGHT.Therefore there is no need to blame modernisation etc.
    The bus case may be an aberration, but rape is seen as justice, punishment.
    Not only here, but in many other places.Might is right, and other cliches.
    Hence punishment of the offenders is not enough.
    A fundamental change of attitude towards women is required, at all levels.
    Against might is right, if you will.
    Go fetch that.

  15. Manjeet Chaturvedi shared a link on Facebook on
    July 14, 2012
    I am surprised to note that common women in India are being accused of dressing in modern style. Those who fell victim to antisocial behavior are compared with seductress characters. This is an indication of overlooking the visible and so much studied factors that prevail in different layers of Indian social structure. Just to give one example to counter the argument that women asked for it, why rural women, girl child, old women were raped? The rural women, the girl child, the old women,, the mentally disordered women, the female relatives in family – all fell victim to rapists. These women and children were not because of their dress etc. never asked for it. Rape is a criminal act. So called ‘moral policing’ ( the beating and misbehavior of couples by self appointed caretakers of ‘culture’) in different public parks on Valentine Day indicates other reasons. We can see that eve teasing is unstopped despite all measures. . One of my foreigner friends while visiting Varanasi asked me, “Where are women in this city? I do not see many in bazaars and offices.” Unless the women come out of their protection in great numbers in public places(like they do in university and college campuses), they will be looked by many men as ‘objects’. Indian society is waiting to undergo a revolution to undo gender construct. This is oversimplification of misconduct and crime against women if an argument of ‘women are asking for it’ is made.

    ‘Women Are Asking For It’
    Blame the temptress, not just the assaulter. When it comes to sexual harassment cases in India, this mentality is still alarmingly common.

  16. Sexist remarks are the order of the day.While some who make them go scot free others are flayed.Why this distinction?If RSS chief makes remarks about Bharat and India, he is chastised right away in all fora.very good. Only Tehelka has published Ashis Nandy’s support for Bhagawat.I am waiting to see how many of our print media give Nandy’s views prominence.After Ashis Nandy is no ordinary individual, occupting an important position in society.Let us see how many of our TV channels invite him to a panel discussion on this matter.

  17. No media channel played this video. Because it would have exposed their spin. The answer by Bhagwat ji was given in context to a question. And if the media was true and wanted to report then the underlying message was the down fall of respect for womanhood.

  18. Nandy has appeared on tv on the 5th Jan… and the little that I heard of what he said was NOT the way
    it is being reported but along the following lines :

    1. Rapes in villages don’t happen within the same community
    2. But they happen a lot across communities … rape of Dalits by upper castes, rapes of tribals by non-tribals
    3. violent urban gang rapes as a consequence of alienation/lumpenisation etc in the city … which is a trend which will only grow with increasing urbanisation.
    He clarifies that he does not have a pristine view of rural areas.
    Now one may disagree with this but surely this is very different from an endorsement of Bhagwat’s views.

    • is there a similarity in the way that urban rape is like rural rape in that they are both used to consolidate certain kinds of solidarity/conformity? in the ‘idiocy of rural life’ (as Marx called it), such solidarity is created by raping ‘others’–this is seen in the example you give. Whereas in the ‘alienated/lumpenized’ and highly individualized city the rape of woman is a way of building a new community amongst otherwise rootless men. So in both cases, rape is a way of to shore up community–in the first case, a premodern one; in the second, a modern one.

  19. RSS,MIM,Indian Mujahideen belong to the same criteria.They will never wake up or come out of their medieval and regressive mindset.RSS has always pursued the Manusmriti which preaches the most retrograde values degrading women,Justifying Varnashrama therby trampling the Dalits and Tribals.
    As i had been in Rural Bharath witnessed many cases of rapeand violence against women in general and Dalit women in paticular.Bhagavat is not an illiterate to be unaware of this fact.RSS doesn’t want accept women’s empowerment or progress as they and their frontal organisations has many times proved to by their arrogant and violent Moral policing against Valentines day,Women bashed up in pubs etc.

  20. Why is there no hue and cry when school going boys are murdered in

    daylight, According to statistics there are 3 men murdered for every

    one women, and 2 male

    suicides for every women. If you keep focusing on violence only

    against women, the cases would keep rising. What we need is Gender

    Neutral Law and not

    demonising Males. This is no Complaint but for Information only, I had

    written this before but now i am writing this in Detail. We would

    request TV channel to

    gain TRP’s to stop sensationalizing women’s rights and making women


    victim all the time which in the long run works against women’s

    rights.all the time, There are hundreds of cases all around the

    country where women of vicious

    character lay honey-traps having sex with men and then claimed they

    have been raped or molested. I am forwarding a letter from the

    thousands of letters from exploited

    men from the Internet for help the letter says, I am writing this

    after it happened to my brother who is of the very best character and

    discipline by all standards and whom we all love. This kind of

    exploitation can happen to anyone of our loving brothers, sons,

    fathers, Close Friends or

    husbands who are perfect gentlemen.

    This women got introduced by a mutual friend when i was with my

    brother at a party, she seemed very polite and caring, gradually they

    spoke constantly on the

    phone, within a week she invited my brother to her flat they have had

    a physical relationship during this time she demanded and took gifts

    worth more than 5 Lakhs

    from my brother, one of my brothers golden chain with a diamond

    pendant worth more than 7 Lakhs went missing, this went missing when

    this women was present and no one

    else, when my brother was about to call of the relationship seeing

    himself in a soup, she then demanded 3 Lakhs from my brother stating

    she wanted to work in

    Australia. When my brother said he was running short of money, then

    she played the rape card and my brother had no other go than to pay up

    the money. There is a well connected

    Network of Certain Vicious Women laying honey traps to Men especially

    Upper Middle class and rich wealthy high status men all over our

    cities in the

    hundreds. Normally well meaning Men would part with Any Amount of

    Money to save themselves from Public Disgrace, Hardship, Scrutiny from

    Courts to safegaurd their reputation from Family

    Friends their Children and Society. I would assure you than many men

    are being taken for a ride and this is big business or extorting Big

    money running into Lakhs and Crores

    from Genuine Gentlemen. Many a Women in cities get married to Men only

    for sake of wealth and Property after Seducing them and then get

    divorced within 1 or 2 years

    and then either claim Dowry harassment or Violence in Marriage as a

    Case for Divorce and Demand a Big Share of the Property. This is no

    Fable but practically what

    is going on where there are Hundreds of examples. This has to be

    stopped. Certain Vicious women who work as Helpers in middle class and

    rich households sometimes steal

    (sometimes which is caught on camera) and when reprimanded would put

    up a case of rape, molestation or domestic violence. Please do a

    sting and check out

    that there are thousands of cases of women exploiting men for money in

    every metro EVERYDAY. The big sad story is that many a men have become

    tools in hands of psuedo feminists because of an (inate subconscious

    desire in men

    to please women) to satisfy their desire of some vicious women, of

    absolute subtle not obvious authority and exploitation of men which is

    happening on a daily

    basis and it is a taboo for many a

    helpless men to complain. I have come across many cases where Men

    nowadays resort to unlawful means to rescue themselves mostly by a

    Third Party Intervention

    which most of the time end up in more Extreme Violence against women,

    This happens because the laws are totally against men specially in

    India and they take it upon

    themselves or 3rd Party to seek justice. I would urge our lawmakers to

    imbibe the system from Europe US Australia where

    laws are equitable and there you find women in a more equal system as

    men. In the annals of history for the past 1000 years according to

    discovery channel more

    than 3 billion men have sacrificed their lives to save their

    respective motherland and the lives of women and children. If nothing

    is done about this now it can be

    Our turn or our loving sons, brothers, fathers, husbands turn to face

    the heat and burn within the soul from the hands of one of these

    vicious women or from

    those opposed to us who want to see our downfall.I cannot post links

    of utter Degradation Extreme torture and Absolute Humiliation of Young

    boys from age 1-15 which is so terrible, some of these Young Helpless

    Boys are

    kidnapped at a early age by Women Feminists and are conditioned to

    bear Terrible Torture and be their Tortured Slaves through Adulthood,

    this is so prevalent

    and is flourishing in the name of Feminist Porn. The most appalling

    matter is that there is no Law to curb this extreme violence by women

    Feminists against Young

    boys and Men. This also happens in India rampantly in Kindergartens

    where they are tortured by the Ayas, Female Wardens in Hostels and

    Even sometimes by

    Mothers in their own homes, these tortured Boys & Men have no where to

    go to complain, because the Law doesn’t accept such complaints

    Pretending that this does not happen

    but when it is rampant in India. In India Let us stop Legal Sanctioned

    Mental and Physical Abuse of Men by Women which is apparent in in

    Twice the number of Men committing suicides as per statistics. Men

    experience 7 times more danger to their Lives in Today’s India as per

    Let us not go by Public outcry, Public can be swayed in Mass numbers

    by the Media and their opinions can be far from the truth as in the

    case of Hitler creating Public opinion to exterminate the Jews during

    World war II, Which we know is Absolutely Ghastly in Hindsight,It is

    an Universal Phenomenon that when there are Extreme Biased Laws,

    People take Law into their Own Hands and Crimes increase

    Exponentially, Crimes Against Women Can Only Be Reduced when there is

    Unbiased Focus on Reducing Crimes within Society, Any law has to be

    equitable for true justice to take place but not by handing out

    candies to vicious women or opposed groups to us who are exploiting

    and Torturing Young Boys and Men, but for a more equitable laws for

    further development of women in our country.

  21. Those that are thinkign that Bharatha is rural, need to grow a brain! This is exactly the problem with “Urbanites” of their ilk! Bharata is not rural nor does it comprise Dalits and tribals alone! He is talking about the timeless values of this country which respects(respected?) women and that is his Bharatha! Just because the sickular, mainstream media interpreted it as rural, you here vomit the same bias? First go and listen to his complete speech!

  22. crazy analyses, Nandi never said rapes don’t happen in Bharat
    don’t compare apples and oranges.
    Why rapes are increasing in Urban India is a different issue.

  23. Bhagwat is 100% right in the sense that the Sex ratio, an indicator of how a society accepts a girl child, it is the cities like Delhi and Urbanised states like Punjab and Haryana which fare much worse than the states with high percentage of rural population. I don’t say that urbanisation is to be blamed, but let us ponder that when the urban society in India is more educated, more economically secure and more modern in dress, food habits and culture; then why the parents in urban areas kill the girl children before they are born. Further, it is erroneous to pit men vs women; when many dowry and other violeneces against women are actually done by a fellow women. Even a mother, who herself is a woman, has an aversion to a female child in the so called urban India. So,these so called urban elite should first analyse Bhagwa’s comment then getting lost in the semantics of Bharat and India.


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