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Dr Mirge has apologised, now put it to rest: Women's commission

Hours after one of their fellow members stoked controversy by suggesting that a woman’s clothes and her behaviour were also responsible for rape, Susie Shah, the chairperson of the Maharashtra Women’s Commission, tried to put the matter to rest by saying that the comments were not reflective of the body and were personal opinions of one person.

Residents protest the gang rape of the photojournalist at Shakti Mills last year. Security of women came under the scanner after a woman was gang-raped in Delhi and another was gang-raped in the heart of the city. File pic
Residents protest the gang rape of the photojournalist at Shakti Mills last year. Security of women came under the scanner after a woman was gang-raped in Delhi and another was gang-raped in the heart of the city. File pic

The entire issue erupted after Dr Asha Mirge, who is a member of the Maharashtra Women’s Commission and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), said that the Delhi student who was fatally gang-raped on a moving bus should not have been out late at night watching a movie. The photographer gang-raped while shooting a deserted mill in the heart of Mumbai placed herself in danger by visiting the area at 6 pm.

“Girls should be careful about what they wear. They should mind the time of their moving out. Girls’ body language should not be such that it invites attention of a potential rapist lurking around,” she said. Following her shocking remarks, she apologised for her insensitive comments.

When MiD DAY approached Shah, she first categorically stated that Mirge was not making an official statement on behalf of the team. “Mirge, who is a doctor and gynaecologist, was voicing a personal opinion at the meet. Even though I concede she was wrong, I do agree on one point that women should be aware of their surroundings.”

She further opined that as 21st century citizens of India, women had full liberty, and there was no need to give out any advice to them. Shah added that Mirge had apologised for her comment and that the media should now put it to rest.

“She made a mistake and I think the media should concentrate on what work we are doing, instead of these controversies.” “Let us keep in mind that the comments made were a personal viewpoint and a bit of tolerance should be shown by the media. She may have hurt some people, but she has apologised,” Shah said.

NCW sends notice to Mirge
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has sought an explanation from Mirge for her remarks. Taking suo motu cognisance of the remarks, the NCW said her comments were “bizarre” and the worst remarks made by anyone occupying an official position.

“She has made a bizarre and outrageous statement blaming the Delhi victim and the Shakti Mills survivor for inviting trouble and getting victimised at the hands of rapists. This gives a message that rapes happen because of women who do not follow the rules of patriarchal society,” NCW member Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar said. The commission has sent a letter to her seeking an explanation within seven days, officials said.

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17 Comments

  • Sonia30-Jan-2014

    Next they will recommend that women be punished for getting raped, or having sex out of wedlock. This is a dangerous slide into moralistic cesspool for the country. It is even more depressing that these words are coming from a woman ostensibly belonging to a group for advancing women's rights.

  • Narendra30-Jan-2014

    Please do not blame women for Rape. It is men who solely are to be blamed. The mindset need to change. Woman is not a symbol of Sex. Men and Women both should not see a woman as symbol of Sex. When one says this, one can conclude that many sick men see woman as symbol of sex. But are there women who see themselves as symbol of sex? This is the mindset of some sickening women who try to expose themselves and try to take advantage of their sex appeal. This mindset definitely needs a change.

  • SR30-Jan-2014

    There is nothing wrong in Dr.Mirge's viewpoint that girls may avoid late nights and going to isolated places! As a father of a young girl, I too have imbibed in my daughter such precautions to be taken for her protection from untoward incidents and to avoid isolated places & strangers! Society consists of all kinds of people, so what can be avoided must be avoided. In the Kolkatta rape case too, a woman chose to indulge in binge till 2pm & she had it enough when chose a drop in a stranger's car.

  • SIVASUBRAMANIAN.C30-Jan-2014

    Dr..Mirge is an indian women and also father of a girl who wants the safety of their child. what is wrong with it. This commission members are indians? theh why find falut with Dr.Mirge statement.

  • Deepak30-Jan-2014

    Why should it be put to rest? Just because the person has apologized? Or because everything is controlled by Congress in Maharashtra? Please ask for her resignation as her comments actually reflect her thought process and such people in positions of power are very dangerous.

  • Nikhil30-Jan-2014

    Highly insensitive comments made on a pubic forum ... UNFORTUNATELY by a WOMAN ... If as stated by Dr. Mirje, women are responsible for their clothing, body language, what time they do get out of their house, etc., why are their RAPE cases on infants, school kids, teenagers, etc. Not all of these are provocatively dressed or were out at an odd hour. Personally speaking, being a father of a girl, I firmly believe in having my daughter all the liberties, I have personally enjoyed being a boy, as I do not make any rules differentiation between boys and girls. Empower Daughters !!! Work on imbibing respect (through your deeds) on the minds of your sons, towards women.

  • lenin30-Jan-2014

    These politicians are cowards who cant bring tough law and execute them properly..most of times parliament never works since 1950. How long we have to suffer? Women should start going out with full liberty on each day mid night. Only this way they can reclaim their freedom..If freedom not given, one has to take it..

  • Mohansingh Mahadevrao30-Jan-2014

    What Dr. Mirge said is not wrong ,don't take it in political manner or restriction to women's right or dress or behaviour and surroundings.In Delhi,Nirbhaya knows well that there is a conveyance problem after 9.30 or 10 PM and late night is not safe in Delhi.Her parents also not aware of this conveyance problem even though they had allowed their daughter,as it is a routine culture in metros and mini metros. What happened with Nirbhaya ,most unfortunate and unimaginable.Is this not a fault of us.

  • Nashae30-Jan-2014

    Stop Rapes. Follow Congress. Use the Hand.

  • Gokul30-Jan-2014

    So what she meant is: Every woman should walk around in burkhas only. And if every woman complies with coming home by 6 pm, then the new deadline for woman should become 5pm because some rape happened at 5:30pm. Then the new deadline will be the same as in Afghanistan ... absolutely no moving out of the house without plenty of male escorts. People like her are responsible for the Talibanisation of the country. They believe that women should simply stop being sexy - a natural phenomena

  • Rajesh30-Jan-2014

    Even if I dance naked in front of you at 12 in the night, you have no right to even touch me. How hard is it for these morons to understand? You may complain to police citing public indecency and other relevant laws. But you cannot touch me! Mirge's statements were not "just sane advice" - which I also give my children. It was blatant victim blaming. Consult the English dictionary if you can't tell the difference between the two!

  • madhu30-Jan-2014

    way of wearing clothes doesn't mean to rape her..it is 100% depends on men's mindset.if he saw his sister or mother like dat ..cud he rape them??. some perverts do these things...

  • Jeanette30-Jan-2014

    Why is she still occupying the office, she should have been sacked on the spot and a case filed against her. These kind of regressive minded women are a curse to civil society. Her mental state should also be examined, i think this woman is sick, throw her out of her office please.

  • ajit30-Jan-2014

    Whatever Dr. Mirge has said is completely correct. who so ever having a young daughter in his house will definitely follow what Dr. Mirge has said whosoever wants more liberty can avail and face the problem whatever comes in a way. so long as one is not sure about the forthcoming situation every one will take maximum care while making any move. we can not blame police as they also can not predict where such wrong thing is going to happen

  • Mohan30-Jan-2014

    There is no violation in Dr. Mirge's comment. She in fact, in favour of the girls only if one carefully analysis her comments. If the girls don't want to be vigil, then untoward incident may or may not take place, which they should understand well. Law is only a deterrent. Law is meant to punish the culprit. A group of people are there, who are not bothered about even death. Many incidents can be avoided, if the girls /women protect themselves by using their intelligence.

  • Mohansingh Mahadevrao30-Jan-2014

    Dr. Mirge is not wrong , every body feels that we have given much more liberty to our children and we don't have time to control them. When in such a fast life no body have time to see what is happening around him ,then you can not ignore any accident.

  • SAM31-Jan-2014

    In my opinion this lady is right because people should think of all these crimes against women with PRACTICAL approach than emotional and other ways. The truth and bottom line is- we don't have any of such crimes against women, but how to stop/prevent it?? There is NO way to prevent these crimes completely no matter how tough and how many laws any govt. would make. In the end, it will come down to women's itself to protect themselves.

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