A LEADER of Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayam Sewak or the RSS believes cultures of the West are to blame for incidences of rape, illegitimate children and violence against women in India.
The RSS leader, Indresh Kumar, also claimed “Western influence” was to blame for the “Triple Talaq”, the controversial Islamic practice of “instant divorce” that Muslim women and rights groups in India want banned from practice.
Kumar, who was speaking during a training programme of RSS volunteers in Jaipur on Friday, accused the West of commercialising love, which he said is regarded in India as “sacred” and “pious”.
“In India, love has been sacred and pious. It has been sung as the tales of Radha-Krishna, Laila-Majnu and Heer- Ranjha but the western culture commercialised love and gave birth to festival of Valentines’ day, which is now responsible for problems like rape, illegitimate children and violence on women.
“Not only India, the entire world is facing this problem today,” he said, according to Huffington Post India.
— NDTV (@ndtv) June 2, 2017
In further comments reported by ANI (via the Business Standard), Kumar also accused the West of changing love from an emotion of purity to one of “passion”, and that somehow, this has “manifested into a business”.
“The reason behind rape, divorce is this Western culture. People are now expressing their love in the form of Valentine’s Day openly.
“This is what is responsible for the increasing cases of Triple Talaq, rape, domestic violence, killing female foeticide, etc,” he reportedly told ANI.
The RSS leader also waxed lyrical about the movement’s mission to “purify” the souls of its followers and supporters.
He called the caste system an “evil” that should be eradicated and said (according to HuffPo India): “A movement should be run for purification of peoples’ soul so that the society and the nation can progress.”
The RSS, also known as the National Volunteer Organisation or National Patriotic Organisation, is a right-wing nationalist and paramilitary volunteer organisation in India that is widely seen as the ideological fountainhead of the country’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party.
This is the second time Kumar has made headlines in recent weeks. Last month, he raised eyebrows when he, in support of a nationwide effort to stop cow slaughter, suggested that Muslim families in India adopt the animals to learn about their medicinal benefits.
Earlier this week, he called beef-eating “evil” and accused those participating in what he described as “beef parties” as indulging in an act against humanity. He also said those who ate beef brought shame to India and their voices should not be counted as a voice of the country.
Apart from advocating for a nationwide ban on cattle slaughter, the RSS has also been working furiously behind the scenes to stop the “Triple Talaq” practice.
Mid-May, India’s Supreme Court deferred its decision after hearing several petitions calling for an end to the age-old practice where Muslim men can divorce their wives merely by uttering talaq, the Arabic word for divorce, thrice.
The petition is not the first in patriarchal India, where Muslim women have been fighting for decades for a ban. It gained momentum recently as more women came forward to join the cause. In March, over a million women put their signature behind the petition against the “Triple Talaq”.