CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat has taken a strong position against the increasing incidents of rape and the defence---as in Kathua---by whom she openly describes as BJP/RSS members. “The criminal defense of the indefensible was led by the BJP and the Sangh parivar leaders” Karat told The Citizen in an interview where she also slammed the government for an Ordinance that does not recognise the reality on the ground.


You recently lashed out at the BJP calling them" Rapist Rakshaks", why do you say so?

We have heard of gau rakshaks the criminal gangs formed by affiliates of the sangh parivar who kill innocent Muslims, and who in several cases have also attacked adivasis and Dalits in the name of cow protection. Now we see another brand of rakshaks -- those who defend rape like the so - called Hindu Ekta Manch formed by the sangh parivar to defend the accused in the most horrific Kathua case. I say "so -called" because their unity is to defend criminals, not to express unity against those who used a place of worship, a temple , to imprison an eight year old child, gang rape her and then kill her.

But no action was taken for two months against them. They continued as Ministers, until public outrage forced a shamefully silent central leadership to ask them to quit.

In Unnao, the Adityanath Government protected a Minister who was accused by a minor girl of rape. No FIR was filed for a year under his pressure, the girls father was brutally beaten and killed by the Minsters brother and still he was protected.It was only after the intervention of the court that he was arrested and removed. That is why I say they are rapist rakshaks.

These are not some fringe elements. They are leaders of the BJP and sangh parivar and yet Amit Shah took no action. And even worse, the Prime Minister remained silent, thus protecting the accused.

Do you think religion played a role in Unnao Kathua rape case?

Yes I do. According to the charge sheet filed in the court, the child was raped to terrorize the Muslim Bakherwal community to move out of the area since the communal fanatics in Jammu thought that settlement of this community would change the demographics of the area against Hindus. The victim was chosen on communal grounds, the rapists were defended on communal grounds, rape became a communal weapon. It is not religion but those communalists who use religion as an instrument to promote political ends who are responsible.

You have maintained that CPI (M) is against death penalty but what makes this case stand out?

The CPI(M) is against the death penalty in principle. The present legal position is that death penalty is given in the rarest of rare cases. But in this case it is not whether the accused will get death penalty or not, the question is whether in the light of their being defended and patronized by powerful ruling party leaders and lawyers, they will get any kind of punishment at all. In this context the ordinance brought by the Modi Government on death penalty for child rape is utter hypocrisy to conceal the facts that it is their sangh parivar who are protecting the accused.

Do you think the BJP is defending the accused in the Unnao Kathua rape case?

It is not what I think, the entire country feels the same.

Don't you think there should be some punishment for "rapist rakshaks"?

Yes there should be. In the wake of the Nirbhaya case and the strengthening of laws against rape, there are provisions for punishment of those in the police force who refuse to file FIRs or who sabotage the processes of,justice in cases of rape and sexual assault. The Supreme Court notice to lawyers in Jammu who tried to prevent the filing of a charge sheet in the Kathua case is welcome. But given the frequency of cases where leaders come out in support of rapists, a legal provision of punishment for rapist rakshaks should be considered.

Do you think the ordinance has any credibility?

I am afraid this has very little credibility because what is required is the certainty of punishment. The ordinance is not addressing the issue which is agitating the minds of the people. The shame of Kathua where the victim was chosen because of religion and the accused was protected because of religion. Top BJP leaders came to the streets to defend the rapists.