Indian Politician On Rape: 'Boys Make Mistakes'

Controversial remarks from two Indian politicians have reopened the debate over India's rape culture.
Posted at 1:44 PM, Apr 12, 2014

​It’s a foot-in-mouth comment that’s reignited the debate over women's rights in India. 

Just over a week ago, three men convicted of gang raping a Mumbai woman last year were sentenced to death under India's new rape law. (Via CNN ) 

While at an election rally, regional politician Mulayam Singh Yadav told a crowd of supporters giving the death penalty to those convicted rapists was unfair, adding "They are boys, they make mistakes." (Via Zee News ) 

Indian media oulets were quick to condemn his remarks. India Times called what he said "idiotic" and accused Yadav of trying to woo conservative voters. 

Times Now questioned if this marked a "new low" in Indian politics. 

Yadav also suggested making changes to India's tough anti-rape law, which had a writer at the Hindu Business Line asking, "Why not introduce a law against making regressive and idiotic statements like these.”

Even more troubling — a member of Yadav's party coming to his defense took it a step further — claiming sex outside of marriage should be punishable by hanging. (Via IBN)

The rape comments would have been considered offensive anywhere, but particularly in India — a country still reeling from a series of high-profile gang rapes this year. 

After a year of mass protests, India’s government launched a crackdown on rape — passing a series of new sexual assault laws. (Via CBS

Rape cases in New Delhi doubled in 2013 — though that may be the result of more women reporting them. (Via The Huffington Post

Yadav later said he'd been misquoted and that rapists should be punished, though he's in favor of diluting the current anti-rape law.