Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Khushbu’s remark on Bilkis Bano sparks debate, BJP endorses her view

Actor Khushbu Sundar’s tweet against the release of men involved in rape has set off a series of reactions and debate and her party the BJP on Thursday maintained that the release of 11 convicts by Gujarat in the Bilkis Bano case was as per law and there was absolutely no politics involved.
A leading women’s outfit said it was time for persons like Khushbu to introspect, adding secular, democratic forces are the right destination to fight for women’s honour and rights.
National president of BJP’s women’s wing Vanathi Srinivasan said that through her tweet, Sundar has conveyed that injustice must not befall on women and there is absolutely no second opinion about that.
In this specific matter of release of 11 convicts by Gujarat, the due process of law was followed and the state government took a decision following the recommendations of a committee that made a complete scrutiny of each and every case, she said.
This process was following a Supreme Court directive on a petition filed by a convict. “The (Gujarat) government followed due process of law. They were not released for political reasons,” Srinivasan told PTI.
Sundar had tweeted: “A woman who is raped, assaulted, brutalised and her soul scarred for life must get justice. No man who has been involved in it should go free. If he does so, it’s an insult to humankind and womanhood. #BilkisBano or any woman, needs support, beyond politics n ideologies. Period.”
Also, the actor had posted related tweets subsequently. In one of the tweets, Sundar said: “And it’s the same party that takes pride in partying for convenience that supported & rejoiced remission release of #Perarivalan by #DMK. Rules are applied differently for Congress in different states for personal gains & dirty games….”
CPI General Secretary D Raja wondered if there is unanimity in the views expressed by Khushbu Sundar and Vanathi Srinivasan.
The Supreme Court agreeing to hear a petition challenging the Gujarat government’s remission of 11 convicts is the first vindication that their release is unacceptable, he told PTI. “Khushbu Sundar has raised genuine questions to defend the rights of victims. However, will the BJP listen to her sane voice,” Raja asked.
State General Secretary of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) Suganthi said: “We are terribly shocked by their release. Whether it is Khushbu or any other woman member in the BJP, time has come for them to introspect. We wonder if they are in the BJP only after understanding its ideology.” She alleged that the BJP’s ideology believed in the ‘Manu Dharma,’ which did not bestow rights on women.
Suganthi said positive and constructive action alone mattered. Right wing leaning persons merely claim that they support women’s rights but they do nothing. Joining hands with secular-democratic forces is the only option available to right thinking persons to fight for women’s honour and rights, she said.
A former RSS office-bearer, who did not want to be named said that Sundar had last year staunchly opposed a Saffron party man’s remark against Congress leader Sonia Gandhi as it was in bad taste. The actress, who joined the BJP in 2020, had then defended Gandhi.
Khushbu Sundar’s this stand of defending and championing women’s honour is perfectly in sync with BJP’s nationalistic ideology which encompasses respect for women and this trait is ingrained in ‘Bharatiya Sanskriti’ (Indian culture/ethos).
Vested interests were in vain trying to use her remark both against her and the BJP, he alleged.
The remission policy is followed by governments everywhere and it involves legalities. A court of law is the appropriate Constitutional body to decide if a specific case of release of convicts is legally correct or not and linking it to politics would not serve any useful purpose, he added.
Several people have raised questions in the social media on why Sundar continued in the BJP, as the Gujarat government headed by the party recently released the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.
On August 15, all the 11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 case of Bilkis Bano’s gang rape and murder of her seven family members during the communal riots walked out of the Godhra sub-jail after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy.