Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.
I had got a good impression of Prime Minister Imran Khan after the Pulwama attack in Kashmir, when he said that historical experience shows that wars have unpredictable outcomes, and a war will be no solution to the problems between India and Pakistan. He also said that Pakistan is willing to cooperate with India in any investigation about the incident, and that Pakistan too has suffered a lot due to terrorism.
But subsequently my opinion of him has gone down, and his latest rant connecting rape with women’s dress is downright silly, to say the least.
To my mind the main ( though not only ) cause of rape is unemployment. Let me explain.
Sex is a natural urge, and when a young man has reached a certain age, it usually becomes strong ( it is sometimes said that after food the next requirement is sex ). In conservative societies like in India and Pakistan, sex is ordinarily available only after marriage. Now no girl would marry an unemployed man. And when unemployment is widespread in society ( as it is in India and Pakistan ), it follows that a large number of young men are being deprived of sex.
Since the sex instinct is strong in them, and they cannot get married ( due to unemployment ), they will often resort to rape, and this is the main reason for the large number of rapes in our countries.
I make it clear that I am not justifying rape. It is a heinous crime, and must be severely punished. But it is bound to happen, for the reason above mentioned, however harsh we may make the law against it.
I also do not say that employed men do not commit rape. I am only saying that the main cause of rape is unemployment, which is on record levels in our countries.
So if we wish to really reduce rapes substantially we must create a society free of the scourge of unemployment.
How many women in India and Pakistan wear low dress ? Very few. And yet rapes are of common occurrence in both countries. So they can surely not be attributed to low dress worn by women.
Imran Khan’s explanation is therefore silly, superficial and an oversimplification.