Western influence was one of the main reasons behind the rise in incidents of rape in the country, Sankaracharya of Puri Swami Sri Nischalananda Saraswati said in Kolkata today.
According to the seer the western influence - films, club culture and drugs - has destroyed the age old values and principles of the country. "There is need to change this. Before Independence we were able to maintain our culture and values but in the last 65 years we have lost a great part of it," he said.
"Such horrific incidents (gangrape in Delhi) don't happen all of a sudden. They happen when the thin line of culture and values are crossed in the name of civilisation and development," the seer said.
According to him the people should ponder over this and ensure that such incidents don't happen.
"Earlier sisters and brothers roamed freely but nothing used to happen. There has been decline in human values, emotions ... Our culture and civilization teaches us to respect women, who are our sisters and mothers," he said.