Under duress, a minister in the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has withdrawn his misogynistic remarks on women.
"One has to abide by certain moral limits. If you cross this limit, you will be punished, just like Sita was abducted by Ravana," Kailash Vijayvargiya had said. He is the Industries Minister.
By the afternoon, the BJP had made it clear that the party rejects his opinion. "The party asks him to withdraw the comment", said spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The minister then said that he had not intended to cause offense.
His remarks added to the controversy created by Mohan Bagwat, the chief of the RSS, which is the BJP's ideological mentor. Yesterday, Mr Bhagwat said that that crimes such as rape "hardly take place in Bharat, but they occur frequently in India".
You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. Besides new legislation, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values, " he added.
The derogatory and deeply insensitive remarks come as the country debates the prevailing attitudes towards women prompted by the gang-rape and death of a young student who was sexually assaulted on a bus in Delhi. The introspection is in concert with a campaign to introduce new laws that provide tougher punishment for those convicted of sexual crimes.