NEW DELHI – Dozens of young shirtless activists gathered in New Delhi on Tuesday to protest against the argument that provocative dressing leads to rapes.
Demonstrators, including fully-clothed girls, took to the streets of the central part of the Indian capital with placards against sex crimes.
“I’m naked, assault me!” read one of the placards.
“The message is that men don’t get sexualized when they are without t-shirts, but women in India are objectified if they are wearing less clothes,” Arjun Joshi, leader of Rape Roko (Stop Rape) movement – which organized the protest – told EFE.
Joshi, who sported an abstract painting of a woman and messages in Hindi on his naked torso, lamented that politicians are unwilling to address the issue as “there are no votes in it.”
He added that in recent years the Indian society has become more regressive and have been clamping down on women’s freedom.
“Rape is rape, skirts don’t rape. Clothes have got absolutely nothing to do with rape, it’s our mentality which is wrong,” said the leader of the movement.
Pranavi, a 20-year-old student, stressed that not only women, but also minors and even babies are victims of sexual assault and urged for “more justice” and “stricter punishments” – including the death penalty – for rapists.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, there were 38,947 rapes – 2,167 gang rapes – recorded in the country in 2016, and 4,935 of them were reported in New Delhi.