On April 18, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the politicisation of rapes while addressing the Indian diaspora during his official visit to the United Kingdom. But an advertisement of the BJP that featured the PM’s face on it, seems to have done just that.
The PM made the comment as there was anger and outrage in the country over the gang rape of a child in Kathua and the rape of a young woman in Unnao, allegedly by a BJP legislator.
The Bengaluru edition of Deccan Chronicle’s main newspaper on April 20, 2018 carried an advertisement of the BJP with the tagline “Vote for BJP, Vote for Change”. The advertisement, which featured the images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP supremo Amit Shah and the party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, carried the following text in bold: “Rapes, Murders & Lawlessness, An Insensitive Karnataka Government.”
Just two days ago, at the 'Bharat ki Baat, Sabke Saath' programme that was held at the iconic Central Hall Westminster in London, the PM had said, “A rape is a rape. How can we tolerate this exploitation of our daughters? But can we compare the number of rapes in different governments? We can’t say there were this many rapes in our government and that many in yours. There cannot be a worse way to deal with this issue.”
These statements made by Modi in the context of the Kathua and Unnao rapes that have shaken the entire nation, contradict the message sent out by BJP’s advertisement in poll-bound Karnataka.
At the event moderated by renowned lyricist, screenwriter and chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, Prasoon Joshi, the Prime Minister said that rape was an evil of not just the individual but also of the society and implored parents to teach their sons to treat girls with respect.
Similar advertisements of the BJP carrying the tagline “Vote for BJP, Vote for change” have regularly appeared in several prominent newspapers in Karnataka, ahead of the state assembly elections that will happen on May 12, 2018.