Government on Thursday said the concept of marital rape cannot be "suitably applied in the Indian context" due to factors like poverty, illiteracy and religious beliefs.
"It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors like level of education/ illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament etc," Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
She was asked whether government plans to criminalise marital rape.
This is not the first time that an NDA minister has made a remark on marital rape.
Last year, Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary made similar remark when he said that, "the concept of marital rape does not apply in India as marriage is treated as sacred here."
Mr Chaudhary, in a reply to DMK's K Kanimozhi, said: "It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors, including level of education, illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat marriage as a sacrament."
'Maneka Gandhi' was one of the top trends on Twitter on Friday.
Here's how twitter reacted to this news:
Maneka Gandhi,Please be rest assured.The 'poor' & the 'illiterate' will understand the basic concept of 'consent'. Stop being so patronising— Sona Mohapatra (@sonamohapatra) March 11, 2016
"He raped his wife like an animal"Maneka Gandhi: "Awww"— Priya Sometimes (@PriyaSometimes) March 11, 2016
Man rapes a calfManeka Gandhi: Send him to jail
Man rapes wife
MG: Marriage is sacred, let's just shut up pic.twitter.com/RBlHa1h7es— Cathartic Screams (@Just_Screams) March 11, 2016
Marital rape can't be crime in India, says Maneka. Bec rapes due to "social customs, religious beliefs" aren't rape https://t.co/6j8l6Deavz— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) March 11, 2016
What nonsense! Even seemingly sensible people like Maneka Gandhi turn out to be Sanghi bigots & misogynists! https://t.co/hiqGCzQezH— Preeti Sharma Menon (@PreetiSMenon) March 11, 2016
Don't question the husband after marriage.Don't question the government after electing it. #MaritalRape— Aisi Taisi Democracy (@AisiTaisiDemo) March 11, 2016
(With Inputs From PTI)
(Feature Image Source: Twitter)