For his part, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Mohan Bhagwat gave a predictable spin to the gang-rape, setting it as an urban phenomenon that conflicted with the pristine ethos of Bharat. The divide between India and Bharat is a piece of fiction because violence against women is endemic to rural India with its worst victims drawn from the lowest rungs of the economic and caste ladder. And yet, incredible as it might seem, the explosion of regressive thoughts has paled in comparison to the atrocious suggestion made by Asaram Bapu that the Delhi woman virtually invited the rape. “A mistake is not committed by just one side,” he said, adding that she should have sought refuge in prayer and begged her offenders to stop. For anyone to speak so disparagingly of women is unacceptable, and it is a disgrace when a man of religion stoops so low. Asaram deserves to be condemned in the strongest words by the community of religious leaders and it is heartening to note that a number of godmen have indeed spoken out. Sadly, we have yet to hear the high command of the Congress and the BJP publicly condemn those from within their flock who have made the most offensive anti-women statements over the past three weeks.