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    Default Rahul Bose won't apologise for his reform comments

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    Men are integral to the fight for women's safety - that was the message and theme of this 'social media storm' organized in support of the Ring The Bell campaign in Delhi.

    But that was overshadowed by the controversy around a statement Rahul Bose made, saying that even Nirbhaya's rapists should be given a chance to reform if any of them shows genuine remorse.

    "...We have to ask ourselves, of the five or six of the rapists of the December 16 (gang-rape), is there anyone who wants to change, who wants to reform ... Nobody is saying about commuting any sentence, the sentence stands as it is, but while it stands, can we create a gender warrior among them?" he asked.

    "If anybody is open to reaffirmation, do we have it in us to subvert our patriarchal mindset and tell them that we are ready to confer even the right to reform to you, even if there is such a massive public upsurge against you?... If we have to... evolve as a civilization further beyond the boundaries of India, then we have to look at forgiveness," he said.

    By the next morning, Twitter was buzzing with sharp reactions to this statement, with Rahul coming in for angry criticism about, as some tweets said, 'defending rapists'. "@RahulBose1 should also tell us how exactly we can measure remorse. One can easily play a remorse card and get away with a serious crime," said @Venkat_Kotagiri. "Oh SHUTUP Rahul Bose," said @ikaveri.

    However, Rahul tweeted back that he stood by what he'd said. "Don't know whether my statement on reformative justice for ALL criminals was misquoted-(haven't read it), but am tweeting it in a series. All criminals should be sentenced according to the law, but while serving time I believe if any of them show deep, genuine remorse they should be given a chance to reform in jail. Rapists included. But if the perpetrator shows no remorse, then neither should we. And for all those asking how I would feel if a person dear to me was raped, the answer is : very sad, even angry. But if, over time, the perpetrator showed, deep, genuine remorse while in jail, I would find it in my heart to forgive him. As a civilization, that's the only way to evolve to a better, more peaceful place. Hate begets hate. Love, forgiveness even, stops that cycle. My timeline is full of hate. I understand, but will never apologise for my beliefs. Thanks for (if you have) reading. My beliefs never stem from a knee jerk reaction. They stem from reading, seeking counsel from those wiser than me, feeling, analysing looking at history, at context and into my mind and heart. Thanks again."

    Later, he added, "Suddenly flooded with love on my timeline. That's what I was trying to say. Hate begets hate. Love shames hate. Always. Always. Please read ALL my tweets before jumping down my throat again!"

 

 

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