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Fact Check: Did BJP MP Kirron Kher say that rapes are part of our culture?

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BJP MP Kirron Kher never said rapes cannot be stopped because it is part of Indian culture and tradition. An old statement is now being twisted and presented out of context.

In the backdrop of the Hathras case, a claim has surfaced on social media targetting actor Kirron Kher. It is being claimed that the BJP MP from Chandigarh said rape is part of Indian culture and cannot be stopped.

A Facebook user named "Rajiv Tyagi" shared an image of Kher attributing statements to "Kiron Kher, BJP MP"  that she said, "Rape is part of Indian culture and tradition. We cannot stop it!" (translated from Hindi)

At the time of writing this article, this post has been reshared over 230 times. 

A Twitter user also made the same claim saying, "This is Ramrajya. Rape is part of our culture: BJP MP, Kiran Kher"

When we checked further, we found that a number of Twitter users making a similar claim in their tweets. 

The truth behind the claim 

In our investigation, we found this claim to be false. 

We did not find any such recent statements attributed to Kirron Kher in any media reports online.  However, while performing keyword searches, we found a report by  Times of India report in which Kirron Kher was quoted saying, "The rape culture is not new in India and has existed for ages." We also found a video report by the news agency ANI in which she made the remark, condemning the rape culture and not saying what is now being widely claimed. 

"Such incidents (rapes) are not new. They have been taking place forever. Only a change in mindset can bring a change. Change in society starts from within a family," said Kher in the video. 

She further added, "Our daughters are doing very well in the country and in the world. These incidents (rapes) are happening not just in Haryana, but everywhere else as well. This does not mean what happened was right. It is wrong. Capital punishment is an appropriate punishment for rape. I am hurt by recent incidents (rapes)."

However, a controversy erupted in 2017, when Kher was trolled for her statement on a Chandigarh rape case - where a young woman was gang-raped by an auto-rickshaw driver and two of his accomplices. She had suggested that the rape survivor and other girls must be more careful while taking autos.

"I want to tell something to all girls. When there are already three men in an auto-rickshaw, you shouldn't take that ride," she had said at a press meet. Politicians and netizens criticized Kher for "victim-blaming" following the statement.

In response to the statement, the MP stood by her statement saying she only meant girls should be careful.

Therefore, BJP MP Kirron Kher never said rapes cannot be stopped because it is part of Indian culture and tradition. An old statement is now being twisted and presented out of context.

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