Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Gujarat’s cabinet minister holding crucial portfolios including education, law and order, has chosen to praise a convicted rapist - Asaram Bapu.

Chudasama 'thanked' the man, who is now behind bars for celebrating Valentine's Day as ‘Matru-Pitru Poojan Divas’. 


What's more? The minister of the BJP-ruled Gujarat government went on to say, "The noble idea to celebrate a day like the one you are celebrating is praiseworthy. I am happy that this initiative will ensure that the new generation understands their responsibilities towards their parents. I thank your organisation for this noble act."

It is important to note that the organisation he is praising is headed by a man who is not only a self-styled Godman but also a criminal who is convicted in the court of law. He is sentenced for life for rape and human trafficking under POCSO, a stringent law on sexual crimes against children. Asaram was proven to have raped a minor from Uttar Pradesh, merely of 16 years of age at the time of the crime. What makes the case even more nauseating is the fact the minor girl was raped by the fake baba inside the ashram off Jodhpur, even as her parents waited outside, oblivious to the horror. The parents were tricked to send the girl to the ashram on claims by the 77-year-old that the girl is 'possessed'. 


The parents narrated their ordeal to media and how it has been a long wait for justice punctuated by threats, intimidation and even attacks by men sent by Asaram. The judge, in the 453-page judgment, noted that the heinous act by the alleged Godman has not only shattered the faith of his countless devotees but also in humanity.

The Bharatiya Janata Party claims to be a party with a difference, but it has tolerated one of its decorated ministers heaping praise on a criminal, who the judge claims have made people lose faith in humanity.

While the BJP remains tight-lipped about the controversy, the question that remains is - why hasn't the BJP sacked its brazen mantri yet?

Chudasma attending the ninth convocation of Gujarat National Law University