PATNA: Mobile phones and non-vegetarian food are reasons for surge in rape cases, a Bihar minister today said, but his Chief Minister was quick to distance himself from the comments.
"Many students misuse mobile phones by watching blue films and hearing obscene songs which pollute their minds," Bihar Art, Culture and Youth Affairs minister Binay Bihari told reporters outside the Assembly.
"You pay a surprise visit to any school and you will find costly mobile phones in the hands of students of higher classes," he said adding they also exchanged 'dirty' SMSes.
"It's like issuing license for a revolver to individuals in the name of self-defence, but misused for criminal purposes," Bihari said, stressing that for school students, a mobile phone with Internet facility was only a source of pollution of their minds.
The minister, who is also an actor and singer in Bhojpuri language, urged that use of mobile phones by school students be prohibited.
"I will give a suggestion to Education department on this and also make surprise inspections to ensure that mobile phones are not carried by students in school," he said.
Distancing himself from Bihari's remarks, Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said mobile phones were not used for wrong purposes only and they have both positive and negative features.
"Mobile phones are not misused at all times, but it has both positive and negative features depending on what purpose a person uses the equipment," he told reporters in the state legislature premises.
"It depends on the mobile phone user's wisdom as its use for good reasons can be beneficial, while its misuse can be detrimental," Manjhi said. The Chief Minister said Bihari had made the remarks in his personal capacity.
Bihari had also said that non-vegetarian food contributed to hot temper and had cited sermons of sants that pure vegetarian food kept the body and mind pure and healthy.
On his minister's objection to non-vegetarian food, the Chief Minister said people consume food as per their choice and the decision in this regard must be left to them.
Manjhi said consumption of non-vegetarian food can be compared to poison, which can be used for manufacturing medicine and its misuse can result in death of human beings.
It depends on how one uses poison, he added.