- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 4, 2013

One municipality in India thinks it may have the solution to rising rape statistics in the nation: Don’t let the mannequins wear lingerie. And the proposal comes just as another woman — a 30-year-old American tourist — was gang-raped in a resort town Tuesday.

“Such people get provoked by mannequins,” said Mumbai City Council member Ritu Tawde, who proposed legislation to make it illegal for stores to dress dummies in skimpy clothing and put them outside their store doors, The Associated Press reported. “After all, a mannequin is a replica of a woman’s body. That’s why I oppose it, because mannequins do not suit Indian culture.”

Ms. Tawde’s legislation — which passed the council last month but still needs municipal commissioner approval to be enacted — would allow stores to display mannequins with whatever clothing they wish inside the shop, away from the eyes of passers-by, AP reported.

Business leaders mocked the proposal.

“We are living in the 21st century where these kinds of things, all porn, the movies, the pictures, all these things are available on websites, available on mobiles. A mannequin hardly makes any difference to the people,” said Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Traders’ Welfare Association, in the AP report.

India has faced a growing national call to crack down on rape. Several cases have hit the international press, including one gang rape of a student on a bus that left her dead.

On Tuesday, an American tourist was gang-raped in Manali, a resort town. Police said the woman was picked up by three men in a truck who then drove her to a spot and gang-raped her. No arrests have been made, AP reported.