Rape has become an epidemic in India, with local law enforcement officials being routinely criticized over their lax attitude toward sexual violence. It estimates that only 4 out of 10 rapes are even reported, due to failure of the police to take the accusations seriously.
They must get that attitude from Ranjit Sinha, the head of the Central Bureau of Investigation in India -- an organization similar to our FBI. On Tuesday night, he compared rape to unlicensed betting that should be “enjoyed” if it cannot be prevented.
At a conference, Sinha was asked if sports betting should be legalized in India, where it’s currently banned. He replied:
Do we have the enforcement? It is very easy to say that if you can't enforce it, it's like saying if you can't prevent rape, you [should] enjoy it.
I almost kind of sort of get what he might be trying to say -- that is that you shouldn’t legalize and enjoy something that is inherently bad, but man oh man that’s a stupid analogy to make.
First of all, the fact that he could so cavalierly relate rape and sports betting is sickening. I am neither for nor against gambling, and I know a lot of people that feel the same way. Heck, Vegas wouldn’t exist if everyone viewed gambling as a widespread problem. Rape, on the other hand -- you’re going to be hard pressed to find any decent person that thinks rape isn’t so bad.
Now let’s talk about the inappropriateness of even bringing it up in the context of what’s happening in his country right now. The majority of rapes go unreported as victims are stigmatized and ostracized in their communities after an attack, and a recent study showed that more than half of 40 rape cases acquitted by district courts in Delhi did so due to “police failure to perform adequate investigations.”
Sinha did apologize for the remark, but it’s not enough. The brutality in India against women needs to stop, and it needs to start from the top down. Instead of having such a nonchalant attitude toward rape, maybe top Indian officials could start taking it seriously.
Are you offended by his comments?
Image via S Vivek/Flickr