India official compares rape to gambling and has caused offence and disgrace to thousands. As the most highly ranked bureaucrat for the police department he has now attempted to retract his self-construed proverb.
Ranjit Sinha, the leader of the central department for the Investigation of India, foolishly compared rape to unlicensed betting in public. He stated that unlicensed betting should not be made legal, because similarly to circumstances of rape, it was like saying that because we can’t always stop it we should make it legal and “enjoy” it.
Although he apologized and explained he was merely trying to get a point across, drawing parallels between rape and betting was not something one would expect from someone so highly ranked in the departments of law. It reduced the enormity of the issues of sexual abuse and its pressing nature to be tackled more scrupulously.
With India’s constant struggle to combat violence against women, attitudes towards such serious crimes have been questioned. In 2012 alone there were 24,923 cases of rape and 377 cases of molestation. However this sum may be even less than the overall incidents as it has come to light that India’s National Crime records Bureau, a resource of crime data, overlooked cases of rape when the outcome was murder. Instead they were categorized inadequately as murder alone and as a result MCRB’s statistics could be inaccurate.
Law enforcements have been criticized for their poor endeavours to catch sexual offenders. After the death of a 13 year old girl who was set on fire after being gang-raped in central India, her family still did not file a report to the police. Indian police have estimated that four in ten rapes are not reported because officers are believed to possess a nonchalant approach to such matters.
Sinha’s proverb has done nothing to benefit these poor opinions. Especially as incidents of multiple rapes and sexual assaults are now being reported frequently. The Indian Times has recently published the details about a 14 year old maid who has come forward with accusations of being repeatedly raped by her employer. Medical tests have confirmed rape and the man in question is now on the run.
It is evidential that sexual abuse is an extensive problem that continues to grow in India. As India official compares rape to gambling and is a representative of the law, it has been seen as a universal offence towards women but also disparagingly tactless towards those who have been victimized by sexual violence.
By Melissa McDonald