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India’s Top Police Official Stirs Up a Storm of Well-Deserved Criticism with Rape Comment

Photo: CBI Director Ranjit Sinha (NDTV)

Photo: CBI Director Ranjit Sinha (NDTV)

Many in India and around the world are rightfully livid, calling upon Ranjit Sinha, who leads the Central Bureau of Investigation in India, to step down from his position after he compared rape to unlicensed betting, stating “If you can't prevent rape, you enjoy it.” According to NDTV, Ranjit issued an apology later and tried to explain that he “just used a proverb to make a point.”

Given India’s rape crisis, a topic that has received much media attention following the Delhi gang rape in December of 2012,  this was an insensitive, infuriating, and idiotic “point” for a public official to make. Considering that Sinha is a head of law enforcement, in a country where the police are known to be grossly negligent about prosecuting rape cases, his comment comes across as especially infuriating. According to the Guardian, “Indian police estimate that only four out of 10 rapes are reported as officers often fail to take complaints of sexual violence seriously.”

Given India’s rape crisis, a topic that has received much media attention following the Delhi gang rape in December of 2012, this was an insensitive, infuriating, and idiotic “point” for a public official to make.

Ranjit’s Sinha’s comment reveals how far India, and humans collectively, have to go with respect to combatting pervasive gender discrimination and violence. His comment serves as a reminder that the way we talk about these issues matter. In addition to social and legal reform, education around how to discuss gender relations, discrimination, and violence needs to be taken seriously–especially for people in positions of power, who can directly inGiven India’s rape crisis, a topic that has received much media attention following the Delhi gang rape in December of 2012,  this was an insensitive, infuriating, and idiotic “point” for a public official to make. fluence cultural attitudes and behaviors in an organization responsible for investigating and bringing recourse to individuals who have experienced one of the most atrocious, traumatic acts imaginable: an act that is the furthest thing from enjoyable.