By Usha Rani Das:
After 8 months, the convicts of Damini rape case got death penalty for their heinous acts of violence. Just when India thought they had won, there came another callous remark – an analogy of rape, and that too from the person who is in charge of several rape investigations. CBI Director, Ranjit Sinha made an objectionable analogy of rape while commenting on legalizing betting in India, saying, “It is like you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it.” Sinha’s bizarre analogy has drawn sharp criticism, even among activists who demand his sacking. But some say that it is not what he meant by the analogy and the media is just taking words out of the context and framing it for pure dramatics.Â Here is the full excerpt of his speech.
“If there are lotteries in states, if we can have casinos in tourist resorts and if the government can declare schemes for voluntary disclosure of black money, what is the harm if we legalize betting? Above all, do we have the enforcement agencies? If you can’t enforce it, it is like you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it. It is better to legalize it and earn some revenue rather than throwing up your hands.”
I won’t go into how objectionable, controversial, irresponsible and insensitive the analogy is. Any sane person can understand that by reading it. The whole country is outraged again by such comments on rape. The comment has evoked sharp criticism on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook also. Personalities like Kiran Bedi, Sagarika Ghosh, leader of Communist Party of India (Marxists) Brinda Karat has commented on how sickening the comment is. But what struck me the most was his behavior towards such a barbaric crime, rape. A top official drawing such analogy so casually is what hurts me the most. It is not his analogy that disturbs me, but the fact that it was a completely normal thing for him to say. His attitude is no different than those of the Khaps or the MPs who think it is the fault of the women for being raped. But I shouldn’t be hurt or surprised or angered. It is only normal in a country where political leader says, “Women should not venture out with men who are not relatives.” This is a country where PJ Kurien was acquitted and the victim harassed by the investigative agency. Oh! By the way CBI, Ranjit Sinha was the one handling this infamous Suryanelli rape case. This is a country where women are gang-raped for protesting against child marriage. This is a country where women are blamed for wearing short dresses and rapists who rape burqa clad women go scot-free. And now, this a country where ‘rape’ has become a catch-all phrase to describe anything negative. Sometimes, it is even used to mock others. The famous speech of silencer which he gave on Teachers’ Day in the movie ‘3 Idiots’ proves it all.
But this is not only the culture of top Indian officials. In 2010, heavyweight boxer David Haye boasted that his upcoming match would be as “one-sided as a gang rape”. All these clearly state one thing – we are yet to win the battle of justice for crime against women. The hilarious video of Kalki Koechlin, “It’s your fault” says it all. We live in an era where ‘rape’ has become a normal thing and justice, what’s that? Can we blame Ranjit Sinha for this? After all it is just another woman among the thousands who are either being raped or face sexual harassment every minute. And as far as the question of ‘legalizing rape’ in India isÂ concerned, Mr. Ranjit Sinha, you don’t have to do much; our patriarchal society is already half way there. As long as people like PJ Kurien and Ranjit Sinha are there to protect the country, rapists can sleep by day and rape by night or vice versa! They don’t even have to hide in their shell any more. Our country’s top officials are there to protect them from women. And for women, all is lost! No protests, no candle light marches and no resignations can stop these crimes against women. No women will be able to live a life without fear every day. It is a lost cause until and unless there are sweeping changes not just in laws but in mindsets.
To sum it up all, Mr. Ranjit Sinha, the country thinks you are unfit in the post given to you. The fact that you are protecting us gives us sleepless nights. We want your resignation. Even my pet dog can’t lead a peaceful life (she is a female). And, since you can’t prevent such defamation of your name, you might as well enjoy it!