Telling Women to 'Enjoy' Rape? India's Top Detective Under Fire for Outrageous Comment

As the South Asian nation struggles with wave of violence against women, an official's bad analogy draws anger.

A man holds a placard during a silent rally to protest on Aug. 25, 2013, following the rape of a photojournalist by five men in Mumbai. (Photo: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

Nov 13, 2013· 1 MIN READ
Shaya Tayefe Mohajer is TakePart's News Editor.

A flawed analogy about women learning to "enjoy" rape—spouted by India's top detective—has drawn outrage from the country's citizens, who have grown more aware of crimes against women since a horrific gang rape drew international attention last year.

The head of India's Central Bureau of Investigation, Ranjit Sinha, came under fire after comments he made at a conference on Tuesday.

"Do we have the enforcement?" Sinha said, according to The Guardian, after being asked if sports betting, which is banned in India but widespread, should be legalized. "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."

Though insensitive and weird, his comment wasn't actually suggesting women should enjoy rape, but his subsequent apologies are falling on deaf ears. Many Indian citizens have been on edge about sex assault and rape since a 23-year-old woman died of internal injuries after a brutal gang rape by six men in December. In that crime, four men were sentenced to death, a juvenile was convicted, and the alleged ringleader hanged himself behind bars.

A Reuters analysis of rape investigations in India estimates that only 40 percent of victims there report rape, and the 24,206 women who reported a sex assault in 2011 often had to deal with hostile, ineffective police and undergo cruel, invasive examinations—all of which frequently resulted in weak prosecutions that let their attackers go free.

That helps explain why feminists in India are saying a guy who heads up sex assault investigations in India just can't make such comments.

"It is sickening that a man who is in charge of several rape investigations should use such an analogy," Brinda Karat, leader of the Communist Party of India, told The Guardian.

"He should be prosecuted for degrading and insulting women."