Director of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Ranjit Sinha, just used a career-ending analogy to justify the legalization of betting in sports by comparing it to ‘enjoying rape’.
The shocking remark from the head of India’s investigating police agency has sparked outrage across his country. It is such statements that cause a massive setback to the women's rights movement in the world's largest democracy.
During a panel discussion on Tuesday night, Singh was emphasizing his point about the lack of agencies to enforce the law against betting when he said, “Its like if you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it.’
Rape has been a hotly debated topic over the past year in India, especially after the brutal gang rape of a college student in December 2012. Forced to respond to international scrutiny and the massive protests which followed the horrific incident, the Indian government scrambled to address the weaknesses in its law enforcement and legal systems, both of which have historically failed to protect women from sexual violence.
The country passed a major anti-rape law this year containing harsher punishments for rapists and for those involved in commercial rape – better known as sex trafficking.
Recent government’s recent efforts and public outcry aside, the cultural barriers, along with the mindset that exists in Indian society, need to go through a drastic transformation before any real progress is made.
Singh’s statement pays testament to that.
Instead of apologizing profusely and recognizing that his choice of words were outrageous and the rape analogy was not intended as it seemed, he tried to justify his remark earlier today.
"I gave my opinion that betting should be legalized and laws cannot be enforced. That does not mean that laws should not be made. This is as erroneous as saying that rape is inevitable & one should lie back and enjoy it...I reiterate my deep sense of regard and respect for women and my commitment for gender issues."
Finally, in his third clarification since his insensitive comment, he issued the following apology.
"I regret any hurt caused as same was unintended and inadvertent. I reiterate my deep sense of regard and respect for women and commitment to gender issues."