India’s Top Police Official: “If You Can’t Prevent Rape, Enjoy It”

Ranjit Sinha has since apologized for his remark, but activists say his logic embodies the problem of rape impunity in India.

1. Ranjit Sinha, the head of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, was speaking at a panel on illegal betting on Tuesday when his argument took an unexpected turn.

2. There was no harm in legalizing betting, Sinha argued, because a betting ban is difficult to enforce.

3. “Above all, do we have the enforcement agencies. It is very easy to say. If you can’t enforce it, it’s: if you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it.”

9. The next day Sinha apologized, saying his words were taken out of context and he regretted the inappropriate analogy. But in his statement he referred to his rape claim as an “idiom,” thereby igniting a second wave of controversy.

AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi, File

10. In this video of yesterday’s panel, Sinha does not appear fazed after making the initial rape comparison.

11. But context included, activists say Sinha’s statement is particularly appalling because of his position of power at India’s FBI equivalent.

AP Photo/ Saurabh Das

12. Government statistics estimate that 1 woman is raped every 20 minutes in India.

Mahesh Kumar A. / AP

13. In 2012, a young Indian woman was gang raped in the back of a moving bus in New Delhi. She later died from wounds sustained in the attack. Her attackers initially went unpunished.

Altaf Qadri / AP

14. Activists say victim-blaming is part of the problem: The idea that the victim is to blame detracts responsibility from the police and politicians, like Sinha, with the authority to protect and punish.

In this satire that went viral in September, Indian actresses mock the claim that “It’s your fault.”

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