Sunday, November 17, 2013

Betting and rape - CBI Chief's outrageous comments.

This appeared In Asian Age....
                          What’s the difference between  betting and rape? Let’s ask the CBI Chief…
Ranjit Sinha ki toh hadd ho gayee! The CBI Chief ( no less!), has left India speechless with his crude, crass and callous comment earlier this week. While talking about legalizing betting in sports, he jauntily added his own perspective : “If you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it!” While the country was reeling from the atrociousness of this remark, especially since two important cases will soon be in the news – the Aarushi murder and the Nirbhaya rape  -  it made one question the CBI Chief’s right to retain his job While sacking the man is the prerogative of the right authorities, getting an apology out of him is a poor substitute. We can bay for his blood and express our collective outrage across platforms, but that will still not compensate for the damage done. For a man in his position and at his age to make a joke out of something as serious as rape, displays a lack of education, not just an absence of basic decency. No educated person would dare articulate such an odious comment if  there was a good education and the right upbringing behind him. And by education, I am not referring to a string of degrees from the best colleges in India and / or abroad. An educated person is one who follows a modicum of civility at all times. An educated person would never make the grave error of  trivialising something as terrible as rape. Especially not in a country that is reeling under what has been graphically described as a ‘rape epidemic’ this year, by the world press.
Most thinking people feel it ought to be made virtually impossible for Ranjit Sinha to crawl out of this mess without paying the price for his abject insensitivity.As an after thought, he has described the nasty sentence as a “proverb”. Which  book of proverbs is he referring to? The scary part is how casually other men have reacted to his gross remark. I was at a seminar the day this disgusting story broke.  And an elderly man got up to state he found such topics ‘superfluous’. Nobody  protested! The few women present tried to shut him up. But the other guys shrugged indifferently and even patted the man on his back, as if to say, “It’s really quite okay… don’t let these angry women browbeat you.” That is precisely why I believe Ranjit Sinha will get away with the loathsome comment, after a token ticking off. The rest of India will also move on, in search of other nauseating individuals uttering outrageously offensive sexist comments in public.
If you ask me, Sinha himself must be perplexed and wondering what is so terrible about his ‘joke’. For decades men have been saying the same thing - “ The only thing for a woman to do during a rape is to lie back and enjoy it.” Generally, if this is dropped in mixed company, other men laugh uproariously before correcting themselves and looking sheepish. But that only happens when  women  glare and express their rage / contempt .  I have been present when foolish women have joined in the laughter,  and further encouraged the chaps to go still further and crack some more ‘jokes’.Even though it is  inconceivable to me that a man would be foolish enough to say what Ranjit Sinha just did. We live in aware and sensitized times. Incidents of brutal rapes taking place across India have dominated media space throughout 2013. Is Ranjit Sinha living in a bubble? Does he not read news reports? Or watch television shows? Is he unaware of the widespread international and national coverage generated by the ghastly Nirbhaya case? If so, he has no business being in his job for one more second.Apology be damned.
But you know what ? Tragically, Ranjit Sinha is not alone.  Whenever the subject of rape comes up these days, I can spot several men who turn away in boredom, as if to convey their indifference to the issue. There is a sense of ‘rape fatigue’ hanging over us that one can’t escape. Perhaps men really and truly don’t get it! I have also come across guys who have rolled their eyes, plugged their ears and declared, “ Please! Bas! Can we change the subject? Don’t you women have something better to talk about?”  

Errrr…. excuse me, Sir! But we really DON’T! So before you turn away and start discussing mighty global issues, do remember rape is a serious crime. Yes, even in India! Even if it does take place on a sickeningly regular basis. Don’t you dare  make fun of  rape, or convert it into a ‘boys only’ joke. That is seriously uncool. And it makes the lot of you look like illiterate boors. Ranjit Sinha falls into that category. As the top dog in the CBI, his job is to protect the women of this country. Not denigrate them in public. He needs to go back to school. Perhaps, even to a reform school. He could do with an orientation course. Let’s say a crash course in how not to hurt the sentiments of all those who recognize rape for what it is – a heinous crime against humanity. Not just against women.


Upasana Bose said...

What concerns me is not only the fact that he has casually flung across a joke that in the truest sense is anything but what it's owner claims it to be- but the fact that a man of such a prerogative holds ultimate powers to punish a rapist--broadly a set whom he casually notches as noble 'enjoyment' suppliers...

Latha said...

C'mon Shobhaa, read the full text of what he said. That stupid proverb is unfortunately a chinese proverb ! He said, "Not making a law because it cannot be implemented is like saying (meaning as ridiculous as) 'If you cannot prevent rape, enjoy it'". In his sentence he has tried to make an effect on the stupid chinese proverb by emphasizing that it is ridiculous. The illiterate NCW who cannot understand simple english has protested against him saying that he asked women to enjoy rape. Whatever you have said applies to them & not to him. It is they who are illiterate, cannot understand english & craving for photo op in TV. Thousands of dalit children & women are raped in villages. What are these publicity mongering women doing about it ? First let them do their job before finding fault with others. Now that they have understood the full text which was quoted to them as an "explanation" by the CBI chief which they demanded 'within 24 hrs', they have said that the matter is closed. As an english novelist, you should've read the full text instead of going by the stupid NCW's complaint.

Anonymous said...

Central Bureau of Investigation is a body of politically personified rowdy beings [no I will not call them parrots and/or dogs - for that would be an insult to both parrots and dogs] meant to please their political bosses.

That much has been admitted to by Ranjit.

I would interpret that as rape of an institution and its head.

Therefore, since Ranjit has not quit his post, let us ask him the question - Hey Ranjit ... how enjoyable is your being raped from beind by the political system man?

Abhishek Chaturvedi said...

I am reading your blog only since the last 1 or 2 months, But today I saw a woman really concerned for women. I am 100% agree with you madam.

Ranjit Menon said...

Like Latha mentioned, this is a WITCH HUNT. There is NOTHING wrong with what the CBI chief said and its sad to drag him to the wolves because people jump to conclusions. Is someone mad to say such things? The full text was different and you should please edit your blog before causing further damage and joining the bandwagon of reactonaries.

Ranjit Menon said...

"Not making a law because it cannot be implemented is like saying 'If you cannot prevent rape, enjoy it'" He is condemning it as much as any of you for chirsts sake!!!!! insane country.

Amit - The Frivolous Analyser said...

Difficult to understand the reaction here. I dont find anything wrong in the statement if we read the complete text.

Cheryllyne said...

It doesn't matter whether it's a Chinese proverb or not OR the fact that we should consider his entire statement. Ultimately for a public official in his power and role, he should have used another analogy or 'proverb' to illustrate his point — not the one he did ultimately use, considering the sensitive nature of the topic and the environment in India right now. For a responsible individual, he should have known how it would have been perceived.

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Jane Tara said...

I enjoyed your blog. I'm Australian, and was visiting Delhi when he made these comments. Both my husband and I were appalled.

I'm an author, so picked up some novels while I was in India, Socialite Evenings being one. I'm reading it now… find it difficult to put down.

I look forward to reading more of your work. :-)

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jas said...

Shobha ji well done.You are standing like rock behind this unfortunate victim along with others.Tejpal should be ashamed what he preached and what he did.This is a wake up call for all like Tejpal.Hope he gets exemplary punishment and does not get away because of his political links. God bless you and God bless the unfortunate victim.Hope she will take the fight to its logical end steadfastly notwithstanding threats which may be used by Tejpal ans associates.Let us also hope you will give whatever support this girl needs at this hour.Regards jas

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