The documentary “India’s Daughter” has angered people in India who like to feel victimized by the “west”. According to these guys, the rape situation in India is actually better than in most countries. And to prove it, they show…wait for it…government statistics! Check out this article by the telegraph. It would have us believe that India is a haven for women compared to countries like the UK because the “per capita” reported rapes in the UK is greater.
Under Reporting Rape in India
Rape is an under reported crime throughout the world. The stigma attached to a survivor is strong, no matter where you go. But in India, the problem is much, much worse. If only 30% of rapes are reported in a country like the UK, the figure is easily 90% (and probably 99%) in India.
Those defending India’s situation on women would have us believe that a country like Sweden – which consistently ranks amongst the highest in the world in terms of gender equality – is a far more dangerous place than the streets of Delhi. Seriously.
The Police Don’t Register FIRs
Let’s say a rape survivor plucks up the courage (maybe even several days after the act) and goes to the police to register a case. What do our brave men in khaki do? That’s right – they often refuse to even register an FIR contrary to the explicit instructions of the Supreme Court.
Why do they do this? The reasons can be many. From wanting to keep the crime reporting low for their district, to the accused being a powerful figure, or whatever.
Bottom line – if you think rape is under reported, consider what happens even when it is reported!
Even Nirbhaya is not Counted as a Rape!
The single most famous case in the country responsible for sparking mass movements throughout the country regarding security for women doesn’t count as a rape in India’s statistics!
Why? Apparently according to our wise lawmakers, only the primary offence on the FIR is to be counted for reporting purposes. In this case, it was murder. Now, I’ve always held that murder is a more serious crime than rape, but to not count the crime at all for reporting purposes? That is seriously messed up.
Marital Rape is Legal in India
This is a biggie. In India, it is legal for a man to rape his wife! Even if he comes out in the open and admits it. Even if he makes a video of the act and shows it to everyone, the law cannot touch him! All because of the fucked up belief that a man is entitled to sex with his wife on demand.
Needless to say, this is bullshit. Rape is the same, regardless of the relationship of the victim to the criminal. But this huge category is not even treated as a crime by the Indian government! Now isn’t that a convenient way to reduce crime statistics? When a crime is no longer defined as a crime, it will magically vanish. Who knew!
All of this combines to make rape statistics in India worse than meaningless. Worse, because it actually gives a false illusion of security – and more recently, moral superiority. Do other civilized countries have problems with the under reporting of rape? Oh yes, they very much do. There’s a long and uphill battle ahead of them. But to consider the exponentially poor situation in India and place it on an equal footing is outright dishonesty and wishful thinking.