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Why are there so many rapes in India?

  1. We have a lot of people. Crimes always go proportional to population. In any society, you can assume one in 1000 will be crooks and criminals. If your whole nation is just 1 million people, you need to deal with only 1000 such crooks. If you have 1000 million people, you have a million potential criminals to deal with. Thus, you need to adjust all figures to population. Rapes are always under-reported everywhere (given that the majority of the rapes are done by close people). Even if you assume that 95% of the rapes are not reported in India, while 100% of rapes are reported in the West, India still has lower rapes as % of population. This is no excuse and thus let us move to the next 5 points.
  2. We have too few police. India is among the least policed nation. We have only a little more than 1 cop for every 1000 people. Globally, this number is more than twice this. Most of our cops are taken off in protecting the politicians and bureaucrat. This leaves the number of cops less than the number of criminals. Do the math.
  3. We have too few courts and judges. The Allahabad High Court has 160 judges to manage 100 million people or close to 1 for every million people. How can a judge handle such a workload? Thus, even if the cops catch the criminal, it takes a long time to bring him to justice.
  4. Legal system is backward. Our legal system is quite outdated. Rape and molestation laws are works in progress and are not quite near the global standards. Questions like how long the penis got inserted are asked of rape victims. This is stupid and causes many criminals to get acquitted and many victims to shy away.
  5. Our sex ratio is poor. For every 100 guys, there are only about 92 girls. In parts of Delhi, this ratio falls to 80 girls for every 100 guys. Thus, 20+ guys for every 100 will go unmarried. 1 out of this 20 could become very depressed and vengeful. 1 out of these 10 depressed bachelors could turn more violent. Do the math and that is a lot of potential violent people.
  6. Indian women are forced in the dark for more. Due to a variety of reasons, ranging from a lack of good toilets in rural areas to outsourcing jobs that require work at night to a lack of good transportation, a lot more Indian women are forced to work out in the dark. Historically, dark, secluded areas have always attracted crime. World over, most of the murders and rapes occur this time. This would require us to dramatically upgrade the existing infrastructure – transportation and sanitation – so that less women are forced to be outside. Even better personal transportation could help the women with safer options.
  7. Our media reports more actively: This is actually a positive thing. As mentioned here and observed by people who have lived both in and out of India – Why Rape Seems Worse in India Than Everywhere Else (but Actually Isn’t) | TIME.com – Indian media gives a greater importance to individual rape incidents than most other media around the world. This helps put the problem right in front of our eyes and hopefully that pushes us close to reducing the rates. Most of the rest of the world, avoids reporting gruesome rape incidents.

These points are fundamental. While attitudes blah blah blah all are talked about, we have to first focus on things that are easy to fix. Adding more judges, toilets, police and fixing laws is not rocketscience and we need to do that before getting to “attitudes”.

Of course, point 1 is no excuse for us to stay quiet. We need to be the best country when it comes to women safety. To see some of the solutions go here:

About Vinod Oswal

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