The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Ranjit Sinha, facing a barrage of criticism over his remark on rape, has expressed regret and clarified that he has “deep regard and respect for women”. However, his clarification and subsequent remarks keep getting more muddled and involuted, and to some, even more offensive than his initial remark.

Sinha clarified that he was only drawing an analogy while speaking in favour of legalising betting in sport. But there was no logical comparison to be drawn. In effect, he ended up saying that if the laws cannot be enforced, one should lie back and enjoy the biggest violation a woman could suffer.

Furthermore, it is not just what he said and his unredeeming apology that compounded the issue. It is the fact that a man who holds the position that he does — the chief of the national law enforcement agency — has to resort to such a parallel to describe something. And to do so at a public forum, being a public figure, as someone who oversees investigations of several rape cases!

The consequences of doing so are heinous, nevermind what one is trying to say or justify or clarify. The biggest objection is that it trivialises a crime that is
violent, outrageous, scarring and degrading.

It is time for everybody to stop using phrases, metaphors and parallels revolving around rape to describe something else. Rape is unlike any kind of condition, situation or context. To slap it on in any context is demeaning to its survivors.

Such a practice brings a semblance of levity and frivolity to what is a very serious abuse of a person.