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CBI chief's clarification is worse than his remark on rape

November 13, 2013 16:32 IST

Ranjit Sinha has not only insulted every woman in the land, he has angered the sensibilities of every right thinking citizen of the land with his crass remark, says A Ganesh Nadar.

In Tamil there is a saying, Veliye payirai meindadhu, meaning the fence has devoured the crop. We expect the fence to protect the crop and that is why we put up a fence around our fields. What can we do if the fence itself starts eating up the crop?

That was my first thought when I heard the Central Bureau of Investigation director declare in a public debate about legalising betting, on live camera, 'If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying "If you can't prevent rape, you enjoy it”.’ Not only did he make such a deplorable comment but he said it with élan.

He did not even realise how insensitive, degrading, and vile his comment was. His clarification a day later does little by way of expiation, or even damage control for that matter.  

In the Mahabharat, Bhishma, Dronacharya, Karna and many other stalwarts were killed deceitfully by the Pandavas. When one of them questioned Krishna, that he being God, should he have been party to such deceit?

Krishna replied, “Firstly all of yiou attacked Abhimanyu at the same time, that goes against the rules of war. Secondly you all watched silently when Draupadi was being disrobed. Each one of you is powerful enough to have stopped Dushasan and also taken on Duryodhan, but you did not do that.

“Committing a crime is sin, and watching and doing nothing is also a crime, and thus I am punishing you.”

I cannot imagine why editor Shekhar Gupta, who is never at a loss for words even when engaging with the prime minister, did not raise his voice and make Ranjit Sinha withdraw his words and apologise on the spot.

Why did Rahul Dravid, the epitome of what a gentleman should be, continue with the debate as if nothing had happened? He should have taken the CBI director to task but did not. I do not know all the others on that august forum but I am sure each one must have been a very important person.

Much like the stalwarts in the Mahabharat who watched in silence the many sins of Kauravas, the entire pantheon present there should be taken to task. Each of them needs to apologise not only to every woman in India but to every woman in the world.

Ranjit Sinha has not only insulted every woman in the land, he has angered the sensibilities of every right thinking citizen of the land.

And to add salt to the wound he actually sends out a press release saying he had quoted a proverb. I have been a student of English for 50 years and I have never heard any such proverb, unless there is a book of proverbs meant for the crass.

The man should have unconditionally apologised for his remark and stepped down from his job. How can you expect the director of the CBI to do his job when he thinks that half the population of the land cannot be protected, and since they cannot be protected they might as well enjoy being raped? That is the crux of what he said on Monday.

Dravid rightly pointed out that just because you cannot implement a law, you cannot do away with it. Rahul, when you think the law is essential even if it is not implemented, don’t you think women are entitled to their dignity even if the officers of the law cannot protect them?

The Delhi rape roused the collective consciousness of the country. While earlier rapes were not being reported and even when reported FIRs were not being filed, after the gruesome Delhi rape case last year girls started coming forward to complain and cops started registering cases.

Rapists around the country were being arrested and the law did start taking its slow course. But the CBI director with one insensitive remark has taken us back to the dark period before the Delhi rape.

Rapists know that they are violating the victim. They know that they are doing something wrong. That is why they usually beat up their victims and many a time even kill them. Now thanks to Sinha rapists will start believing that if the woman cannot protect herself, she can still enjoy it.

Ranjit Sinha has thus brought a new and horrible angle to the rapists’ thinking. Which is like the fence not guarding the crop but going against it.

And what does one do when the fence starts preying on the crop? Time to change the fence, of course!

A Ganesh Nadar