The Leadership Journey -19. Leadership, Education & Rape (1)

The next three posts are difficult ones, and I cannot claim to be fully aware of how to pull all the strings together. I do not claim to have answers, so do pitch in.

  • A few months back, I re-blogged a post showing two girls from the lower castes hanging from a tree after being raped. The father of the Chief Minister of the State remarked, ‘boys will be boys’. Incidentally, when I re-blogged that post, a young lady of Indian origin (now possibly a Singaporean citizen) accused me of trying to attract attention.
  • Last year, during the infamous Nirbhaya case in India (one of the most brutal recorded in India) many politicians went on to pass some rather cheap comments, like – ‘women should not wear sexy clothes’, or ‘women should not cross the line’.
  • On the 15th August this year, our Prime Minister said that families and parents should teach their children to respect girls and women.

A lot of contrast.

I shall go into some sad statistics, and I will quote Indian statistics because I am Indian. However, this does apply to everyone and all nations.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau, 93 women are raped in India everyday. The number of rapes doubled, in India, from 585 in 2012 to 1,441 in 2013. The city that follows, is Bombay.

94% of the victims were familiar with the rapists – neighbours and other known persons making up the bulk of perpetrators.

Most of the victims were between 14 & 30 years old.

An article in “Time” Magazine states that rape in India seems worse than it is because more rapes are being reported to the police. The media in India talks more about rape than the media in other countries so, it seems worse here. However, most Indian men and women also hate the reputation that rape has given India. After the Nirbhaya case, I invited some of my Chinese friends to visit India. They refused, because they felt that Indians were like animals. I can tell you that this did not sound nice.

Having said that, the conviction rate in India, at 24.2% is not bad. The UK has a 7% conviction rate, Sweden a 10% conviction rate, and France has 25%

We are also in august company. The top ten countries for incidence of rape, as per a statistic I read are ( in descending order ) – USA, India, the UK, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Russian Federation, Belgium & Thailand.

Of course, we need to bear in mind that:

  • these are reported cases. We have no idea of how many women across the world are raped and don’t report it because of fear or shame
  • these are cases of women being raped. I did know a chap in my engineering college who was called “Fairy”. I was 17, and when I discovered why he was called “Fairy”, I was more than surprised. We spoke and he told me that he had been raped in his first year. He had been raped continuously and, the chap who used to make the most fun of him was the chap who had raped him the most often.

I don’t intend to get into the psychology of rape. I did read an article about this once. I have also read the works of the Marquis de Sade. If you take away the very gory descriptions of rape, sadism, murder and arguments for atheism – the books talk about the extreme abuse of power.

So, what does rape have to do with leadership and power? Maybe, I shall start to explore my own thoughts in parts two and three of this little trilogy.



  1. Rajiv ji, I would like to give some facts too…

    The number of rape cases in India are still less than many other countries. But , this is still very high considering…

    1. Most of Indian women are confined to their homes most of the time. Even most of the girls living in metros don’t go outside after dark.

    2. Most of the women never report as you have written.

    3. The rape cases of working and those living outside their homes is increasing at very fast pace. These women don’t report rape cases because they would be forced to leave their education or job. How could they give away their freedom ?

    4. Women in India always go to crowded places and are often accompanied by someone. They never travel alone. How many of them know Driving ? except those in metros.

    Considering above facts, it is surprising that we still have such large number of rapes. This also tells why most of the rapes are by people known to them.

    With ever modernizing and developing India, Women’s participation in workforce is going to increase. We are going to surpass US in this regard before surpassing their GDP.

    And from my personal experience of working for their rehabilitation I can tell only 20% of the cases are reported. And the things like voyeurism, passing a remark, touching etc., are never reported. We need a radical change in our society.

  2. Heavy going indeed – no mean feat taking it on and trying to put it into any sort of sense. I have a friend in India who said to me – rapes is giving India a bad name but look at the proportionality of it. The size of the populace, the poverty levels, the deprivation. In no way can rape or any other heinous crime be not condemned, no matter where it committed, east, west, India or anywhere else. But often what people forget, is that we have taken to the streets, being allowed to wash our dirty linen in public, is a reassurance (however bleak) that people are trying to make their voice heard. They are no longer willing to accept apathy and arrogance, from those they have elected. Whether this will lead anywhere, who knows? But it’s a start.

    1. It is a start. Yes. We do wash our dirty linen in public. this is what we do. I hope that things change. I don’t know if I will make any sense in the next two posts, but I will try.

  3. Rajiv, this is SO hard for me to read. It sickens my stomach. Yet, if we do NOT stand up for what is right, NOTHING will change. That is from my post of today. And here I am reading this post, from a man who is trying to make a difference. I say Bless you!!! (((HUGS))) Amy

      1. I think you are younger than me, so if I live long enough to see some changes, you will see more changes.. Changes for the better!

      2. I’m not sure about that, Rajiv. I have to keep strong through exercise and with Life. There are days I would love to throw the towel in, so to speak, but I do not. I keep fighting back. Whether either of us see changes or not, I do know this. WE both have done our best to contribute to the overall GOOD. (((HUGS))) Amy

      3. The world goes through ups and downs, and i think if we strive to improve the space where we live, then that is good as well

  4. (sigh…) Why always this rush to blame the victim? Do these idiots really believe that, if all women were covered in heavy, voluminous fabrics from head to toe, there would never be another rape? Sometimes it seems hopeless, but in the U.S. during the last few years, several politicians lost elections when stupid comments they made about rape victims blew up in their faces. The fools seemed to forget that more than half of registered voters here are women. Getting it out in the open as you’re doing, and keeping it there can only help.

      1. I hope you are being sarcastic. Look up Todd Akin in Wikipedia. He is now popularly referred to as “Legitimate Rape” Akin.

      2. No. really. We read about insensitive Indian politicians. There have been so many insensitive remarks that have been reported and commented on that comments by American politicians went unreported. Also, there is a tendency in India not to report too much negative stuff about Western politicians, so we have to get this information from other sources.
        Legitimate Rape? Jeepers Creepers! That chap is sick!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.