Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Ranjit Sinha’s remarks on legalizing betting on Tuesday have provoked outrage for apparently trivializing rape. However, he has either been misquoted or quoted without context in major newspapers. Here is a full transcript of what Sinha said at CBI’s international conference (mumbles included).

“I feel that, you know, if we can have lottery in the states, if we can have casinos at some of the tourist resorts and if the government can declare schemes for volunteer disclosure of black money...and then they can...So what’s the harm if we can have...if we can legalize betting. And above all, do we have the enforcement agencies? It is very easy to say if you can’t enforce it...it is like, ‘If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.’ It is better to have something, legalize it and earn some revenue, rather than throwing your hands up and let things happen."

“If you can’t stop rape, enjoy it, says CBI director Ranjit Sinha," reads a headline in the Hindustan Times newspaper. Other news sources carried the quote without providing the context with the same implication that Sinha was making a derogatory remark..

Here are a few examples of other headlines:

“Indian Top Cop’s ‘Enjoy Rape’ Comments Spark Fury Amid Assaults" —Bloomberg

“Legalising betting like ‘enjoying rape’: CBI chief Ranjit Sinha regrets statement after backlash"—NDTV

This is a perversion of what Sinha meant, which was clearly a defence of the existence of laws, even when enforcement agencies are inadequate.

Sinha in no way suggested we should enjoy rape. His analogy doesn’t suggest we should accept rape. It merely points out that being apathetic about a social problem because it is perceived as not solvable is not the answer. Sinha is attacking that kind of apathy not encouraging it.

His choice of the metaphor may be inappropriate and perhaps he should have steered clear of any mention of rape, as some commentators say, but even then he is guilty only of being clumsy.

To see what Sinha said, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9_SD9AC8PQ

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