India does not have a rape culture, West does

There has been a lot of debates and opinion pieces lately on Indian and western media on how India is a dangerous place for women and lambasts the rape culture of India. The critics use Nirbhaya rape case from Delhi as an example and use it to broad brush all Indian men as rapists. While no society is above criticism, such criticism should be well deserved and one incident should not be extrapolated to pass moral judgements on the whole society. So lets dig deep and see whether international rape statistics support this horrendous claim propagated by international newspapers.

 Number of rape incidents per 100,000 citizens in different countries
Number of rape incidents per 100,000 citizens in different countries

Above are the statistics for the reported rape rates per 100,000 population around the world. As  seen from the above figure, it is pretty clear that India ranks at the bottom when it comes to the rapes against women. India has 1.8 rapes per 100k as opposed to the rape rate of 132 in Sweden , 26 in USA  or 28 in UK per 100k citizens. So it is pretty clear that India is actually 15 times better than USA or UK when it comes to reported rape cases. Yet these western critics and their local sepoys here in media have no qualms claiming India has rape culture while giving a free pass to the western rape problem. The perfect example for such an attitude is reflected by actions of Leslee Udwin who flew all the way from UK to make a documentary on Nirbhaya rape case and lump all Indian men as rapists and trash Indian culture while completely ignoring to mention that rape crisis is 15 times worse in her home country.

One of the common criticism against above statistic is that there are large number of unreported rape cases in India and that we cannot use it for comparison with western nations. But even if we go with the argument that Indian rapes are 90% under reported and USA rapes are reported 100 percent , it would still mean India only has rape rate of 18/100000 as opposed to 26/100000 of the USA and so USA rape rates will still be 50% higher than Indian rape per capita. Also, other crime rates per capita like homicide or theft in India like homicide or theft are much lower than other countries in general and so it should not be surprising that rape rates are also substantially lower in India.

Others cite Indian rape definition as different from western definitions of rape and how western countries have broader rape definition. But this argument cuts both ways. For example, Indian law stipulates that consensual sex under promise of marriage is rape if the man later changes his mind on marriage. No western country has such ridiculous laws on rape. Further more, rape is a meaningless term in India because more than 50% of the reported rape cases are “proven” false, not just unproven cases. More than 53% of the rape cases in India are filed by girls’ parents on the boyfriend in cases where the couple elopes and the girl later changes her mind. So the actual rape rates will be much lower than the reported cases.

On further analysis, the claim about broader rape definition in the west compared to India turns out even more ridiculous. For example, US definition for rape is exactly as India except on marital rape. But marital rape is a highly contentious issue and have been debated here. Considering the case where we take marital rape out of the USA’s rape statistics, it would still leave India very far behind. For instance, USA has a reported marital rape rate of 10% out of total rapes. So if we remove 10% of 26 reported rapes in USA to correct for marital rapes in USA, it would still be 23 per 100k population and would still be 12 times higher than the reported rape rate of 1.8 per 100k in India. Even if we make the ridiculous assumption that India has 90% unreported rapes, rape rate of India would only be 18 per 100k and still 30% lower than rape rate of USA. That is Indian rape statistics are lower than USA even if we inflate the Indian rape statistics by 1000%. Also note that while this analysis has taken the extreme stand that unreported rapes in India account 90%, it does not take into account the unreported rapes of USA which would put the USA number even higher. Also, since USA has a higher base of 26, an unreported level of 50% rapes will put their number much higher at 52, while you need 90% unreported rapes to reach the smaller figure of 18 in case of India.

The Indian rape rate can be demonstrated to be lower even from third party data sources like British tourism data on rapes of the British women visiting foreign countries and here we have no excuse that rapes are under reported specifically in India since these cases were reported by British women to British officials and Embassy. As you can see, nearly 8 lakh Britishers had visited India and none of them were raped as opposed to Spain, when 53 rapes were reported. But one can argue that Spain has 14 times more visitors (strangely this argument is never used when looking at why India has higher rape numbers due to its big population) than India and so cannot be compared with India . What is important to note here is that for two consecutive years no rapes were reported from India and so India did not get lucky in one particular year.

Why India has low rates of rape?

In India, women are seen as sacred and protected with the life of men if needed. Indian society actually gives more importance to safety of women than the western societies. This is why, there are many places in India where woman’s honour is considered far more important than her life. As many Hindus will say, a man who kills a woman is just killing her body, while a man raping her destroys her soul. This is why we Indians feel obliged to protect women better and flagellate to lower the present rape rate even further. Similar cultural aspect can be further corroborated by visiting any jail in India where rapists usually bear the brunt of other criminals and are ostracised for their heinous act. Such behaviour of criminals explains well why any normal Indian, who has much better civic and moral sense than criminals, morally abhors the concept of rape. Even though the rape laws are misused to the tune of 50+% in India, the protests and demands to strengthen the rape laws post Nirbhaya incident, only bolsters our claim that Indian opinion is strictly against the culture of condoning rapes.

So why this feat mongering by the western media on rape culture in India?

This fear mongering in the western media on India goes back to the old days of colonialism where they considered it their duty to civilise Indians and other brown and black people. This holier than thou attitude is nothing more than an imperialistic tool for these hypocrites to “civilise “ us even when our society is more civilised. Despite chronic poverty Indian society has very low crime rate and similarly lower rapes. India has a marital success rate of 95+% as opposed to 50% in the west. The single mother percentage is 1% compared to 40-50% in the west. So instead of trying to teach us how to live civilised, western media will do much better by just cleaning their own house which is leading to many societal problems.

We will now give few example to show how the western media is completely complicit in covering up the big sex rackets and scandals in their own countries. If Rotterdam style of grooming, sex and rape rackets had been busted in India instead of UK, the whole world would have issued travel advisories against India but nothing of such sort happened against UK. The complete failure of authorities to act against Pakistani immigrants who abused some 1400 young girls between 1997-2013 is a glaring example of failure of western society. Another incident corresponds to the coverup in Westminster paedophilia cases, where big UK politicians were involved in raping young kids. But such acts are not surprising for a country whose PM, David Cameroon is suspected of putting his “private parts” in the mouth of a dead pig as part of initiation ritual at Oxford. The double standards of western media are very apparent as all these incidents are passed off as rare incidents unlike the hype built around the Nirbhaya incident.

To summarize, yes, India needs to protect her women better and no woman should be made to go through the horrors of rape. But it is time for Indians to stop listening to the racism inspired rancour of the west and fall for the false media generated hype to denounce the whole culture based on few incidents. The evidence presented above clearly suggests that it is actually the west which has a big rape problem and need immediate social attention to alleviate this problem.