“It is like if you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it” CBI Director argues for legalising betting in sports.

“There are lotteries in states. If we can have casinos in tourist resorts and if the government can declare schemes for voluntary disclosure of black money, what is the harm in legalizing betting? And above all, do we have the enforcement agencies? Do we have the enforcement? It is very easy to say that you… if you can’t enforce it, it is like if you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it… so it is better to have, err something, so it is better to legalise it and earn some revenue rather than throwing your hands up and letting things happen as it were,” CBI Director Ranjit Sinha told an audience of sports persons and officials. [link shared by Sundar]

I was hoping he was misquoted – but this video shows how casually he ‘uses the proverb’.

He later explained that he was ‘just making a point’ and that he ‘just used a proverb’. He also reiterated his ‘deep sense of regard and respect for women and commitment to gender issues‘. [CBI Director Ranjit Sinha responds to NCW notice]

What can make someone use ‘enjoyment’ of rape to make a point?

1. Do they speak without thinking, and don’t always mean what they say? But doesn’t what they say reveal how they think? Where do these words originate from? Words matter. I think casual words from those in positions of responsibility and influence, matter even more.

2. Do they believe it is possible to enjoy rape? What makes them believe that? What do they think rape is? And would their idea of rape as a possibly enjoyable activity not influence how they deal with cases of sexual assaults? Is this called ‘commitment to gender issues’?

3. It’s possible that they do realize rape is traumatic for the victim, but they feel enjoyment of rape is an option the victim has? If this is the case, then they are definitely not fit for being involved in anyway in investigations of sexual crimes.

Here’s a comment in response to the news article that got 8 likes:

Cathryn Sykes

Oh, yes. Enjoy it. Enjoy having your legs shoved apart, maybe getting punched in the face or belly to make you submit, a hundred pounds or more of weight slammed down on you, trying to breathe with a hand around your throat, then when you are NOT relaxed, NOT aroused, NOT lubricated, having something slammed up inside of you, across nerve-filled and blood-filled membranes laid over bone at the pelvic girdle. Sure. Enjoy that.
Sir, let me supply myself with a sawn-off broom handle. Then you bend over. And “enjoy” what I’ll do to you. Fair enough?

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Three Tweets and a 55 Words Response…


39 thoughts on ““It is like if you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it” CBI Director argues for legalising betting in sports.

    • You are making an analogy different from Sinha. Please listen through the speech again. He’s saying legalizing betting is as stupid as saying “enjoy rape”. In other words, both are just as wrong


      • If you can’t prevent rape, “you” (ommited everywhere) enjoy it” same as saying If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Media is not concerned about any social issues actually, so it would be better if people don’t let media sabotage their mind.


  1. People don’t just say words out of nowhere. I’m sure he totally believes what he said, could be subconsciously. I can’t understand the logic of comparing rape to sex, and that rape, which is by force, is something to “enjoy”??? Are people that disconnected that they think that any sexual violence which is done by a man is something to “enjoy”????
    Very interesting the wording of it. Why not then…. “if you can’t prevent sadistic humiliation, enjoy it”, or “if you can’t prevent murder, than enjoy it”, or “if you can’t prevent your intestines getting ripped out, then enjoy it”, “if you can’t prevent getting castrated, then surely enjoy it sir”…..It is unbelievable WTF


  2. Clayton Williams (a Texas oil & gas billionaire) unsuccessfully ran for governor of Texas in 1990 as a Republican publicly made a similar ‘joke’ likening rape to bad weather, having stated: “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it”. During the campaign, allegations were made that as an undergraduate at Texas A&M, Williams had visited the ‘Chicken Ranch’, a brothel in La Grange, & the ‘Boy’s Towns’ of Mexico.

    This same statement had also previously caused a great deal of controversy amongst women’s groups in 1988 when made by Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight on NBC- “”I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”Then, apparently realizing what he had said might be offensive, Knight went on: ”That’s just an old term that you’re going to use. The plane’s down, so you have no control over it. I’m not talking about that, about the act of rape. Don’t misinterpret me there. But what I’m talking about is, something happens to you, so you have to handle it – now.”
    Knight often beat & choked his players and physically assaulted a university secretary.

    In 1976 WABC-TV weatherman Tex Antoine was fired after saying “With rape so predominant in the news lately, it is well to remember the words of Confucius: ‘If rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it’,” on a weather report after a story about the rape of an 8 yr child.

    I don’t know, maybe these guys would enjoy rape?
    They don’t sound terribly empathetic & may have some unusual sexual proclivities.


  3. CBI director trivializing rape? Someone who is an active defender of the law joking about a serious crime? A person who is probably well educated, aware, worldly wise, and savvy enough to hold this sensitive position lacking in empathy? Hmm, not even sure how to respond. Just shocked. What’s next? Jokes about pedophilia? Should we start telling children that if they can’t stop abuse, they should just enjoy it? Sad.


  4. Firstly, I think that proverb or whatever it is, needs to go!

    I think he really should try to enjoy a broom handle in him, and then speak of proverbs! I think Cathryn’s comment is exactly what I would have thought too! Its sick that such statements can be made.


  5. He was misquoted.
    This is what he said “do we have the enforcement?”(do we have the enforcement to stop gambling) “it’s very easy to say, it’s like saying if you can’t stop rape, enjoy it”.
    He is saying that comparing legalising gambling because there is no enforcement to stop gambling is the same as enjoying rape because you cannot stop it.
    He is a police chief and obviously against legalising betting. He used the simile of rape to prove his point, which is a stupid thing to compare betting to, but he IS NOT saying that if you are raped, you should enjoy it.


    • And he is arguing AGAINST legalising betting in sports. The headline is very misleading, IHM;please change it. He is saying that asking the government to legalise betting because you cannot enforce the anti-gambling laws is like asking a rape victim to enjoy herself because she cannot prevent rape. The analogy is insensitive,obviously, and he does not express his thoughts very well, but don’t misquote him.


      • Any one who has an average level of intelligence will understand that he is against the legalization of betting, but he simply cannot afford to use the wrong “proverbs” given his position! This is called *trivializing* of matters that should be of grave concern. He was foolish (and possibly a rape apologist) and should suffer for the lack of control on his tongue.


    • Do watch the video.
      “…if the government can declare schemes for voluntary disclosure of black money, what is the harm in legalizing betting? And above all, do we have the enforcement agencies? Do we have the enforcement? It is very easy to say that you… if you can’t enforce it, it is like if you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it… so it is better to have, err something, so it is better to legalise it and earn some revenue rather than throwing your hands up and letting things happen as it were?”


      • Exactly. He is talking about the arguments used to say that betting should be legalised and saying that it is all nonsense, that it is equal to saying that you should enjoy rape if you cannot prevent it. Pallavi, I agree that he was trivializing the issue, and he cannot afford to do so, but I do not agree that he is a rape apologist:if anything, he is using the analogy to show how shocking it is that a woman should be told to “enjoy” rape.

        This man has been misquoted everywhere. IHM, please modify the headline of this post-he is clearly not arguing for betting to be legalised, nor is he arguing that women should enjoy rape.


        • Yes, you are right. Here’s a comment I posted on FB in this regard:

          In retrospect, it was incorrect my part to use ‘possibly a rape apologist’ (that was jumping to conclusions!), but then this is a very, very sensitive issue, and so the cool casualness with which he used the words in a statement got my chaddies in a bunch.

          My gripe was with the incorrect analogy that he used, not with his stand against betting. That casual comparison of betting (could have been anything else) with the horror of a rape is what killed the whole point that he was trying to meant.


    • If you watch the video, it seems he is arguing FOR legalising betting.. because, he seems to say, a ban cannot be enforced. I had hoped he was saying that legalising betting was as bad as saying if you can’t stop rape then enjoy it.. but that’s not what the video shows. Even if it was the case, he DOES NOT have to be saying that if you are raped, you should enjoy it. That analogy is inappropriate and callous any way you look at it.

      I mean, it’s not hard to just NOT make jokes or similes about rape. Would he have made an analogy about dalits? No because we all understand that it’s offensive to do that. Should be no different here.


      • Carvaka, he is a police chief who is talking about why you should not legalise betting. The video isn’t showing the whole scene. It shows the part where he takes on the tone of someone who would be arguing that you should be legalising betting. He says that arguing that legalising betting because it cannot be enforced is as stupid as telling women to enjoy rape if they cannot prevent it.
        I agree that such an analogy is callous and insensitive. At the same time, try to be fair. He did NOT tell women to enjoy rape. Argue that his analogy is stupid, by all means. But by misquoting him (and keeping the title of this blogpost the way it is) we are contributing to the problem of taking things out of context and not doing our research.


      • I suspect he was trying to be sarcastic, but most Indians don’t get sarcasm (except in the southern states in my experience). Overall, it’s not a good idea to use rape as an analogy to anything.


        • I agree with you. Most Indians don’t understand sarcasm and satire. Look what happened with the article titled ‘Assam Rape Festival’. For god sake, it was a satirical article on a satirical website!


    • Yeah, looks like he was misquoted and his analogy misrepresented. That said it was a very poor choice to compare against – specially given the country’s association with rape and crimes against women.


  6. Like someone said in the comments on the article… the appropriate thing would be to use the proverb… “if you can’t beat them, join them”, but then he kinda spouted what was topmost on his mind, didn’t he? He faltered as soon as it struck him that he had said something wrong when people didn’t react like earlier when they clapped. He should have simply died of shame there.


  7. Unfortunately such ‘proverbs’ were very common some years ago. For example I have seen explaining a joke after cracking it being called raping the joke. For a long time, the word ‘rape’ was used as a synonym for sinful sex. It shows the lack of seriousness attached to the term. As times change, as attitudes change, so should one’s language if they believe in those changes. You cannot say you believe in something while speaking the opposite of it, even out of habit.

    This is one of the biggest challenges in attitude change I feel – getting people out of the comfort zone of being wrong.


      • And another “proverb” equivalent that I’ve heard used a lot in my college: G mein D. The exact scenario described in the follow-up comment to that article. Kudos to my college for going with gender-neutral insensitivity. hehe.


  8. The fact that he thinks it’s appropriate to use this analogy gives me no confidence in his ability to even empathise with the problem, let alone solve it. Just yesterday there was news of a 16 year old girl being burnt alive for resisting rape.. and sadly it’s not an isolated incident. It is extremely callous of him to make light of such an issue.


  9. Making mountains out of mole hill. That’s what this Issue proves once again. I am not supporting what that CBI guy told, it’s just blown out of proportion. He corrected his mistake by giving his apology, still NCW making an issue out of it. What do they want? Hang him??


  10. ok I thought he was saying that proverb is wrong???? he’s saying it’s wrong to say enjoy rape !! no? Iam getting old i think 🙂 i thought he was being sarcastic , but yes if someone is that high up in the CBI, he needs to keep away from analogies of any kind that could be misconstrued, he needs a lesson in public speaking . but maybe I’m mistaken and he did say it in the wrong sense in that case everyone is justified in shouting .

    We may not be able to stop the rapes happening in india but we sure can yell when anyone uses the word. 🙂 ( just a sarcastic observation)


    • You are right, he isn’t telling people to enjoy rape, he’s pointing out how stupid it is to tell ppl to enjoy rape. It’s a terrible analogy but nobody deserves to be misquoted and to have their statements taken out of context as his statements have been done, on this blog, and across the internet.


    • I am tempted to agree with you Radha. He is clearly not for legalizing betting and draws that analogy to show how senseless it is to ask a woman to enjoy rape. Let this serve as an example to public figures to vet everything they’re going to say with an expert panel before opening their gutter mouths in public.


  11. Shameful. What if someone put a revolver on his temple and says, “If you can’t stop it, enjoy it when ur head will be blown off.” Does he know what he speaks? Why no action being taken against him?


  12. You should watch the “Two Brown Girls'” clip on Rape, a very, very satirical commentary on how “YOU DESERVE IT,” the underlying prejudice against women/rape…..

    Do watch, it’s well worth it….


  13. Pingback: दुल्हन मुस्कुराई और अपने देवर का परिचय अपनी सहेलियो से करवाया… | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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