WASHINGTON - One year after the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi made headlines, majority of Indians see the crime of rape as a “very big” national problem and remained concerned about the inadequacy of the criminal justice system in dealing with the issue, according to a new US survey released Tuesday.
The survey, by the Pew Research Center, shows that nine-in-ten Indians agree that the crime of rape is a “very big problem” in the country.
Roughly eight-in-ten (82 per cent) say the problem is growing. According to the survey, nearly three-in-four Indians (74 per cent) said that the laws in the country are too lax when it comes to punishing cases of rape. About as many (78 per cent) fault the country’s police for not being strict enough in investigating such cases.
The concern about rape cuts across gender and party lines, and is shared by urban and rural Indians. Roughly as many men (91pc) as women (89pc) say that rape is a very big issue. And in a country where city and countryside often divide on key issues, about nine-in-ten urban (89pc) and rural (91pc) Indians, alike, say that rape is a very big problem. Nearly as many in India’s cities and villages also think the problem is growing (83pc rural; 81pc urban). The survey was conducted between Dec 7, 2013, and Jan 12, 2014. Results are based on 2,464 face-to-face interviews in states and territories home to roughly 91 per cent of the Indian adult population. Supporters of both the BJP and Congress Party are about as likely to fault the current laws (77pc BJP supporters; 75pc Congress supporters) and the police (79 pc BJP supporters; 80pc Congress supporters) for being too lax in cases of rape.