It is easy for the Delhi police commissioner to pretend like the Delhi rape case involving the five-year-old has nothing to do with him, but unfortunately the buck stops with him in this case. Neeraj Kumar is the head of a police force that allegedly offered a bribe to the family of a rape survivor in order to hush up the case. He should perhaps realise that the outrage over the incident is as much over this aspect, as the fact that the police may have soft pedaled on the case since the parents of the child were economically backward. Kumar can pretend that he had no way of preventing it but in this case, coming so soon after the horrific rape of December 2012, he perhaps should set a standard of accountability by putting in his papers for the failure of the force at multiple levels. As the face of a police force that stands accused of a lot more than just carelessness, his resignation could set a precedent of accountability. Unless of course, he believes there’s none expected.
In the current mood in the country, there is one solution that seems to fit all: resignation. The prime minister should resign, the finance minister should resign, the home minister should resign, the chief secretary should resign, the CEO should resign, and so on. So it’s no surprise that the latest demand is that the Delhi Police Commissioner should resign.That’s ridiculous. If a new commissioner took charge tomorrow, it’s not as if rapes would stop. So what do we do after the first rape after the new commissioner comes? Ask him to resign? Then ask another to resign, then the next, and the next?Rape is a societal problem far more than it is a policing one. What can the best policemen in the world do to prevent rapes inside houses, where the perpetrators and the victims are known to each other? Consider this excerpt from a Firstpost report: “97 percent of rapes are committed in houses. Only three percent of rapes are committed by strangers, 178 rape accused were lovers or friends of victims while 115 were found to be neighbours, 15 employers or co-workers, 12 family members, 10 fathers and two step fathers, nine husbands and ex-husbands, nine brothers-in-law and two fathers-in-law, eight landlords and three tenants.”What could the FBI or the CIA or Scotland Yard or KGB or Mossad do to prevent these rapes?Rather than play politics and demand the resignation of the commissioner, which is the easy way out, take the road less travelled, and try and address the issue where it needs to be addressed: within the family, at home, in school, at offices.