Do such things happen only in India?

In 1975, a lawyer, then 27 years old, defended a 41 years old man accused of raping a 12 years old girl after luring her into a car.

In recently discovered audio recordings, which date from 1983 to 1987, the lawyer, who is now a politician, “is heard laughing as she describes how she succeeded at getting her client a lighter sentence, despite suggesting she knew he was guilty.”

After hearing the audio recordings, the victim, who is now 52, said that the lawyer/politician “took me through hell.” She said that if she saw the lawyer/politician today she would say, “I realize the truth now, the heart of what you’ve done to me. And you are supposed to be for women? You call that [being] for women, what you done to me? And I heard you on tape laughing.”

The lawyer/politician is none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was US Secretary of State from January 2009 to February 2013, and is expected to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for the 2016 US Presidential Election.

If this sounds unbelievable, please read this report for the details.

In early April 2014, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav opposed capital punishment for rape, saying, “Boys commit mistakes. Will they be hanged for rape?” (Read this Indian Express report for the full statement.) Other Indian politicians made similar statements about rape, either in response to Mulayam Singh Yadav’s statement or on their own initiative.

All right-thinking Indians, including me, were justifiably outraged by these statements. Many among us stated, explicitly or implicitly, that this kind of thing could happen only in India, with some claiming that it could only happen in a particular part of our country.

What do we have to say about the actions (in 1975) and the statement and laughter (from 1983 to 1987) regarding rape by a highly educated female politician aspiring to be “the most powerful person in the world”?

Many of us tend to believe that social ills, inefficiency, corruption, etc. exist only in countries like India and not in countries like USA. I have always believed this is not so. Social ills, inefficiency, corruption, etc. exist everywhere. It’s just that it’s more blatant, more visible and probably more widespread in India.

Please read this report on sex trafficking in USA, this report on a US university’s school of journalism misspelling its own name on diplomas and this report on a Washington couple being flown by British Airways to the wrong destination!

This post is not an attempt to gloat over these incidents in USA. It is only to remind ourselves that social ills, inefficiency, corruption, etc. can be found all over the world. While we must work on a war footing to improve the state of affairs in our own country, we should not let ourselves be weighed down by wrongly thinking that we are the only people plagued by these problems.