Indians see rape as major national problem: Pew survey

Written by PTI | Washington | Updated: Apr 23 2014, 03:16am hrs
A year after the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi made headlines, majority of Indians see the problem of rape as a "very big" national problem and fault the police for not being strict enough in investigating such cases, according to a new survey.

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.

The contents of the survey were released today.

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 (91 per cent) as women (89 per cent) 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 (89 per cent) and rural (91 per cent) 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 (83 per cent rural; 81 per cent urban).

The survey was conducted between December 7, 2013, and January 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 (77 per cent BJP supporters; 75 per cent Congress supporters) and the police (79 per cent BJP supporters; 80 per cent Congress supporters) for being too lax in cases of rape.