"Is Mumbai going the Delhi way?" asks the article, and then says:
- Delhi has long been known as India's "rape capital". The figures prove it, with 600 rapes reported in 2005. Now, suddenly, Delhi has competition for the shameful distinction. And it comes from Mumbai, once a haven for women.
One, evidence that 600 rapes in 2005 is indeed greater than in any other large Indian city, thus backing up that "rape capital" assertion.
Two, evidence that Mumbai was indeed "once a haven for women".
Three, evidence that Mumbai has indeed seen a "sudden" rise in the number of rapes, enough that there are something close to 600 reported rapes in this city every year.
No surprise: the article features none of those three things. But it does have this odd paragraph:
- Earlier, poor women were mostly the targets of rapists. Middle and upper class women could rarely be touched. But now, with women entering the work force in large numbers, they are more accessible. According to Akhila Shivdas, executive director, Centre for Advocacy and Research, "The wall between the haves and the have-nots has disintegrated."
But put all this down to shallow reporting. What gets me in this article are these lines:
- [One reason for the rapes is] the influx of a large migrant population ... Dr Rajat Mitra, clinical psychologist, says Mumbai's character is changing. "With the arrival of a migrant population, the sense of belonging is being replaced by a sense of anonymity. So a rapist feels he can assault a woman and get away with it, as there is nobody to answer to."
Once again, where's the evidence, besides a psychologist's say-so, that "belonging" is being replaced by "anonymity"? That this contributes to rapes? That this replacement is attributable to "the influx of a large migrant population"?
More important, where's the evidence of this "large" influx anyway? As I pointed out here last August, immigration forms a steadily decreasing fraction of the city's growth. It dipped below 50% in the '60s and now contributes less than a third.
So yeah, let's certainly find out if rapes are on the increase. Let's not simply assume they are. Let's certainly look for reasons for such an increase. Let's not simply blame outsiders, and that via some impressive-sounding but completely empty assertions.