It seems odd to me that both the bus drivers in the recent gang rapes in India were actually the ringleaders of the crimes. This led to the black humor of my headline. Shouldn't this be easy to fix? What is going on, do the bus lines rent their vehicles to rapists after dark? If not, shouldn't more effort go into background checks for bus drivers? Or does every male in India commit rape every time he spots a young woman without a male escort- plus whenever the rapists outnumber the male escorts? Apparently in India many buses are operated by private individuals for profit. Why? Is it because the public buses do not run at night? Why not?
There is something very odd and frustrating about this, which makes me sympathize with the outraged reaction of Indian citizens to these events.
As an American, I look at India and China, and I recognize the challenges both nations have to modernize. It is a process that took hundreds of years in north america and Europe, and China and India are trying to make the same changes in decades. But more to the point, some of this has to do with government regulation. If you are going to be a civilized nation, you have to live under the rule of law- which means that laws need to not only be present, but also ENFORCED. India also needs to realize that the privately operated buses are not working. If you live in India, and you see a bus, you need to know that it is operated by a legitimate entity and you will not be raped and murdered. Either they need to shut down all the private buses, or they need to investigate them and license them. In the same way, in China, if someone builds a chemical plant next to you, you need to know that the government checks on the company to make sure that it is not poisoning everyone who lives in the neighborhood. Sorry, residents of China, but the guy who runs the chemical company is probably the cousin of the local party boss, so you are probably being poisoned- because it is cheaper to run a chemical company if you do not have the added expense of safely disposing of the poisons.
In some ways the India Rape epidemic reminds me of the mass killings problem in the USA. In both cases, defenders of the status quo argue that the problem will be solved just by locking up offenders. But Aurora was followed by Newtown, and the first Indian bus rape was followed by the second Indian bus rape. How is that progress? To that extent, I am not going to adopt a smug, holier-than-thou attitude towards India. Sure, bus rapes are rare in the USA. But mass killings happen every couple months, predictable as the sunrise.