The San Francisco-based Uber taxi services have faced a credibility crisis internationally. The company has been accused of breaking the law and also putting the passengers' safety at risk. After the United States, the Netherlands, Germany and Canada, Uber's latest worry has unfolded in India where one of its drivers was accused of raping a passenger. [Uber CEO issues statement on Delhi rape]
Uber needs to improve, but our administration too needs further improvement
The company certainly has miles to cover before it comes out with a foolproof system but the episode in Delhi has exposed, more than the transport company which is fighting battles in a number of developed countries, the casual approach towards public safety in India despite repeated occurrences of crime against women. [Delhi rape victim texted 'I have been raped', sent it to driver by mistake]
How could Delhi Police be so casual even after the December 16 gangrape case?
The Delhi Police, which perhaps got the lesson of its life in the wake of the horrendous gangrape on December 16, 2012, blamed Uber for not cross-checking the backgrounds of its accused driver, who was sent to jail for raping in the past as well. But if Uber has committed a grave crime in employing a tainted individual as its driver, why did the local police allow it to do so?
How did police allow a tainted individual to get a Uber job?
Sources put that Delhi Police gave a character certificate to the driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, earlier this year. If the man has a checkered past, then how could the police certify him? The same police which has revealed about Yadav's past deed, also defended itself saying the certificate wasn't authentic.
And then the biggest joke is cracked: Banning of modes of transport
The difference between the take on the issues related to Uber in the West and that in India is telling. While in the West, the authorities have made Uber's life difficult for not complying with the rules, in India, the authorities woke up from a slumber after somebody's life has been impacted.
When the West caught Uber for 'flouting' norms, we were waiting for a tragedy
Instead, they are now busy banning modes of transport to ensure that people are safe. So now a woman who is travelling alone and lands in an 'unsafe' Delhi late in the night may have to walk to her destination or spend the night outside for the taxis are not safe! Excellent thinking indeed.
If Uber is known for its irresponsible style of functioning, then the authorities in India are more at fault for allowing it to function on the roads here.
Developed nations take precautionary measures, we cry foul after a tragedy happens
India's record in women's safety has been badly hit and if the authorities continue to display such shameful awareness levels and try to hide their inefficiency by taking bizarre action like banning vehicles, then there are certainly more odds on offer. If the developed nations have expressed deep concern for unlicensed drivers and unmarked vehicles, it is much easier to exploit those loopholes in a developing society like India.
The tragedy is that no sooner the administrative loopholes will gain centrestage, politics will take over. Given Delhi is a poll-bound state, all sides will jump into the ring to score one extra point and the violated modesty of yet another woman will also be encashed politically.Driver without remorse, administration indifferent and off the target, politicians' blame game...
The accused driver reportedly showed no sign of remorse during interrogation. This is symbolic of our cultural features. The driver said it was a fault. The administration would simply pass the buck. The politicians would remain adamant. The hierarchy will speak from the respective positions of advantage. The media will add some more inputs and help the chaos snowball. And it will go on till another ill-fated soul is violated somewhere.