India is a modern country that has the largest and fastest growing middle class. Behind this façade is the ingrained rape culture. I spend my childhood and later-on five work years in New Delhi before I moved to US. New Delhi, the capital of India, is known also as the Rape Capital. This write-up is not about India’s rape culture but it is impossible to understand the number one problem of female detectives in India without addressing the treatment of women in India. To understand the rape factor, watch the documentary “India’s Daughter.” This documentary is banned in India.
India has a mindset that raping a woman is not a big deal. Rape is often used as a method of discipline. This factors most for the women who work predominately in male professions. Indian female detectives are more worried about being raped by strangers when they are on jobs, than being discovered by the person they are pursuing. This is one of the reasons families do not approve of their sisters, daughters, mothers, or wives working as private detectives.
Despite the dangers, many Indian women work as private detective. It the only profession that doesn’t need any specific qualifications. It accepts women from all socio-economic backgrounds, languages, and ages. Women don’t need to learn anything to earn. All they need is a mobile phone and patience. Even though 00% of Indian population lives below poverty line, almost 00% of Indians owns mobile phones. Due to high demand in pre-matrimony cases, it is easy for female detectives to find freelance work. They are paid per case and can set their own hours. This also allows them to decline jobs they deem dangerous.
One would assume that Indian police would be appreciative of these detectives reducing policies’ crime investigation burden. But female detectives have to tread a very thin line while dealing with Indian police. They avoid being noticed and asking for help from the police. Police in India is not only uncooperative but also sexist towards the female detectives.
Detective works require following the suspect. Most Indian female detectives avoid going to new and unknown locations. They don’t like travelling to different cities. If they have to, they work and travel in pairs. Many Indian female detectives dress like men. They wear loose men pants and shirts; they cut their hair short; they try to appear as males. Instead of driving car or taking an auto rickshaw, Indian female detectives ride scooters. Scooter helmets help them hide their faces. Many readers would have a difficulty believing that the above-mentioned dressing tactics can help disguise females as men. I am a testament that these tactics work. For almost a year, I dressed in men cloths and had a shaved head, barley anyone realized I was a female.
Most female detectives interviewed say that their biggest problem is that their bosses are men. They believe that if they have a female boss, they would have an easier time doing their job. I don’t think that just by changing the gender of the boss would solve problems. Until Indian men stop using rape as a weapon of dominance, nothing will improve for the female detectives in India.