An ‘Uber rape’ isn’t Uber’s fault. Delhi’s lax taxi licensing is the problem

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL December 18, 2014

59288028December 16 was the second anniversary of that brutal gangrape of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a bus in Delhi.

And last week, an @Uber driver reportedly raped a female passenger in Delhi, spurring outrage that a global “brand” could not keep India’s women safe.

It’s important to be careful about mixing things up too much.

Uber is well known and in a couple of hundred cities (give or take a few) but I don’t think it’s a global “brand”.  It operates under different conditions in different cities. In New York and London, it has to comply with the same sort of checks as any minicab service.

In Delhi, most minicab services are unlicenced and I would be cautious about trusting employees’ / minicab drivers’ criminal background checks anyway.

Nicole Gelinas makes an interesting point in the New York Post.  So-called “Uber rapes” aren’t Uber’s fault. The real problem is India’s attitude toward sexual assault and taxi licensing.

I’m afraid that is absolutely true.

The Post piece quotes a Delhi woman to ask “[Why] not ban the police [and] govt” for “failing”? and another anguished question from an Indian observer: “If fake [taxi] licenses [and] certificates” abound, “what can Uber do?”