There was a spontaneous outpouring of rage across social media on Sunday after news broke out that a 25-year old woman executive was raped by a radio cab driver in Delhi.
Many citizens directly blamed the cab service, Uber, for not sticking to safety guidelines, especially after it came out that they had not done the mandatory police verificiation before hiring the accused driver.
"Appalled at the @Uber incident!! If they didn't do an adequate background check of the driver they have no reason to operate anywhere!!!!", tweeted Bollywood director-producer Karan Johar.
Appalled at the @Uber incident!! If they didn't do an adequate background check of the driver they have no reason to operate anywhere!!!!— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) December 7, 2014
The Uber incident should be a good reminder that we can't outsource public safety to private companies. Make public transport safe.— Rohan Venkat (@RohanV) December 7, 2014
"Today it's Uber, tomorrow it'll be some other service or place. We plug gaps while rapists just move on to their next violation of trust," AIB member Rohan (@mojorojo) tweeted.
Today it's Uber, tomorrow it'll be some other service or place. We plug gaps while rapists just move on to their next violation of trust— Rohan (@mojorojo) December 7, 2014
The reports and tweets coming out of India found resonance among cab users in other countries, especially since Uber has been involved in a few controversies in the US recently.
But some of those who responded on Twitter focussed on how Delhi and other cities in the country are still unsafe for working women.
"Crime of Rape committed by driver of Uber Cab may not b his first.Due diligence could have prevented it! Appears to be a repeat offender (sic)," tweeted Kiran Bedi.
Crime of Rape committed by driver of Uber Cab may not b his first.Due diligence could have prevented it! Appears to be a repeat offender..— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) December 7, 2014
It is not about uber it is about the mindset of the people of our society who still believe that woman is not more than an object... #Uber— Sera Banerjee (@sera_banerjee) December 7, 2014
Fixating on Uber distracts from the point that women are unsafe on their way to and from school, work, home, in buses, in cabs, on foot.— Nishita Jha (@NishSwish) December 7, 2014
Recalling the December 16 Delhi gangrape, people pointed out on how Delhi has been shamed again and no lessons have been learnt.
"All of Delhi came out on streets to demand security for women 2 years back. Why haven't we made any fwd movt in two years?", Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi Marlena tweeted.
All of Delhi came out on streets to demand security for women 2 years back. Why haven't we made any fwd movt in two years? #DelhiShamedAgain— Atishi Marlena (@AtishiMarlena) December 7, 2014
With all security measures; Gprs monitoring; nirbhaya safeguards; awareness etc how can such dastardly rapes in cabs occur— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) December 7, 2014
Friday's incident has put the high profile cab service provider Uber, which claims to offer the "safest rides in the world", in a spot.
In a statement to HT, Uber said that it works with "licensed driver-partners to provide a safe transportation option, with layers of safeguards such as driver and vehicle information, and ETA-sharing to ensure there is accountability and traceability of all trips that occur on the Uber platform."
While some pointed out lapses in policing, others said the laws are still not strict enough to deter crimes against women.
Overall, the concern most of them expressed was: How safe are our cities for women?