The Nirbhaya rape case has traumatised urban Indians in particular. Its political effects may turn out to be quite significant. The Congress party has been at the receiving end of things for the past two years, mostly over corruption. There is a good chance that its handling of the rape case will further damage its image with the public, perhaps irretrievably at least in the next election. The bigger question though is: how shall we think about the growing incidence of rape?