Alive - - Editorial -

News of rape is hav­ing a field day in In­dian dailies. The de­scrip­tion of the crime, in­ves­ti­ga­tion by po­lice, court pro­ceed­ings and fi­nal judg­ment take much time and space in news­pa­pers. Mean­while an­guished out­pour­ing, spe­cial­ist com­ments and ex­pert anal­y­sis take sev­eral col­umns.

Has there been a sud­den surge in the crime? No, it is be­cause the press has be­come more vig­i­lant and in­ves­tiga­tive. Also it is be­cause the kind of news has more pop­u­lar­ity and wakes the sen­ti­ments of peo­ple. But then why our coun­try with its an­cient tra­di­tion, civ­i­liza­tion and cul­ture has be­come a coun­try of sex­ual crimes? The fact is, it is be­cause of the very tra­di­tion of cul­tural and re­li­gious or­tho­doxy. It is a se­cluded so­ci­ety that pre­vents mix­ing of gen­ders. In one word, it is sex-starved.

Sex is a very nat­u­ral driv­ing force and when sup­pressed it gives way to crim­i­nal ten­den­cies es­pe­cially in a male-dom­i­nated so­ci­ety such as ours. In mod­ern coun­tries of Europe and Amer­i­cas, rapes are rare be­cause there is no seg­re­ga­tion of sexes. There boys and girls go and grow hand in hand. There are no moral po­lice to keep vigil on them and pun­ish peo­ple for lov­ing.

Com­ing to the hor­ri­ble gang-rape of an 8 year old girl and killing her in Kathwa, Jammu, which has chilled the soul of the world, if dis­pas­sion­ately an­a­lysed, has all the el­e­ments that be­dev­ils our an­cient, ortho­dox, com­mu­nally re­li­gious and sex-starved so­ci­ety. The in­no­cent girl-child was taken to a tem­ple – the abode of God – de­tained there and gang-raped by sev­eral men. The Com­mu­nal/po­lit­i­cal an­gle of the grue­some crime was that the vic­tim was a Mus­lim and the Hin­dus wanted the wan­der­ing tribe of Mus­lim Bakher­wal leave the place for ever. Imag­ine the learned lawyers of the area, stood by the per­pe­tra­tors of the crime and tried to pre­vent fil­ing an FIR with the po­lice. Not only lawyers, but also law-mak­ers (MLAs) from Jammu were sup­port­ing the crim­i­nals.

Rapes, gang-rapes, child-rapes and mo­lesta­tion of women are tak­ing con­sid­er­able space in our daily pa­pers. But the Bak­er­wal girls case has be­come unique and con­tinue to strike head­lines be­cause of its sadis­tic, com­mu­nal and po­lit­i­cal an­gle. The Gov­ern­ment is in the process of en­act­ing a law pre­scrib­ing death to the crim­i­nals of child-rape. Will it help to erad­i­cate the crime? Is death a big­ger pun­ish­ment than a life-term in Jail?

Af­ter ev­ery crime is re­ported, lead­ers in power as­sure us jus­tice will be given to the vic­tims. Lakhs of cases of sex­ual crimes against chil­dren are in the courts for years await­ing judg­ment. In the mean­time the ac­cused may die of old age and even the vic­tim may be­come old. This kind of ju­di­cial sys­tem can­not be pre­ven­tive in per­pe­trat­ing the crime.

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