RAPE AND KILLING
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.