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Monday, December 21, 2015

India: Protecting The Rapist

Juvenile or not—rape is the worst adult crime possible. Anybody who commits this crime is thus the worst criminal and justice must be meted out to him as sternly and ruthlessly as possible in total disregard to the age factor. The horrible Delhi gangrape of 16th December, 2012 is still a nightmare in the minds of most of the right-thinking people of this country. Therefore, their pain and shock at the release of the most brutal of the rapists who happened to be just days short of the juvenile age of 18 as fixed by international and national standards is only natural. The disturbed and crying mother of Nirbhaya is a sight that can rattle the conscience of any except the ‘animals’ in human garb. The continuing protests in the national capital are just a reminder of the mass uprising against juvenile crimes in 2012 and onwards.

A juvenile criminal can be kept in a remand home for a maximum of three years for supposed ‘reform’ and then has to be released as per the prevailing law, international standards and a host of ‘child’ rights hue and cry. Thus, on the completion of that period on 18th of December, 2015 the Delhi High court refused to extend the stay and accordingly the ‘animal’ was released on Sunday, the 20th December in an undisclosed location in Delhi under police protection and supervision of an NGO. This would not be inhuman to say that such an act reminds us of taking unwanted dogs or cats on a ride and releasing them on locations from where they could not possibly return home.

Against all judicial odds the Delhi Commission for Women appealed against the release in the Supreme Court of India and an eager nation waited for the final verdict. Disappointing all righteous souls the Apex court had no other option but to dismiss the petition today, the 21st of December, 2015. The judicial dilemma is palpable—the verdict delivered despite the opposition of the nation, the opposition of the Union Government and the opposition of most right-minded political leaders. What could the helpless mother of Nirbhaya do now apart from tearfully expressing her resolve to go on fighting the system that seems to be more interested in protecting the rapists and not listening to the victims?

Of course, there is no prejudice or bias in the judicial verdicts—because prevailing laws cannot be set aside unless there is a new legislation on juvenile acts. This brings us to the political scenario. In our wonderfully ‘democratic’ country we often find prominent political leaders trying hard to protect their rapist sons or relatives or even themselves from the law. Many of them question the victims or the survivors on what they wore or how they behaved before being raped rather than the perpetrators. Some of most prominent leaders even justify such acts as ‘natural outbursts of masculinity’. The archaic ‘feudalistic’ mindset of the largest democracy of the world refuses to leave it alone.

It also reflects predominantly on the political class that the Juvenile Justice(Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is still not passed despite being approved in Lok Sabha in May this year. Well, for most of the political leaders who now join the ‘holy’ opposition the new ‘democratic’ standard is to prevent Parliament from functioning. Two full sessions of Parliament including the current one have been washed out almost completely thanks to their ‘so just and so non-corrupt’ stands. In our wonderfully ‘democratic’ country even ruling leaders call the Prime Minster a ‘psychopath and coward’. So pray, who would ‘demean’ themselves trying to find ways to take care of the victims rather than protecting the rapist.


Time came in 2012 and time comes again now that people make their crucial decisions themselves instead of depending on their so-called representatives. 
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