FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Outrage Isnít Enough
Updated:May 18, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
There has been much debate over the recent decision of the Supreme Court confirming the death penalty for the rapists and killers in the December 2012 Delhi case. The gruesome crime had sparked nationwide outrage which led to the formulation of more stringent laws to deal with crimes against women and juveniles breaking the law.
 
 
But even as I follow this debate, I feel deeply anguished. The latest horror story comes from Rohtak in Haryana, where a young girl was brutally gang-raped and murdered in the most savage manner.
 
 
It seems there is no depth that sheer inhuman barbarity cannot plunge to. Consider the following incidents from 2017: A two-year-old girl was raped by her neighbour in Delhi and is in critical condition. Her parents had gone shopping and the girl was playing outside when the neighbour took her to his house. A five-year-old girl went missing in Bengaluru and her body was later discovered under the bed of a neighbour who was apparently helping the parents look for the child. A 10-year-old girl in Malda in Bengal was gang-raped inside a “club” and strangled to death. In a village in Aurangabad in Maharashtra, a 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered.
 
 
These are just a handful of stories from across India. When the National Crime Records Bureau eventually collects, tabulates and releases the “statistics”, perhaps we will have some more debates on television channels and seminars. That is, perhaps, important and maybe even necessary. But this numbing sequence of savagery deserves more. Too many of our young girls are being exploited and the abuse of even one innocent child is an abuse of all humanity. We are at a stage where expressing outrage is just not enough.
 
 
So, what can we do? The rapists in the December 2012 case will be hanged. But it is clear as day to all of us struggling for child rights that the laws that promised deterrence don’t seem to be deterring barbaric rapists from targeting the young. It is also clear that television studio-based psychological analysis will not be of any help. No region or state of India seems immune to this growing menace. Some of the savages are illiterate; some are educated IT professionals. Many are neighbours, relatives and known faces.
 
 
The first step has to be the creation of a more alert and responsive police force. Many of us will recall the horrific assault on a girl child, “Gudiya”, some years ago. If the local police had responded in time, Gudiya could have been spared the torture inflicted on her. Sadly, in many cases, far from responding effectively, local policemen target the victims. One such story came to light recently when it was alleged that a 14-year-old rape victim in Kaithal district in Haryana was “interrogated” by male policemen and touched inappropriately by them. Thousands of similar cases are reported every year from across India.
 
 
Police reforms are urgently required and civil society must exert immense pressure on legislators and the bureaucracy to stop paying lip-service and initiate concrete action.
 
 
Equally important are reforms within the judiciary. While a few high-profile cases seem to get due attention, tens of thousands of similar cases face inexcusable delays, despite the promise of state governments to set up fast-track courts for rape victims. Some months before the December 2012 incident, another young girl in Delhi was abducted, gang-raped, mutilated and murdered. Despite the efforts of her parents, the Supreme Court, it seems, has not found the time to take up this case. If punishment is to act as a deterrent against such heinous crimes, then justice has to be delivered in a time-bound manner.
 
 
But beyond the police and the courts, the alarming rise in sexual assaults on young girls reveals a growing sickness within our society. There are no easy answers to these moral questions. But I am convinced that all of us in civil society need to urgently take up the challenge of sensitisation. From street theatre near slum clusters to awareness programmes in posh schools, all these tools need to be used aggressively and consistently. Our girls deserve at least this much dignity. Just criticising is no longer enough.
 
 
We must act as family members, relatives, neighbours, friends, acquaintances and, most importantly, concerned citizens always keeping an eye on predators. Eternal vigilance is the price for not just liberty but also, the safety of our young girls.
 
Indian Express, May 19, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Thailand will be the coordinating country for India within ASEAN from July. In an exclusive interview with INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS, the fortnightly journal of the Society for Policy Studies (SPS),  Thailand’s Ambassador to India, Chutintorn Gongsakdi, gave a comprehensive view of bilateral relations and
 
read-more
The struggle for autonomy has been going on within the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) from their inception, writes P.D. Rai
 
read-more
As India and the 10-nation ASEAN bloc culminate the commemoration of 25 years of their dialogue partnership with a summit in New Delhi January 25 that all the leaders will attend, India is laying out the crimson carpet to ensure that the first ever Republic Day celebrations at which 10 ASEAN leaders will be Chief Guests, jointly, is a
 
read-more
While warning about the risk of “potential nuclear catastrophe on the Korean Peninsula”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that a “window of opportunity” was still open to avoid war over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.
 
read-more
Launching the countries’ first joint scientific collaboration at the North Indian Ocean along the Makran Trench on Sunday, Chinese and Pakistani researchers started an ocean-bottom seismograph (OBS) for the first time using Shi Yan 3, a scientific research vessel from the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology at the Chinese Aca
 
read-more
“We have a very solid commitment to climate action,” he said. “We cannot be defeated by climate change and we are not yet winning this battle” and the biggest victims of climate change are the developing countries that are members of the Group of 77 (G77).
 
read-more
In a bid to promote trilateral innovation and business opportunities between the US, India, and Israel, Israel-India Technology Group has launched a trilateral fund of $50 million. "We ar...
 
read-more
Column-image

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has for the first time claimed responsibility for the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in a new book in written by Taliban leader Abu Mansoor Asim Mufti Noor Wali.

 
Column-image

Title: Salafi-Jihadism -The History of an Idea; Author: Shiraz Maher; Publisher: Penguin Random House UK: Pages: 292; Price: Rs 499

 
Column-image

A Review of Anatomy of Failure by Harlan K. Ullman (Naval Institute Press, 242 pages)

 
Column-image

Title: The Beckoning Isle; Author: Abhay Narayan Sapru; Publisher: Wisdom Tree; Pages: 157; Price: Rs 245

 
Column-image

Title: India Now And In Transition; Editor: Atul Thakur ; Publisher: Niyogi Books: Pages: 448; Price: Rs 599