THE DELHI RAPE CASE - CAN WE ASK WHY?
There has been a large scale outburst of public anger and angst at the brutal rape of a girl in the Nation’s capital and her ultimate death. The cry has been for the severest of punishment to be meted out to the culprits. My own outrage has been such that I felt the death penalty would only bring to end the life of the perpetrators and this will not serve the purpose. I wanted them to be maimed and castrated and thrown into jail for the rest of their lives. May be my feelings were barbaric but so was the act. This is a happening in the nation’s capital and it has received the attention it deserved but what about the happenings in the rest of the country where children are kidnapped, raped, murdered and the bodies thrown away to rot on the wayside. These are acts that keep on happening and what have the police and the politicians done to effectively bring down such crimes?
In a nation with a population of more than one billion and which carries with it a history so ancient that making it fall in step with the need to adjust to changing times is a herculean task. The gathering of so many people in
to protest against this crime and demanding for immediate reforms and implementation
in the setup of the judiciary and police is the need of the hour. But does this
end here? These crimes will continue to be committed, some reported and others
unnoticed. This is because we as a people are affected by a deeper malaise. I will
not stop at that, because I feel that this is a global phenomenon. Does this
not happen in other countries? It does, but may be the system of policing and
detection is far more advanced. Who cannot abhor the dastardly act where a large
number of school children in the Delhi were killed in a mindless act of
violence and this was not an isolated incident. US
So is making stricter laws that bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes immediately going to put an end to crimes? It may act as a deterrent and may be, it is the first step, towards making people feel safe. But like I said earlier the deeper malaise lies elsewhere. It lies in every home. We are being subjected to what Alvin Toffler terms as the Future Shock. Our societies are fractured and our relationships have started becoming disposables. Consumerism is the order of the day. We make what sells. That is why we have movies which depict mindless violence because they sell and who is responsible for that, of course we ourselves. We want our adrenalin to flow and titillate our senses along with the action scenes on the screen.
The media has become one of the most powerful tools that has taken over the mindset of the populace. I am not saying that this is bad, for the media is also a powerful disseminator of information and knowledge. Its role can be constructive or destructive depending on the sensationalism that it resorts to garner popularity. We should admit that without the reporting of the gruesome nature of the crime that was committed, the gathering of such a large number of people in all parts of the country to protest against the ineffectiveness of the authorities would not have been possible.
When I said every home earlier, I meant that each and every citizen of this country should be made to realise his responsibility towards the society and the nation. This is very easily said but how does one go about it? We need educators, we need reformers and we need leaders with vision and with a fierce commitment to the country. But once again, where do we find such people? Is it true that we get what we deserve?
Let each one of us make a start at our own homes. Can we pay more attention to the emotional needs of our children rather than drive them up the intellectual ladder? Are we only bothered about how well they do in their material lives? This is a question each one of us as a parent has to answer for himself.