Justice for rape victims... By Masood
17 September, 2013
Apparently, the Delhi court has taken the populist route to award the death sentence to four rapists; they will be hanged in a country proud of its non-violent traditions, which can be traced back to Mahatma Gandhi's teachings. The gang rape of a student girl in a moving bus last December and the brutality with which she was treated brought thousands of people onto the streets demanding justice for the poor girl who later could not survive the barbaric act. There was a lot of pressure on the government and courts to act fast and come clean at least on this case, which was making headlines worldwide. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde justified the verdict by saying that capital punishment would act as a deterrent for other rapists. Again, this is just a popular hypothesis, not proven by any practical data. The death penalty will not deter such crimes in the long run but will force rapists to be more vigilant in not leaving any tracks/witnesses to their brutality.
Unless the government, politicians, educationists, sociologists and religious leaders decide not to take the easy option of harder sentences and get down to looking into the real causes behind such crimes, nothing will change — rapists will continue to act while taking measures not to get caught. Moral policing by certain parties and religious groups, wherein mobs have attacked girls in clubs and pubs, young couples were targeted on Valentine's Day and the movement of girls during off hours was restricted, is also encouraging a culture of fear, which itself creates unsafe conditions for women in society. Bollywood should also take the blame for sensationalising and glorifying rape scenes in Hindi movies.
Most importantly, the behaviour of the police towards rape victims needs to be overhauled. It is the police that generally make the prosecution case weak, changing the direction of the whole case. Trained lady police officers should be made responsible to investigate and prosecute these cases. I wish good luck to India's search for justice for rape victims. For Pakistan, it is a lost cause as in this age of technological advance, Pakistani courts are still demanding the eye witness accounts of four males to prove the rape.
Jubail, Saudi Arabia