Let’s talk about the juvenile defendant on the verge of being set free.
The cold December wind is blowing through the streets. You are 17-year-old, you are in the capital of the country, with your adult friends, joyriding a bus when you see a couple waiting at the stop. The devil inside you wakes up, you coax them inside the vehicle. You cruise through national highways, intending to do the unwanted with one of the lady passengers. You rape her, and when your hormones start to fade off, you throw two barely dressed, lifeless humans from a moving bus.
The driver tries to run over the lady but her male friend pulls her aside. You are caught, taken to court along with fellow convicts, all evidence against you. Everyone knows that you are guilty.
There are elaborate discussions on T.V channels, T.R.P ratings soar, the issue is politicized, news is sold like packaged goods, the mother of the victim is made to answer insensitive questions and the camera pans on the tears rolling down her cheeks.
The male friend who witnessed the entire incident unfold in front of his eyes is interviewed, insensitive questions are asked, he is in a state of trauma, the issue is sensationalized. Political leaders shamelessly raise questions on the character of the victims, there are widespread protests in the country, people vent their anger on social media, and hashtags start trending. Candle light marches are held.
As time passes by, the issue is smothered, kept on the back burner, the family of the victim keeps crying for real justice, and the country keeps running as usual.
Fast forward to 2015. You are an adult in the eyes of the law, you have been royally treated all these years, human rights activists are calling for your release on the basis of you being a juvenile when you were involved in the heinous crime assuming that since you were six months short of being called an adult, you can’t be charged with laws made for adults, you would now be set free, given education, food, shelter and a job, as if nothing ever happened. You are actually well off, even better, after raping and murdering a girl.
‘If you are old enough to rape somebody, then you are old enough to face the full force of the law.’
Justice can never be served after someone dies, but isn’t setting an example for the kind of punishment you get if you commit a crime, one of the very fundamental reasons we have courts?
A bad example is being set, and this can negatively influence so many potential criminals.
Surely, the laws need to be changed to fulfil the purpose, the new bill is stuck and is far from seeing daylight anytime soon.
Why can’t we eliminate the root cause of this, why can’t my sister, friend, mother feel safe in that 8 PM bus, why is she scared to take that short-cut to home, why is she scared to speak up, what wrong has she done?
Who is responsible for this?
The media? For not reminding you what you should actually be concerned about?
The system? Well to remind you, it’s made up of the people you elected to represent you.
What will you do?
Will you take out a candle-light march?
Write a post on social media informing people that you are concerned about the issue just to sound concerned, just because it’s the “in-thing”?
Can you file a PIL?
Can you give them enough reasons to give justice?.
Sure, you can go ahead with that, that would help in setting an example for possible criminals but how do you eliminate the root cause?
So that the women of this country can feel safe at any place and at any hour?
It all boils down to you, it’s you, it’s your country and another Homo Sapien of your country is being raped and murdered and it’s being done by people of your country. I know that you are educated, and hail from a good family and I am not blaming you personally, but we all know, the people who show such signs, signs of becoming the devil in favourable conditions; your friend, your friend of a friend, that pervert friend of yours who likes to pass comments secretly about the girls of your class, that buddy you know who abused his girlfriend.
It’s you, when you chose to remain silent while witnessing a lady being groped in the bus, it’s you when the those people on the bike commented on the skirt of the lady walking just in front of you.
It’s you who is silent.
It’s you who is ignoring.
There is no point sitting in air conditioned rooms, discussing and commenting on what happens in the streets, because it happens on the streets it can only be dealt with on the streets.
So be brave and if you are actually concerned.
There is no point of debating and showing all your sympathy and concerns in fancy ways.
Because in the end, the culprit is
~ Peeyush Chauhan | Edited by Afreen Zeb