Monday, April 03, 2006

The crime, the criminal, the victim, the justice

So, Sunil More has been convicted in real quick time by our otherwise snail-paced judiciary. Although it is good that the trial was finished in good time, we should not miss out on the fact that there are thousands of other rape cases that are taking "its due course" - the Bhanwari Devi case been the most heart-wrenching.

Today NDTV 24x7 had itz regular dose of sensationalism by asking viewers to SMS whether rape convicts should be given death penalty. In living upto our pop-culture, about 95% of viewers have voted for death penalty. We also had our own honorable Home Minister some years back urging for death penalty for rape convicts. I guess this is a short-sighted appeal for two reasons - one, as Ruth Manorama pointed in the discussion, it would make the judicial process more long-drawn, two, it leaves no incentive for the rapist to spare the victim's life.

In the NDTV debate, what caught my attention was a suggestion by a rape-victim-turned-counsellor asking for castration of the convicts. Now, I'm not a big fan of the eye-for-an-eye mode of punishment as practised in saudi Arabia. But this suggestion striked to me as a good case of out-of-the-box thinking. It is not inhuman in itz method of execution, it addresses the two concerns I had mentioned above and, if something does exist, this would be the biggest deterrent for a rapist.

It of course goes without saying that nothing is more important than making sure speedy justice is dished out. Why cant we have these as part of PIs for the police inspectors and the judges?

Know it for certain that you are in everything.
-Swami Vivekananda

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