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Dipesh Majumdar

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Delhi rape case

December 21, 2012

The whole nation is boiling, reeling in pain and walking the roads with candle lights, trying to reach out to the anguish of the poor victim of the Delhi rape case. Angry men and women are shouting - justice, hang them, where is safety etc. Newspapers and print media are harping on the same incident round the clock. The situation is red hot and this is the right time to bring in some changes in the way we have tackled incidents of rape. This is the right time to act and honestly endeavor to stop the shameful act... that gets committed in our nation ONCE IN EVERY 20 MINUTES!

It is a matter of extreme disbelief that just before committing a crime, a criminal fails to realize the after-effects. Was the demon of lust so powerful that it clogged their thinking mechanism. The gratification at hand was so tempting that the repercussion was forgotten in its totality. The poor lady at the receiving end failed to incite sympathy in the wrong doers' psyche.

The entire nation is debating the apt justice that should be meted out to such criminals. Some say life imprisonment, some say death penalty, some say chemical castration... however... one thing is clear that no decision should be taken in anger and some serious thought and analysis has go into this whole issue. Above all more than the punishment, the assurance needs to be in place that a rapist can't get away with his crime under any circumstances.

Speedy justice is another issue and which we have time and again failed as a judiciary system. Exceeding a time-limit of one to two months dilutes the whole process. Delay in justice sometimes creates an irony of a situation where a person who becomes reformed after ten years, and then one fine day, finds his way into the gallows!

That which previously took months, now takes a few days - we have seen that in the way we get a passport, a land line phone connection. We have seen total paradigm shifts in the way tickets are booked. Then why can we not achieve the same result in our judiciary system?

We tend to be myopic and narrow-minded in thinking that punishment is meant for the criminals only... however on a broader perspective... punishment is meant for the entire society... in the form of a loud and clear message, i.e. LOOK THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU COMMIT THIS CRIME. This  fear needs to enter the bone marrow of everyone who is tempted to commit such shameful acts in future. It will be a severe deterrent.

Keeping this in mind, one thing emerges out crystal clear - it is high time to think about castration to begin with and even capital punishment for that matter, in accordance with the degree of severity of the crime.

Counter arguments will always be asked... what if the number of cases of murder after rape increases. What if decision in court is manipulated and a wrong person ends up in the receiving end. What if an emotionally altered personality is convicted and not considered separately and so on. But the fact of the matter is, there can never be an outright clear-cut solution to a complicated issue. And somewhere we have to go for a reasonable trade-off. Somewhere we have to be bold and go for extreme steps! The time is ripe.

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