The last sunset hues have spread throughout the endless sky. It had been a busy, tiresome day in the college. A while after some rest, two of my friends and I decided to eat out. As we walked past a Government Boys’ School, one of my friends cried “Ouch!”.Â When asked, she said that she had been pelted on her back with a stone. We looked back with a hope to find the culprit and lash him with strict words of discipline; only to see many school boys hanging around. It was difficult to point at someone randomly. Discussing how mischievous children can be we headed towards a roadside food stall. We were of the agreement that we could have taught the person a lesson had we known who he was and to lighten up our moods, started eating some delicious snacks.
Suddenly, two adolescent boys who overheard our conversation came up to us and said, “Didi, hum jaante hain kisne mara. Hum dikha sakte hain aap logon ko.” (Sister, we know who has done that. We could direct you to him).
He was a little boy, hardly eleven years of age. With a hope to teach him a lesson and reform his ways we approached him in a stern, but not angry manner. We enquired as to why he had done that and his reply was not in the affirmative. He denied having done any misdeed. We warned him not to lie and that we could go to the police to lodge a complaint against him for his mischief. However this ploy was just to scare him and we did not actually mean it. But up came the horrifying answer from a boy who was almost ten yours younger to us. “Main chota hun…mere upar koi case nahi lag sakta. Police kuch nahi kar payenge!” (I’m a juvenile and no case can be registered against me. The police would never punish me.)
Just a month has passed after Nirbhaya’s gang rape. People are still protesting against the rapists nationwide and newspapers are still writing articles to bring a reform in the Indian Constitution about the Juvenile Law. And here in front of us a juvenile freely does whatever he wants and says that he would not be punished for anything he does, by the law. We, three women, stood horrified. The ‘Nirbhaya case’ not only made people terrified and aware, but also made a section of adolescent people worse. This section realized that however gruesome and brutal act they commit, they would not be punished by the law if they are below eighteen years of age.
This might seem like a mere incident but if such incidents are not taken seriously today they will grow into bigger incidents in a few years, such boys will become men and commit heinous crimes. The eleven year old boy’s statement proves that if he could do this mischief today, he might rape or murder people after a few years if his mindset grows in the manner it is growing today. Surprisingly enough many young boys do not fear the police and the law anymore. They have realized that the law is too shaky in this country, the police lenient, greedy and to some extent anti-women. They understand the Juvenile Law in a way that makes them more prone to commit crimes. If such incidents and worse than this continue to happen with women more and more ‘Nirbhayas’ will see their fates sealed, denied justice, and more and more rapists will walk freely on the streets of India.