By Joydeep Sarkar:
Meenakshi, a 19-year-old girl, was stabbed to death by two youngsters in New Delhi in Anand Parbat, in July 2015. A class 11 student, she was brutally stabbed in full public view allegedly by a man, against whom she and her family had lodged a police complaint of ‘eve-teasing’. According to reports, the victim was stabbed 35 times, including in the face, neck, back, chest and stomach. The girl had filed a molestation complaint against the attackers in 2013.
Such incidents are objects of media attention, only when they are likely to lead to some dramatic outbreak, rather than using their power for spreading awareness and bringing justice. The condition of the poor is so deplorable that they can’t be sure about their security under the same laws, under which the kin of a powerful leader or police officer won’t be subject to such injustice. When a senior police officer was enquired about this case, he was quoted saying, “We have a zero-tolerance policy for such incidents, but we have limitations as well.” The question to be asked is whether the officer concerned would have been able to come up with this statement had Meenakshi been his own daughter. In most cases of sexual harassment, the accused are released within a year, and even in cases of rape they are granted bail in 2 years at most, something with which most legal experts agree. The scars left in the minds of the offenders after having been to jail can cause them to take drastic measures against those whose complaints landed them in jail. Considering this, it is simply disheartening to see the amount of importance attached to such cases by the police administration.
While the laws are strict, the fact that these criminals can come out of jail on bail is a big source of discouragement for the victims against raising their voice, since this will inevitably lead to greater threats to their safety. This is a big flaw which ought to be rectified.
For most of us receiving reports from media outlets related to such incidents, most of the time, we do not have any blood relationship with the victims. This prevents our blood from boiling in the same manner in which it would have had those victims been someone with whom we had a close relationship. But we should not forget that there is a greater responsibility for each and every one of us to fulfil towards the nation. As of now, it seems that the underprivileged have a battle of their own to fight. The great Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Laws related to the punishment of the offenders are quite strict in our country. But why does the government fail to take the next step and actually decrease the number of offenders and victims in the society rather than ignoring the increasing the number of offenders locked up in prison and victims sent to heaven? The government is quick in tightening up security when Obama lands in New Delhi, but why is it so lethargic when it comes down to the security of its own people? The security and efficiency of each and every Indian is of paramount importance in the same manner, as the security and efficiency of each and every worker in a big company. Each and every time an individual suffers such consequences, it is not just the individual, not just the family, but the whole country’s future is compromised.
The neglect of sex education in our education system is despicable, even though the number of sexual assault crimes have kept on increasing steadily over the years. It is a very delicate concept, which if not properly implemented, can lead to dire consequences. This is a critical concern, regarding sex education. But, the bias of the human mind is such that whenever this concept is a topic of discussion, it is usually the first word which grabs more attention as compared to the second. If we want to live in a better society tomorrow, it is important for us to recognize the problems crippling our society today and raise awareness about these problems and help uplift those who are at the receiving end of such problems.