We live in a world surrounded by crime of various types – crimes against women and children, crimes in the form of terrorism, crimes arising out of hate, crimes arising out of religion, caste and what not.
Do we have a proper judicial system in place to bring the ‘proper’ criminals to book in the fastest possible time, without political influences? More often than not, criminals go scot free on the benefit of doubt, lack of proper evidence, political influence etc. This is one part.
The second part is, even assuming, the criminals are tried and convicted, sometimes for the most heinous of crimes, capital punishment is awarded by courts. Now, is a death sentence a human rights violation? Religious activists would say we humans do not have any right to hand over a death sentence since life is a gift of God.
Human Rights activists would say, a criminal should be given a chance to amend his ways and capital punishment is not the way out. Protagonists of capital punishment would argue, this would set an example for other criminals thus refraining them from committing dastardly acts.
Looking at it in a more logical and psychological context, I would feel, criminals who have been given life sentences or sentences extending upto 20 years or more, would automatically change attitudes and become good citizens, in view of the solitary confinement they have to undergo.
There are very few ‘born’ criminals. Sometimes, a human being becomes a criminal due to the hardships he has to face, lack of proper education, poverty etc. In such cases, it can be argued that it is the duty of the establishment (government) to provide resources for proper education and jobs, to help man to become law abiding citizens of the country. Now, providing the basic necessities to a country’s population is the duty of the establishment and a fundamental right of every citizen.
So if we were to assume that criminals are made due to poverty and lack of proper basic education, the establishment is to be blamed, which means it is an encroachment on the fundamental right of a citizen.
Religious conversions have become rampant these days, particularly in remote villages. Most people in remote villages agree to convert on the lure of money, rather than religious allegiance. Here again, poverty and lack of education is the root cause, and here again, the establishment is to be blamed.
Religious fundamentalism is also an offshoot of conversions, where money is the prime culprit and poverty the weak link.
Let us sum it up. Let not the establishment create criminals by depriving citizens of basic necessities which form their fundamental rights. Let the courts hand over stringent punishment to ‘born’ criminals who have alienation towards a respectable society and utter disregard for precious human life.