The recent case of rape and brutal murder of a vet doctor in Hyderabad has once again brought the issue of women safety at the center stage. The angry people took to the streets and clashed with the police, and demanded to hang the culprits. In the wee hours December 06, 2019, all the four accused were allegedly killed in an encounter by the Hyderabad Police, when they were trying to escape during the crime recreation activity.
Yes, it is saddening that such an incident is still happening in our country, but at the same time, it is also saddening to see the response from the general public, especially after the alleged encounter of the accused persons. Most of the people I met today are welcoming the killing of the accused as ‘justice delivered quickly’. This craving for the blood of the accused is not really required at this stage.
The use of violence to solve problems of society will only encourage the more violent tendencies of our society. Most people argued that in middle-east countries, the harsher punishment for sexual crimes acts as a good deterrent, and thus, there are lesser rapes in those countries. I am not a legal expert nor am I aware of the statistics on the number of rape cased in the middle east countries, but such people forget about the lack of freedom for women in those countries when compared to our country.
I am not saying that we must curb the freedom of our women or we should not protest if rape happens, but I want to tell all my friends and to anyone who is reading this article that there is nothing to celebrate in the encounter of the accused persons. Instead, the focus should be on steps to improve the safety of women day and night, on the streets, in the offices and at home. The focus should be on making the police more women-friendly and making the judicial process quicker to punish the culprits in rape cases. The recent announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs of making a Women Help Desks in every police station is a step in the right direction.
We must remember that we are a society based on the Gandhian ideals of non-violence. We must remember the saying that “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” Therefore, instead of being too emotive in our reactions, to obtain quicker resolutions, we need to work hard towards making our society more mature by increasing awareness and gender sensitization through education and mass media, so that such unfortunate incidents do not happen in future.