Sunday, September 15, 2013

152. On punishment in Delhi rape case

The four accused in the Delhi gang rape case have been awarded capital punishment this week. The Court verdict has generally been hailed, with celebrities from different walks of life heaving a sigh of relief. There is hardly any discordant voice. There has always been a very strong public opinion against capital punishment in this country, but in the current case, either this opinion has not been expressed for whatever reason or media has decided not to give much credence to such opinion. I hope and pray that the opponents of capital punishment have not had a change of heart.

True, the crime was heinous. A defenceless  girl was brutally gang raped and killed. The incident shook the nation. Never before did an incident of rape evoke such massive public protests. Never before did media take up a rape case with such unrelenting mission.

Those who conducted the investigation, filed the charge-sheet and brought the trial to such swift end deserve to be congratulated. The quick verdict would restore, to some extent, people's faith in the judiciary which is known for its failure to decide  cases for years and decades. Despite the significant contribution made by the judiciary in forcing authorities to act in cases of huge public importance, the fact remains that a common man does not expect it to deliver a quick verdict and undo any injustice he may have suffered. Courts, hospitals, police stations and Government offices are among the places people like to visit only reluctantly and when there is no option.

While quick conviction in the Delhi rape case is a matter of great relief, the punishment handed out in the case needs a re-look. Is hanging the rapist the best course of action? Is it the best deterrent? I hope, there have been some studies to justify the course of action sought to be taken in the current case.

There are many countries which have abolished death sentence. Have they made themselves susceptible to rapes and murders? These countries abolished death sentence, because they realized, it was not a good enough deterrent and because they had faith in the capability of the worst human being to reform and transform himself. Also, judiciary is not beyond mistakes. What will happen in a case where someone has not really committed a rape or murder, but has still been convicted. The situation cannot be retrieved once such a person has been hanged.

I would like the rapists to introspect everyday and realize the gravity of the crime they have committed. I would like them to do some constructive work while in custody. I would like them to appear in media and tell potential rapists about their penance. I would like their souls to keep pinching them until they have realized that they should not have done what they did. I cannot imagine them being driven to gallows, a noose being tightened around their necks, a signal being given, a lever being pulled and their bodies hanging in a pit, going lifeless in minutes. To me, this seems barbaric. True, what they did was barbaric, but barbarism need not be the only answer to what they did. 


Indrani said...

What you like them to do will never happen Onkar! Introspect... realize... you make me laugh. They are not made of that material. Had they been, they wouldn't have done such a gory act.

R. Ramesh said...

i am also against capital punishment buddy..these beasts deserve the worst punishment but i dont knw whether phaansi is the answer..

Sai Charan said...

I understand the point you are trying to make Onkarji, there are many who would agree and support this idea of doing something better with the guilty - than a capital punishment, especially if an innocent is trapped.

But the only advantage behind such a verdict would be to create a serious fear in the minds of people who would think of committing rape or similar violence against women in future. There are some people in our society who would commit such crimes if they know they will anyway be spared off death and they don't mind spending the rest of their lives in prison.

A person with a psychic mindset of raping and murdering a human being may never introspect and realise that it was a blunder he committed in life - if he really knows the heinousness of the crime, he wouldn't commit it on the first hand or would have withdrawn himself off from it in the middle of the crime when he realises it is turning to become worse.

In a country where government is failing with law and order - people will rebel and demand for justice to be done - else, in future the same crime may happen in your own neighbourhood to any of your friends/family/relatives. So, the whole idea behind capital punishment is to send a strong message to any man who would commit such crime that he'd be killed if he does so.

Sandhya said...

In this case, the culprits have been identified by the girl's friend and so there is no doubt about them being punished. The decision might have been wrong if there was a chance for any doubt.

I would have liked the youngest rapist also to be hanged. He was the one who did the worst act...he didn't behave like a young person at all. Hope he doesn't come out of prison after 3 years. I am sure he will continue to be a horror.