Rape: Onus on the system of justice
Apropos of Mrs Belu Jain Maheshwari’s article “Shame, rape is on the rise” (Oct 22), the onus lies on the system of justice. There is no ruling in such cases to set an example. It is hard to imagine the plight of a four-year-old girl who has been robbed of her innocence so young.
Capital punishment doesn’t leave any room for correction of mistake in judgement; where as the system of appeals lets the judgement move further and further away. How can one lie back and promote this fearlessness?
Though teaching self-defence can be meaningful, lasting solution lies in the conviction of the culprits. Depending on the situation, it is in the best interest of the victim to let her decide the course of action.
GARGI ARORA, Chandigarh
Generating an opinion whether the police is effective or not in such situations plays on the mindset of the citizens making them unduly reliant on a system that seems to be crumbling. The only answer seems to lie in teaching the art of self-protection and self-defence to women. Women should be exempted from fear of being booked for murder if they shoot or kill a rapist. Learning self-defence is only one part of an essential programme. Women need to re-look at how they address this male aggression.
Violence against women is a pan-national malaise that is rooted in a culture that sees women as the inferior sex. Dowry, female infanticide and marital physical abuse are all manifestations of that ugly thought process. Only a paradigm shift in thinking will help counter such crimes.
K.M. VASHISHT, New Delhi
Our print-media and the television have turned the Indian woman into a commodity. Our political and economic system is fostering a consumerist culture and mentality round the clock. If we want to understand the mindset of a rapist, we will have to put our finger on those social factors which mentally prepare a man to commit the most heinous crime on the earth.
Our growing attachment with the consumerist way of life has made us slaves to our senses. Money-minting has become the greatest dharma of this capitalist society and sex as the elixir of life. The President’s security guards and those anti-social elements who raped the Swiss diplomat were complete strangers to the victims. But in the recent days, even relatives and close friends are seen indulging in the satanic act of rape. Why do they behave so? Can only conviction put an end to such unexpected cases of rape?
I think there is need to look into the deepest layers of human mind in order to evolve some effective mechanism to check the growing incidents of rape. We will have to reverse the trend if we wish to survive honourably. I appreciate Mrs Belu Jain Maheshwari for her bold convictions on this burning issue.
R.B.Y. DEHATI, Fatehabad
I do not agree with Mrs Belu Jain Maheshwari that conviction is much more important than the quantum of punishment. So far the convictions have not proved helpful in either reducing or eliminating the evil. Capital punishment is the only panacea to end the menace if we are to save the honour of women.
R.S. HAMDARD, Hamirpur (HP)
The law has provided many prerogatives to women to end the male-dominated society and establish equality. The investigations of rape, trial and FIR, proper reporting and “evidence presentation” have all caused a grinding halt to provide justice to victims of rape. Most incidents of rape are never complained because of the fear of defamation and many are snubbed. The real “definition of rape” needs to be made “pervasive, indented and satisfactory” to end the exploitation of women.
The training of self-defence is a must for women. The bogey of “evidence” should not be insisted upon to save the rape culprits. Free supply of gadgets or defence material may also prove worthy. Hostels and schools should be made safer for girls.
The cases of gang rape must be handled with care and death sentence should be made mandatory for the culprits.