The lights have gone out in the streets, how will I walk back home alone? It’s a lonely bus, should I travel in that or just wait for some more time? These are the kind of thoughts which have made home in the minds of the women in our country. These thoughts have just grasped the inner soul of every women of this nation and has filled them with nothing else but fear. Nothing has changed despite the first hanging for rape in 1990. Instead the rape count in India has exponentially increased through the years, which has casted a barrier between women and freedom. Taking a look at the barrier, one will be astounded by the facts and figures that represent the darker side of the nation.

About 32,500 rape cases were reported by the police in 2017 which means 90 per day, such a shame for a nation whose relics and tradition teach us to worship them. Talking a closure into one of the most disturbing case which shocked not only the country but the larger world community, the Nirbhaya Case where a 23 year old student was alleged raped in a moving bus in New Delhi in 2012 in the month of December. At that point of time the whole nation came forward, stood with the victim’s family and forced the court to punish the guilty but still it took more than 7 years for the Indian Court to make them pay for the heinous crime they had committed. Recently, in the month of March of 2020 the four convicts were hanged after repeated plea for not guilty. After their hanging, people rejoiced and celebrated by saying, “justice has been made finally to Nirbhaya”, but is the death sentence a solution to the crime which is continuing even after some many laws and strict regulations being formed. Is the Indian Penal Code missing a piece in this, or are we missing something in this modern time where everyone seems to be smart enough to understand every situation?

According to the statistics provided by the Nation Crime Report Bureau(NCRB) annual report of 2017 released two years later in 2019, it stated that reported crime against women has a distressing spike from 1,85,312 in 2007 to 3,34,954 in 2016 which is a whooping 83% increase. Instances of rape surged from 34,651 in 2015 to 38,947 in 2016 which is very pathetic scenario for a nation like India, known for it’s culture, tradition and the respect for women. And when it comes to taking action against the convicts, the Indian penal code stands in the back with obvious facts due to the extra large number of cases being lined up for hearing. Dates continue to roll on and calendars continue to change but we are still left with cases and cases only. Deepening our focus on the manuscript of action against the victims cases in the court, it was found that only 18,300 cases of rape were disposed by the court and 1,27,800 cases were left pending at the end of the year of 2017. The continuous cases of brutal rape and violence against women has given the country a dismal reputation of being the worst places for being a female.

Maybe there isn’t a flaw in the Indian Penal Code rather there is a flaw in the mindset of the people who commit such crime. Only a person with some disturbed mindset can act on violence and cause harm to women. That mindset needs to be changed most importantly, otherwise the death penalty is just a compensation to the victim’s family who have lost their loved one. In the Nirbhaya case, the family lost their daughter who was coming home with her friend after watching a movie. Who would have expected that such an event will occur in her life which will completely turn her life upside down.

As because from the six convicts it included a juvenile, who wasn’t even 18 years old also at that time. Only a mind with blank space or with disturbing thoughts can cause such damage to someone so bad that it cannot be reformed back. According to the NCRB report in 2018, in every 15 minutes somewhere, somehow, someone is being raped, which means while we are reading a newspaper someone is facing violence. In 2015, the Centre for Law and Policy Research in Bengaluru suggested for fast-track courts which would take the cases of violence against women under it’s jurisdiction and call for the hearing and try to give out the result faster than usual time. But will it help in solving the problem of mindsets that the youths or the persons doing such crime have in them?

We never know who would be having such a problem, it may be a person who would be working with you alongside but that doesn’t mean that we need to check with everyone; it is the responsibility that comes for the families who should build their mindset from the beginning in such a way that their mind should not reach to the breaking level where the problem starts.

Trying to dismantle the systems procedures, putting pressure on govt. to take immediate actions, pleading for death sentence is not the solution for the problem. People don’t understand the real nature of the problem which is remaining hidden behind the larger leaf; the psychology of people will only change when they try to change it, or else no matter the number of laws, no matter the strict regulation, violence against women won’t stop unless people won’t understand how to control the transition in their mind.

S N Surajbhan is a political commentator


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