One would find that the scenario for women seems grim indeed and this will continue so long as the basic social and economic structures remain unchanged and the law and order agencies show indifference. Public display of big hoardings only serves to excite the young minds. Laws alone cannot put an end to evils that are endemic in the social structure; the government can at least make some attempt to take its own enactments seriously.
Our presumption that stricter laws will bring down crimes against women stands negated. The real problem is ineffective policing. As long as criminals do not get swift and severe punishment, such crimes will continue to be committed. Police reforms should be implemented, the force insulated from political interference, and professionalised. We need not only stringent police reforms but also a deep insight into the fulfilment of community responsibility on the part of citizens. If we fail to educate our children, then we have failed in the most basic of tasks as a society.
Making tougher laws will only be as effective as its implementation. Violent assaults, rapes and murders of women are symptomatic of a deep societal dysfunction. Any new law on rape should include the conduct of the defence lawyer and bar unethical questions against the rape victim. If an FIR is registered against a person in a rape case, he should be automatically disqualified from contesting elections. The prosecution for rape and sexual harassment should have toughest lawyers pleading the case to have 100% conviction and not one in over 1000 cases. Before the dignity of more women is sacrificed, we need to have a real change for the better democracy, greater freedom, full transparency, strict law enforcement, and mandatory punishment for heinous crimes against them.
Crime is endemic to the human condition, but a crime specifically directed at one sex is most despicable and unfortunately, the one that is punished least. According to the Government’s statistics twenty five rapes are committed in the country everyday but the unofficial record is in very large number. One would find that rape is a sexual as well as cultural attack which has become a great social problem today. There are many rape cases which have grabbed headlines of the leading newspapers but timely actions are not taken. One should see that by giving a deterrent punishment to the rapist this evil of rape would not be solved. Once it is proved that the person is guilty of rape he should be hanged. For defending themselves women should learn the art of Karate, Judo and if not they should carry chilly powder in order to escape from the rapist.
Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)