Friday, March 5, 2010

Raising my voice against 'Brutality'.

I usually stay away from controversial topics in my blog and stick to entertainment like travel, movies, food etc. But something that I read in the newspaper today enraged me so much that I decided to do what I do best – blog about it.

The High Court today ruled that for a rape case to be given maximum penalty ie. Life imprisonment (20 years under Indian law which usually is brought down to 12-13 years for good behavior), the rape must be brutal. In this particular case, the man was a tutor for a minor girl and while her mother was out to the market, he committed the crime. In court, he had the audacity to ask for leniency as there was no brutality in the rape and despite evidence like the girl’s mother witnessing the act when she returned and positive DNA tests, the court agreed to give him 10 years (usually out in 4-5 years) as punishment.

What I would ideally like to know is whether the court bench that passed this order was made up of male members or female. How does one define brutality? Would it have helped if he had slapped her a couple of times? Inflicted some wounds? Drawn blood? Would that be enough to put him away for double that time?

What could possibly be more brutal than violating somebody forcefully? It is not just an act of physical violence, but one of psychological scarring. Imagine the life of that girl now, imagine her dealing with the shame that follows. Imagine the strength she will need to live when everone around her knows what she has been through and she will always be either an object of sympathy or taboo. Imagine her harassment on dealing with authorities, police, hospitals, courts, lawyers, media. Imagine what sort of impact this will have on her relationships, her school life, on her self esteem, on her will to live. Now put all of this together and tell me, what could possibly be more brutal than this? A murder in my opinion is not as brutal as rape. At least in murder, the victim’s suffering is over. In this case, the victim will suffer for the rest of her life.

Perhaps that is why the jury system works better than our court systems. Tell me one jury who would not give the death sentence to the recent case of a police official who not only raped a minor girl but harassed her family, periodically tortured (3rd degree) her brother in jail cells, got her thrown out of school and finally drove her to commit suicide.

Perhaps brutality of the act itself was much lesser than the brutality of the court verdict, and its leniency.


Unknown said...

i understand your anger over this. And I agree the worst punishment should be metted out to the police officer for what he did---but what he did cannot be equated with what the tutor did. Yes of course the tutor committed a grave offence and should be punished strictly for it-I think in that case 10 yrs is good enough for him to sit and think about what he has done and why it was wrong. the cop however took it much further by committing further violence by brutalising the family and hence his punishment should be much worse-due to his lack of respect for any life/family and abuse of power.
Yes Rape is a horrible thing to go through, but if it is not violent/brutal (like you describe-blood/in actions, etc) then it is a little different in it effect I think. and the victim can come out of it less scarred than someone who might have been 'brutally' raped.
what doesnt help though is her family refusing to accept the fact of her rape, or that she brought it on herself, or she wasn't old enough to remember and probably fabricated it...

Gloria said...

a rape is a rape and it should be treated far more seriously than any other crime... its psycologically devastating.. interestingly, i was reading today of a woman in UAE who complained that someone was photographing her in the restroom of a mall.. and the person might get a sentence from 3 yrs to 10 yrs!!! this is when there was no physical contact!!! the case that was earlier considered under violation of modesty is now being considered as sexual assault!! i guess the problem with our country is the apathy to crime... we hear, read and even see so much crime that it has become an everyday affair with us.. and so the most brutal and unheard of cases get the limelight..a murder is a crime and a murder like naina sahni is a brutal crime!! our thought process itself has become so brutal that a normal crime isnt enough to shake us.. to wake us up.. to put us to shame!!

probably somethings are really better off in middle eastern society...atleast when it comes to dealing with offenders and criminals!

Karan said...

I agree to your point in totality. A crime as gruesome and devastating as a rape should be dealt with the strictest of punishments without any excuse. The argument of the Court that it was not 'brutal' enough is ludicrous!! To make those judges realize, maybe someone should try and rape them(especially if they are males),to make them realize if the crime in itself is brutal enough or not.

The punishment should be EXEMPLARY to scare the shit out of anyone thinking of doing so in future. :| And people like that cop should be HANGED, instead of being protected by corrupt politicians, because if he escapes unpunished, it would encourage others to commit such crimes!!

This matter of this post has enraged me to say the least. Very well written.

Karan said...

This is my first visit to your blog. Liked it a lot, and will keep coming back for more. :) Cheers...

PS - If you have not written about such social issues in the past, then you totally should. :)

Harnoor Channi-Tiwary said...

Welcome aboard Karan and thanks for taking the time to comment...will surely blog more about such issues in the future.

@Glo, though Sharia law can get too extreme for my liking, I do agree that we tend to become immune and apathetic...the courts have been doing some shaking up the last few years (prodded by the media) and I do hope they continue doing so...

@Ras - a jury might help get more perspectives versus a judge...what say??

Anonymous said...

last week our class held a similar discussion about this subject and you illustrate something we have not covered yet, appreciate that.

- Kris

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