Sunday, December 30, 2012

What's the way out?

The recent Delhi gang rape case stirred up the whole of India, so many debates and loads of protests. Everyone thinking and brainstorming. What to do? What can be done? What's the way out? Needless to say, as always, stupid politicians jumped to even stupider conclusions. A huge demand for harshest and cruelest punishment emerged, on news channels, on twitter and on Facebook.

Following discussion concerns sexual assaults in general, not any incident in particular. (In the Delhi case, for that matter, the victim is no more.)

The conflict

Short version : Punish the criminals for the heinous crime they did. Not because it "ruined" someone's life.

Long version:
One thing is clear: it is in no way the victim's fault. If I am making statements like "now her life is for nought", "what is she like now if not a walking-talking corpse", I am an absolute moron. The fact which needs to be permanently ingrained into us is "she's no different". We should realize that every word of sympathy, every act of special kindness or any other special treatment underlines the supposed "scarring for life (WTH I say)" nature of the incident.

Now on the other hand, no denying that it is the epitome of brutality to commit such crimes, and in no way the criminals should go unpunished. Here, in my opinion, there's a conflict. The intensity of the punishment should be in tune with the gravity of the crime. On one hand, as society it is our responsibility to make the victim feel at ease, feel right at home, just one among all of us. To put it simply, behave as if nothing bad has happened. Now, if nothing bad has happened, what's the punishment for? On what grounds should the extremely harsh punishment be dealt?

I am not able to think of any argument which addresses both... :( I guess I am just missing some crucial thought here.

Or, maybe, I am getting confused because the way capital punishment is being demanded. The demands tend to stress the "devastating" nature of the crime and hence ask for capital punishment. Maybe, the arguments should stress the heinous and disgusting nature of the crime itself, and not its aftereffects. The aftereffects, in an ideal world should be none. But our representatives don't seem to get this :( Want to get enraged? Read the statements made by the likes of Jaya Bachchan and Sushma Swaraj.

Long term solution?
Objectification of women seems to lie at the root of all this evil. The logical way out looks like to bring up the newer generations with the set of values, morals and ethics which promote gender equality, and respect towards women as another human being just like men. Seems nice and fine, but who are the ones to bring up the new generation in that way? Surprise surprise!, well, no surprise at all! These are the people who have these set of values already within them, who realize what's wrong... precisely because they were brought up the correct way.

If it can't come from home, it has to come from the educational sphere and entertainment sphere. After all, what's the poor kid's fault if on TV and in movies, "hawt chick" and "क्या माल है" like remarks are portrayed as "cool things to say and do"? What's the point of co-ed schools if girls and boys are made to sit in different class rooms? Interaction will naturally lead to boys looking at girls as another human being, with various aspects to their personality and not merely "a chick".

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