Saturday, December 29, 2012

For Nirbhaya

As we pray for her parents, and those who knew and loved her, and hope that this sense of righteous anger that we have been seeing for the last two weeks, in social networking sites and on the streets, do not fizzle out, here’s my two-penny thought on the issue:

This equally violent public outcry for justice, which followed after ‘Nirbhaya’ dignity was outraged and her all-too-young life was snuffed out, will soon die too. Public memory is miserably short, and we have our own lives to worry about. Everything will settle down in their rhythms and everything will be forgotten until another ‘Nirbhaya’ is scarified to appease another illiterate male ego. (Anyone remembers Manipur?)

So, how do we keep this fire burning?

The perpetrators of the crime have been arrested, and there will be a trial. The protestors and the activists and everyone and their cousins have suggested various measures to avenge this horrendous crime — from public hanging to chemical castration.

Is death a solution? Certainly not. It’s too easy. I’d suggest a more radical one — ‘Make Them Examples’.

Someone recently suggested that we should blacken the faces of the rapists, put them on donkeys and parade them through the entire city. This, I think, is fine, but not a proper solution.

The proper solution is this: Brand them like cattle, something Samuel Maverick wouldn’t do, something the Biblical God did to Cain. Print the word ‘rapist’ on their foreheads, like Hester Prynne was forced to wear the ‘Scarlet Letter’ of adultery, and let them loose, so that public can see them and be warned. Let them be the living, breathing examples that crimes against women, even if it is by a husband to his wife, wouldn’t be tolerated anymore in this country.

No. Letting them loose wouldn’t solve the problem. Their punishment should be more severe — a life for a life. Make them the bonded labourers to the parents of the girl. Let them serve those two people whose child was murdered in such cold blood. Let the rapists be the slave of the girl’s parents for the reminder of their lives — this is the only way for the perpetrators of the crime to realize the extent of their beastly behaviour.

Let them be before the public eye forever and anon. Let that yet-to-be-born five-year-old boy see them and know how severe the punishment for crimes against women can be, and be warned.

Let everyone be warned.

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