WHENEVER A CRIME report appears in a newspaper or is shown on news channel, the most common reaction of almost everyone is, “So one got caught. How many more may have committed big crimes without getting caught?”
Given the present state of policing and justice delivery in the country, the punishment is for getting caught andnot for committing a crime. The police may deliberately
dilute the clauses under which the charge-sheet is filed or mess up the investigation to ensure acquittal.
The smart ones who succeed in not getting caught may remain normal, respected people looked up to as role models. Of the rest, those who can afford to hire very costly, smart, lawyers may escape or at least evade punishment for decades till, they almost reach the end of their lives and do not care anymore.
It is only the unlucky few failing on all these fronts who get jailed. They too escape social stigma and boycott by relying on considerations like caste and social status. What may be illegal may not always be unethical or socially stigmatised and vice versa.
Just days after the abduction, sedation. rape and murder of a eight-year-old girl shocked the nation, came news of a nine year old similarly treated and of a eighth-class girl gang-raped in Jharkhand. Not a day passes without news of one or more rapes. If the country had a conscience all these could not have happened after the brutality of the ‘Nirbhaya’ rape shook the nation a few years ago.
As their disturbing frequency leads to the debate whether the crimes themselves have increased or whether more people are coming forward to report them and protest, while they used to be suppressed and swept under the carpet earlier. There is no doubt that most cases were unreported in the past and many even today.
But not only do these ghastly, inhuman, incidents continue to occur but also there seems to be a greater tendency today to give them political, communal or caste colour and use them for ulterior ends.
There was the case of a Congress office-bearer who killed his live-in partner and tried to burn her body in a hotel ‘tandoor’. An eminent leader of the party was caught on tape seeking sexual favours from a woman lawyer in return for her elevation to the Bench. Photographs of a Congress leader’s son in lewd acts with women were circulated decades ago and a senior Congress leader who was made a governor was caught rollicking in bed with two prostitutes in a Raj Bhavan, forcing him to resign.
And yet no one blamed the Congress party for it or allege that all Congressmen were of lose character. Political values, ethics and methods have fallen so low today that the Congress-led Opposition is trying to attribute the incidents of rape to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party because it leads the coalition in power.
Nothing other than electoral considerations can be blamed for to the notice put up at an apartment house in a metropolis prohibiting BJP men from entering it or posters against BJP men entering houses for campaigning in Kerala as there were ‘little girls inside’, the cartoons and official Congress tweets saying ‘beti bachao’ (save your daughter) should be followed by ‘from BJP’ or the speeches of Opposition leaders painting BJP leaders as rapists after one MLA of the party was arrested for that crime.
The Congress has recently served notice on a Karnataka MLA was within hours of his praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but had no objection to Atal Bihari Vajpayee calling Indira Gandhi goddess Durga after the Bangladesh liberation war. If that was attributed to the war being against a Muslim country, can it be that the ‘liberal secular’ politicians wake up only when the victim of an atrocity is from a minority community?
Newspaper reports scream about any incident when the victim is a Dalit, but when the accused is a Dalit or the victim a ‘higher caste’ person, they almost ignore it or do not mention the fact. Impartiality of news media has touched the lowest level ever..
The fall in political morality is abysmal. The Congress, which cries itself hoarse that “not a dog” from any other party (which were all part of the Congress movement then) had anything to do with the freedom struggle also ha to take the responsibility , as the oldest party, for the decline.
Giving political, communal or caste colour to a crime against humanity is as bad as committing the crime itself.