Sunday, January 06, 2013

Treating the symptom and not the disease

On December 16th a 23rd student, boarded a bus with a male friend in Delhi. She was brutally gang raped by 6 men ,beaten and finally thrown off the bus naked; left to die.
This triggered off a massive wave of protests in Delhi as well as kicked up a firestorm in the media as well as social media.
The protestors have mostly been demanding more safety for women from the government.
I have read such  absurd slogans bandied about as "Don't tell your daughter not to wear a short skirt, teach your son not to rape".
In a sense, these protests are necessary. Since nothing in India seems to improve unless there is somebody protesting. But in another sense the protests are misguided. The anger is mostly directed at the government, but what happened is likely more a societal problem than a law enforcement one.
I am not a researcher, but I have read that rape is more about power than anything else. Men who are not used to showing respect to women, are probably more likely to react in the manner, when challenged by a woman. No government can teach and impose respect for women. That is something society does.
Brutal crimes such as these are not always restricted by geography, they have occurred in a host of countries.
 They cannot ever be completely prevented.
How do those countries deal with it?
Firstly there is an acknoledgement, that at the end of the day, a crime is committed by an indivdual, not a system, then there is a system in place, to render timely justice.
The larger question here and in millions of other cases, is how efficient is the Criminal Justice system in delivering justice? I know this is not on the minds of most people at this time.
But anything short of fixing that, would be treating the symptom and not the disease.

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