On the 6th of January, 2009 I was in Noida’s very “happening” mall-The Great India Place. I was shopping all alone, oblivious of the fact that venturing all alone could be insecure for a girl like me.
The very next day I heard about the “Noida gang rape” case. A young MBA student was brutally raped by a gang of ten young men from a nearby village. Being a woman and a human being in the first place, the very first thought that flashed across my mind was that these “sexually hyper” men should be hanged till death. Rape is the most heinous crime against women, I believe and I am sure many of you share my opinion.
In times when different human rights organizations and NGOs across the world condemn death sentence, on “humanitarian” grounds, it might sound weird when I advocate death sentence. But I have my own reason for that! I believe that sparing a rapist from death sentence is weird. It’s like trying to save an “inhuman” creature on “humanitarian” grounds!
Few days back I heard Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury expressing her personal views about the unfortunate incident on a popular Hindi news channel. She said that a rapist should be awarded death sentence because for a rape victim, the crime carried out on her proves a “life sentence”.
I fully agree with her in this regard. My heart aches and my blood boils when I wonder how these nasty “sex starved” men ruin a woman’s life, giving her so much of physical and mental trauma. Death sentence to a rapist can prove to be a tough lesson for those who have committed this atrocious crime and for those who house wicked intentions against women in their hearts.
Our laws suggest seven years of rigorous imprisonment for a rapist. But in exceptional cases like the Hetal Parekh rape and murder case, the guilty was awarded capital punishment. I don’t understand the reason why death sentence is not given in all “proven” rape cases? As for example, in 1999, life term was given to the guilty of Anjana Mishra rape case.
Many suggest life imprisonment for a rapist, believing that after serving a life term that individual would feel remorseful of his sin and might lead the life of a good human being after release. True, I agree he might! But what if he doesn’t?
What I personally believe is that raping a woman is in a way equivalent to killing her. She stands robbed of her peace of mind. She undergoes tremendous physical and emotional trauma. Is the killing of a woman’s esteem so trivial, that the killer gets seven years of imprisonment or a life term at the most and then walks out free to lead a normal life?
Rape cases are on a rise. A latest data of the home ministry suggests that India stands third, leaving behind countries like Sri Lanka, Jordan and Argentina, when it comes to rape cases. The reason behind this could be that the laws relating to sexual assault, including rape have not been changed since the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was framed in 1860 and are, therefore, archaic and weak. So the culprits are happy because they see a ray of hope in it. They know that laws are not stringent and they can walk free anytime.
Many women organizations are demanding change in such laws and the debate over the level of punishment for this heinous crime has been going on for years. But our law makers have not arrived at any conclusion as yet. After all it’s the election time when our law makers rise from sleep. And after that it’s a nap time again!