Death for a rapist: The debate goes on…


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!

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10 thoughts on “Death for a rapist: The debate goes on…

  1. Death by hanging, poison or shooting is too little for a rape proven convict.

    I believe they never get to repent for what they did.

    The punishment should be atleast 10 times magnitude, that reminds them every day, every second of the trauma they would have put a woman through.

    These guys should be beaten and torn apart by public, then make him recover, then tear him apart again.. atleast from all supporters of the notion that woman’s body must also be given high respect.

  2. See…I guess 7 years is a long enough time. If you are asking for capital punishment stating what Renuka Choudhury has stated then also take into account that come what may a person after being a convict for 7 years in a ‘proven’ case can never again lead a normal life and afterall everyone is a human being and the chances are they will feel the heat of their acts and that in itself will be a bigger punishment then the capital punishment in itself.

    I guess most deserve a second chance in life…

    Btw I am just putting forth a view…so nothing personal here!
    Also there were huge doubts wether actually rape had happened in this case or not. Murder…well he almost confessed to it in his diary that he wrote in jail.
    However I have no doubts that if it was rape and murder as the prosecution succesfuly made it out to be then we cannot think of anything other than what he received. Too much is also said about ‘rarest of rare’ cases…I mean are the criminals always expected to commit new crimes to be hanged???Ridiculous..Atleast taht is what I think even in Priyadarshini Matto case or the Nistish Katara murder case…These elements are to be hanged..especially more so to show that you cant just get away because you have money..

    1. Rahul,

      I respect your views. I appreciate your efforts to speak on this heated topic.

      I beg to differ here, again. In my opinion, being a human being, it is “cruel” to kill a woman’s “self” – rape means doing that! Ask any woman who has been raped, how it feels? 7 years is a very small punishment for someone who snatches a woman’s modesty – adopting violent, forceful and torturous means.

      I only agreed with the words of Renuka Chowdhary. There is no guarantee that after 7 years of imprisonment, a man finds it difficult to lead a normal life. We live in a country where men are exempted of many rules and societal norms. After 7 years, a rapist, in most chances, leads a normal life.

      But yes, I agree with your point – … you cant just get away because you have money… .

  3. Hi,
    I chanced upon your blog following some web searches. I agree that rape is the worst crime against women, but capital punishment also increases the chance of the rapist murdering the woman to “keep her quiet”.

  4. It’s all about the nature of the crime. That bastard raped and murdered a 14-year-old girl and destroyed not only her life but her parents’ as well. So if you let him go, he lives on whereas the girl is dead. Never forget the victim.

  5. But there are cases where women accuses men for rape after being in relationship with him for many years (live in relationship). Some even try to blackmail with false charges.
    Do you think these men should be hanged?

    1. Nowhere in my blog, I wrote anything about a live in relationship thing. An Innocent should NEVER be punished. But, I agree with your point. It is a very sensitive issue…

    1. I respect your opinion. But, I am just curious to know, what in your best judgement, shod be the punishment for a rapist?

      1. I don’t know, Monika. Rape is vile and should be punished but not with the death penalty.
        I cannot condone the death penalty even for murder because it diminishes our humanity.

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