Apathetic at Raisina Hill
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Photo-op activism and empty platitudes rule the day
The recent heinous and horrifying gangrape of a young woman seems to have shaken the silent conscience of every Indian, especially women, who, after decades of suffering in silence, have finally decided enough is enough and have taken to the streets to demand justice and protection. However, what shocks me is the complete apathy displayed by the government, which has failed to rise to the occasion and take appropriate and decisive measures to respond to the voice of its people.
In a country where a woman is molested every 12 minutes, a woman is kidnapped every 14 minutes, a woman is raped every 21 minutes and every hour, a dowry death occurs, it makes me wonder what the Union home minister is doing in the capital with its Rs 55,000 crore annual budget.
Does the police force get fat salaries so that 73 per cent of the rape accused, 72 per cent of the molesters, 71 per cent kidnappers, 65 per cent of the dowry death accused are never punished? On the contrary, it boosts the confidence of criminals that bribing cops or getting away with any crime while avoiding punishment is hardly ever a problem for them. The figures above prove that we seem to be paying our police department to encourage crime rather than deter it. The long and cumbersome justice delivery system adds to the woes by ensuring that instead of speedy justice, delayed justice leading to denied justice is the norm in cases of crimes against women.
Laws and the police are supposed to be preventive and act as deterrents. However, instead of preventing or deterring crime, the only one deterred from pursuing justice are the women who gather the courage to first file a complaint and deal with the insensitivity of the police, only to be later harassed by the never-ending wait at the courts for justice. All existing systems seem to be in place to ensure that the woman complainant is deterred and prevented from obtaining justice.
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