He was 6 months short of 18 and she was a full 23. She was going to be a doctor and he was going to get drunk the next day (again).
The instinctual and the most raw emotion that was exhibited by most of the people who managed not to break down in tears was of an internal disgust originating in the stomach. They say it’s the heart that was sorrowed but truly it were our stomachs that felt the emotion that our mind was conveying to each and every cell of our body. And then of course came the surprise and anger and perplexity, but initially it was the disgust and stomach crumpling. And today when i read in the morning paper that the juvenile is to be let go with a 10,000 rupees grant along with a sewing machine, I felt the disgust once again. Only this time I feel it at myself. I feel as a citizen of this country, but more imperatively as a human being I have literally done nothing to contribute towards justice to Nirbhaya.
There is no debating the fact that a juvenile is immature and has a full right to exercise a second chance. Or perhaps even a third chance if that’s all he needs to amend his ways. But the question that needs answering at the end of the minor sentence given to this child who has served his minuscule time at the reformatory is whether he as a person has truly been reformed mentally. The whole agenda behind minimizing punishment for this criminal is to give him that second chance he deserves or any other child off the block is entitled to so that they can think rationally and empathize in the society with day to day issues. But the facts of the case tell us that the juvenile in Nirbhaya case did not confess to his crime. And when someone despite being proven guilty does not confess, it tells you a thing or two about their state of mind. The juvenile clearly feels no remorse or regret whatsoever. Instead, he has the audacity to lie in the face of the civil administration, citizens of this country, and the parents who lost their only daughter. So the lawmakers and the lawtakers must at this point seriously consider reaffirming and reframing their policies as they reflect on the consequences. The consequences that do not exist for the culprit but seem rather critical for the society.
The stunted amount of 10,000 and a sewing machine are a small offering that projects a huge loss to this nation. The mere fact that the culprit is being handed money may prove to be a small block in the treasury but it is the everest of emotions for this country. The amount may very well be just a rupee or it may be as big as a million but the immoral and unjustified connotations attached to it cannot be put down quantitatively. The money is supposed to help the boy reestablish himself in the society as a new and improved man of a higher moral awareness. But praying 5 times a day and keeping a fast on Id do not prove a man’s worth in terms of ethics and empathy. Even the wise men at ISIS are afraid of allah, and even they read their Namaaz meticulously. But that doesn’t hide the darkness of their hearts and the dearth of guilt in their minds.
Keeping apart the elementary common sense that a boy who is short 6 months of turning 18 is pretty much an eighteen year old and that no spiritual enlightenment could have possibly occurred in those 6 months to keep him from getting drunk and ripping apart the intestines of a young aspiring lady of great promise; the lawmakers need to understand that the sense of maturity or rationality cannot be measured by age. A boy of 15 may have more civil sense that someone twice his age. So debating on the grounds of age is not viable when you are advocating the ability to rationalize and judge. So the whole argument of giving the boy a second chance just because he is 18 topples down to the ground. Because the age is not reflective of the human’s state of mind. So what exactly have you reformed in that boy? Because for all we know he still doesn’t care.
Is the law justified? And if it is, then for whom? Is it justified for the culprit or is it justified for the victim? I do not advocate mobs or Facebook comments; I only speak as a rational human being. Is the law indeed justified? The answer is not that complicated. But for some reason the implications are too diverse. The law must speak for the collective conscience of a country. The way elections speak or the elimination round of a reality tv speaks. In the same manner the law of a country must be the voice of its citizens. If we were to follow just the law then eating meat in an undesired place would be more severe of a crime that molesting a mother of two. If we were to follow just the law then capital punishment to a man after 22 years would be justified. If we were to follow just the law then 13 years of struggle to justice would be washed away with one heavy fees for bail. That is what the law says. It is now up to us, whether we follow just the law or do we also follow its impact on our society and the message it sends out to the citizens.