12 Beti Bachao…for whom? - Fr. Nelson Lobo

posted Apr 19, 2018, 9:16 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 19, 2018, 9:17 AM ]
(Has anything changed after Nirbhaya?)

First it was Nirbhaya; now it is Asifa; the two sensational rape cases in India. The mainstream Media and the social media have given enough coverage to these two cases. Unfortunately, all the rape victims (the number could be in millions) in India do not get such coverage, and therefore neither moral support nor justice is meted out to them. When people come on the streets during such times, sympathy towards the victim and her family and hate towards the rapist is generated. Such strong social protest sometimes forces the police to jump into action and start working on the case. If the police neglect their duty or the politicians interfere, the NGOs or the family of the victim are then forced to demand justice for the victim and punishment for the perpetrator(s). But the question is: can justice really be done? A lifetime in jail or the death sentence for the rapist, and monetary compensation even if it is in lakhs (for the victim) - can it be called justice? Hammurabi's Code of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is a poor replacement for justice. However, some justice is better than nothing. It will at least reduce future crimes. Worldly justice does not take into account the lifelong trauma and the fear of the victim.

The Choked Tears

Nirbhaya and Asifa received international attention and moral support (Justice is a question mark). In both the cases, people demanded death penalty for the rapists. What about the 'silent' rapes that are taking places in their very homes, on their first dates after their engagements? Out of shame and social stigma, girls and women do not report such cases. They too have "#Me-Too" stories, but no unbiased platform to share. I myself have heard stories about girls being sexually abused by their fathers or uncles or cousins, and wives being raped by their husbands or the friends of the husband. Who will give justice to these silent choked tears? 93 rape cases everyday in India. 95% of the time, the offender is known to the victim. The very people who are supposed to be protectors turn out to be monsters. The fear of the female is often not outside on the dark street, but under the very roof of their houses. If you are caught, you are a rapist. And that too, someone has to prove in the court that you are a rapist. If your crimes go unnoticed, you are a saint. That's the way of the world. That's the limitation of our legal system. How many men are innocent lambs outside their door, but ferocious wolves waiting to devour inside it.

Religion and Common Sense