Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Anchors go bonkers

There are times anchors go bonkers. They give prominence to undeserving people and subjects and waste lot of air time. This is more so after Delhi gang rape.
Someone or the other comes out with a statement that offends women and he or she gets national publicity. For a petty politician all he has to do to get publicity is to say something against women. He is famous. For such a person there is no such thing as bad publicity. Any publicity is good publicity.
Sometimes anchors give free publicity to someone who did not even make an attempt to get it. One singer was suddenly the rage on news channels. His songs were said to be against women and pornographic. One song was said to be perverse. Not many knew about the singer and his songs before the controversy. After the controversy he is known all over India. His most controversial song got more than a million viewers.
The swing of the pendulum from one end to another continues. Anchors who once talked in favour of freedom of speech and expression are suddenly at the other end. They invite for discussion people who want a ban on item songs.
Some insignificant person says something and that becomes a matter of discussion for prime time. Someone talks of rapes talking place in India and not in Bharat, someone blames co-education, someone blames English education, someone blames films, someone blames skirts, and they become matters of discussion. In India there is CBFC which certifies films. Many certified films are opposed by people for some reason and such people get publicity. If a song is popular and there are mothers who dance with their children to that song there should be no problem. It seems some anchors and panelists don’t like popular culture and want to impose their view on others.
One MP made a remark about women protesters and that day he dominated the news. He apologised for that but anchors did not let him go. The MP did not want to another controversy. He appeared contrite and penitent but seemed happy to be on channels.
Many panelists talk inanities and banalities. They talk of patriarchal society, mindset, police coming from society, and such things. Rape is a crime and should be punished. Everything else is immaterial.

Juvenile age

In India juvenile age was 16. It was brought up to 18 in 2000 supposedly because India signed some international convention. After that many criminals between 16-18 have committed big crimes and got away.
India should lower the juvenile age to 16 and say goodbye to international convention. Criminals who commit crimes like murder, rape, abduction, hijacking, kidnapping, piracy, acid attack, bomb blast, terrorist act, and banditry should be tried and punished like adults. It does not matter whether the criminal is 50, 40, 20, 16, 14, 11, or less than 11. People have a right to be safe which should not be compromised because the criminal is juvenile. Reform is of petty criminals who steal food because they have no money but not of criminals who commit grave crimes.
The arguments of those who oppose lowering juvenile age are not valid. One argument is no juvenile is born criminal. This is pious homily. A boy who is just two years old beats his brother who is 45 days old. The mother beats elder boy. The boy stops beating his younger brother. That is deterrence. Crime needs to be nipped in the bud.
Second argument is that people get voting right and driving licence when they are 18. The answer to this is that crime has no connection to voting right and driving licence. There are many who are below 18 and drive cars, sometimes cause accidents that kill people.
Third argument is that UN has fixed the age of 18. The answer to this is that India is sovereign and not bound to follow UN. USA and UK have laws that allow trying of juveniles as adults for certain crimes.
Death penalty shall be compulsory for every murder. On 7/1/2003 Supreme Court reduced the sentence of a rapist and murderer in Poona from death to life. This has shocked most people of the nation. Form of oath or affirmation to be made by the Judges of Supreme/High Court should be as below:
I, A.B., having been appointed Chief Justice (or a Judge) of the Supreme/High Court swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I believe death penalty is the right punishment for murder, abduction, hijacking, kidnapping, piracy, acid attack, bomb blast, terrorist act, banditry, and such high crimes, that I believe castration is the right punishment for rape, that I will faithfully perform the duties of my office without fear or favour, that I will go public if anyone wants to bribe me or influence me, that I will uphold the laws, that I will not acquit any person if I know he/she is guilty.

EU shall have death penalty

I came across EU ambassador Joao Cravinho’s article against death penalty which is sanctimonious humbug. He has written the article in the context of clamour for death penalty for rape after the gang rape of a 23 years old woman after beating her with iron rods and cutting her with blade in a Delhi bus on 16/12/2012. The woman was in Safdarjung Hospital for some days. She was shifted to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore where she died on 29/12/2012 at 4.45 a.m. local time, 2.15 a.m. IST. Her rape and death have shocked and angered many in India and outside India. There were protests in Delhi and other cities. Many cancelled their New Year celebrations.
EU being the only region in the world where death penalty no longer applies is not a matter of pride but of shame. There is hypocrisy involved as most EU countries permit abortion and some countries permit euthanasia. Victims of murder do not get justice. If EU had death penalty many murders would not have taken place. Anuj Bidwe who was murdered in UK would have been alive. Many EU countries are NATO members and they did not have compunction in bombing Libya and killing 40,000 innocent civilians.
Joao Cravinho falsely claims deterrence argument is fallacious. A dead murderer cannot commit another murder. Sometimes murderers come out of jail and commit more murders. In 1980 William Spengler murdered his grandmother with a hammer. He spent 17 years in jail and came out on parole. In 2012 during Christmas time he set fire to his house. His sister died in the fire. The fire spread to other houses and caused loss. When firemen came to douse the fire he shot at them. Two died, two were injured. William Spengler shot himself. If he had been hanged for the murder of his grandmother, the two firemen would not have been shot by him. He used Bushmaster rifle. In Michigan, John D. White murdered a 26-year old woman and spent 12 years in jail. He came out and became a pastor. He murdered his fiancée’s 24-year old daughter Rebekah Gay, stripped her, and dumped her body. He wanted to have necrophilia with her. He said he did not remember whether he fulfilled his sexual fantasy. If John D. White had been executed for the first murder he would not have murdered Rebekah Gay. If some terrorists want “perverse glamour of judicial martyrdom” let them have it. As George Patton said, no soldier has won the battle by dying for his country; you have to make the other soldier die for his country. Patton used another word for soldier.
Murders have gone up where death penalty is abolished or not carried out. Mexico and South Africa are examples. Murders had gone up in Pakistan. Now they have resumed death penalty. Anders Behring Breivik murdered 77 people. He will be a free man after 21 years. In countries without death penalty encounter deaths where police kill criminals go up.
The argument that death penalty in many cases is arbitrary can be countered by saying acquittal of many murderers is arbitrary. It may be due to corruption or other reasons. The accused have right to defend themselves. They use their rights.
Voltaire was wrong when he said “It is better to risk saving guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.” No guilty person should be saved. Not condemning an innocent one should not be an excuse for not having death penalty. There are many cases when there is no doubt about the murderer. People have committed murders in the open. There are many eye witnesses. There is CCTV footage.
Demand of death penalty for rape or murder is desire for justice and not for revenge. A state is made up of people and when they demand justice it should be met. Life imprisonment is not a solution. Many come out within 14 years. Some come out on parole after two years and disappear. Murderers who are 65 come out within seven years. Some escape from prison and commit more murders. Veerappan did that. Sometimes there are abductions or hijackings for the release of murderers. India has paid a heavy price by not hanging the criminals swiftly.
India is not in queue for EU membership. EU is unraveling. Margaret Thatcher foresaw it long back. She said all empires put together either through force or through benevolence come to an end. She mentioned several empires and said even the benevolent British Empire came to an end. She was right in comparing EU to an empire but wrong about the British Empire being benevolent. The British Empire was not benevolent even to the British who migrated to America and later formed USA. Turkey wanted to join EU for a long time. Now it is not interested. Euro zone is a disaster.
India had a death penalty after eight years. Pakistan executed some after some years. Japan had death penalty for some after many years. In Sri Lanka there is demand for death penalty. In India in 1980 five Supreme Court judges wrongly restricted death penalty to rarest of rare cases. After that even in those rarest of rare cases many got pardon. That included 25 criminals who committed rape and murder. Every time a rapist and murderer escapes noose it sends the message that you can get away with rape and murder. Delhi gang rape would not have happened if those criminals had been hanged.
What is this talk of human rights? Are only murderers, rapists and other criminals human beings? Are not victims human beings? It is perverse to talk of murderers as human beings and ignore the sufferings of victims and their families.
European countries had vast empires. That does not give them the right to tell other countries what laws they should have. It is for the people of India to decide about its laws. Joao Cravinho mentions the vote in UN in November 2012 on eliminating death penalty. He is happy that 110 countries voted with them, with 39 against and 36 abstentions. He believes that with each year more will join them. That may not be the case. The number 110 can come down and 39 can go up.
I am sure many murders take place in EU. Many must be seeing the utility of death penalty and futility of its abolition. What happened in Delhi can happen in Athens, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Warsaw or any city of EU. To prevent that people of EU should demand restoration of death penalty. I suppose there is such demand by some but they should increase their activities. If anybody thinks horrific crimes cannot take place in EU, he or she is living in a fool’s paradise. In Belgium someone had abducted two eight year old girls, raped them and murdered them by starvation. He should have been hanged.

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