Rape and punishment

The gang rape and murderous attack on a 23 years old woman in a moving bus in Delhi on 16/12/2012 has caused shock and anger all over the nation. She fights for her life in Safdarjang Hospital. The man with her was also beaten with iron rods. The issue figured in Parliament. There were protests and demonstrations in many cities. On 19/12/2012 Protestors outside Sheila Dikshit’s house faced water cannons. People gathered at India Gate in the evening. There are demands for resignations of Naresh Kumar, Sushilkumar Shinde and Sheila Dikshit. Delhi has seen many rapes. This case seems to be a tipping point. Police Commissioner Naresh Kumar’s statement that he did not want to talk about rapes because it would not be politically correct was largely ignored by TV channels.
Some have demanded death penalty for rape. Some have demanded chemical castration for rape. Both are options. Parliament should pass a law that increases punishment for rape to death, castration, or rigorous imprisonment not less than 25 years.
There are people who say they want certainty of punishment not severity. The two are not mutually exclusive. Punishment for rape should be severe and certain. Rape is a crime and should be dealt as such. There should not be talk of gender sensitization or social reform or changing mindsets. Rape must be punished. Reformative theory should not apply to crimes like rape, murder, abduction etc. Excuses like breakdown in social values or sex in media should not be accepted.
Fast track courts are a temporary solution. Regular courts must be made to decide cases quickly.

Updated: December 20, 2012 — 7:30 am

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