In what can only be viewed as adding insult to the collective injury of all women in India, the court has sentenced the juvenile in the Nirbhaya case to three years in a correctional home.
Three years for luring the girl into the bus, being one of the rapists and then destroying her intestines by pushing a rod into her. Three years for heinous destruction of a woman’s dignity; for horrendous acts of sadism and for killing a girl in her prime. Three years for scarring the psyches of all women in the country and making India an unsafe place for women, within the country and all visitors.
Is this our idea of justice?
Are any of the crimes committed by the “juvenile” really juvenile in any way? The police chargesheet has on record that this “juvenile was the most brutal of all. And yet, three years hence, he will be back on the streets, wearing an armour of confidence bestowed by the judiciary in India, to commit further crimes with impunity. He could well become the poster boy for other men committing unspeakable crimes against women. He could be starting a cult right now. The first member of this cult has already registered – the criminal arrested in the Shakti Mills case in Mumbai. While one of the five in this case has been admitted as a juvenile based on documentary evidence; another says he is twenty while his mother claims he is a juvenile. The cult is already set and increasing.
But will this criminal even get three years? His lawyer has promised that he will re-appeal. Will the case just drag on and at the end of it; the “juvenile” will be set free for having already spent enough time in remand and for “good behaviour”?
The number of violent crimes on women being reported in the media has risen exponentially. Each is more horrifying than the other. In an environment like this, when it is essential for the system to protect one half of the population from the other, the system has failed miserably in the very first judgement. What is now there to deter criminals? They have nothing to fear. They never did. And this judgement has proved they never will.
Before the hearing started, there were noises made by those in the system that the “juvenile” will be tried on his crimes, not his age. The judgement has found him guilty on 11 counts, including rape and murder – and has handed this excuse of a punishment. The bench that handed this sentence was presided over by a lady, Geetanjali Goel (Principal Magistrate).
This judgement is nothing short of a disgrace. A disgrace to the country. Draupadi is once again being de-robed in the sabha while Bhishma averts his eyes.
It is time to have two minutes of silence for the death of justice.
It is time to light a candle for the demise of safety.
It is time to hang our head in shame for the loss of dignity.
It is time to mourn for all women in the country.