Saturday, December 22, 2012

Aim not just to agitate, law on rape must change

हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी पिघलनी चाहिए,
इस हिमालय से कोई गंगा निकलनी चाहिए।

आज यह दीवार, परदों की तरह हिलने लगी,
शर्त लेकिन थी कि ये बुनियाद हिलनी चाहिए।
हर सड़क पर, हर गली में, हर नगर, हर गाँव में,
हाथ लहराते हुए हर लाश चलनी चाहिए।
सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं,
सारी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए।

मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही,
हो कहीं भी आग, लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए।
Poet Dushyant Kumar's immortal lines are so apt in the current scenario as crowds gather at Raisina Hill in Delhi, desperately hoping the powers that be, that claim to govern this country wake up,take notice and bring about that change that is so desperately required immediately. 
It is not just about the gang rape of the 23 year old in Delhi. It is a cry for justice. For her, and to ensure other men who may dare to rape girls in the future do not get away with `murder'. 
Rape and Acid Attack are two crimes worse than murder.Death penalty for the perpetrators should be mandatory.That present laws are inadequate is an understatement. Its implementation is worse. Investigation, prosecution and even the judiciary haven't given any reason to cheer either. 
The nation is agitated and rightly so. The crowds in Delhi and in cities across the nation rallying in support of the rape victim, point to the fact that this is not the problem of any one city in India.
I would have been satisfied had the prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh come out, met the agitators and dealt with the issue effectively. Why does he only stick his neck out only when the Indo-US nuke deal or FDI in retail are the issues? Isnt crime against women in India a much bigger and a far more emotive issue. His intervention is desperately required here. 
He needs to initiate steps to ensure rapists and acid throwers get the `special attention' that they deserve.Do rapists and acid thowers have the right to remain in society?
Sonia Gandhi, joined crowds at ITO and India Gate to celebrate India's world cup cricket victory. Where is she today? And what about the Yuva Neta of India - Rahul Gandhi?
I am singling out the powers that be since the Congress is in power today. They need to act and now. If only P. Chidambaram was in the union home ministry today. He conveys the impression of a man who means business.
The Congress, the BJP, the entire political class should actually be spearheading a movement for justice and for stronger laws for crime against women. Death penalty for rapists and acid throwers should be mandatory. Death penalty not just in the present case of the 23 year old victim but in every case of proven rape. 
Netas who cut across party lines to enhance their own salaries and allowances, should perhaps convene a special session of Parliament and debate laws on rape and acid throwers. Debate all the pros and cons of death penalty and life imprisonment. Debate possible misuse of the rape law. But because the law can be misused so we will not have a strong law is no answer. 
Debate effective systems of checks and balances. The Judiciary too need to figure out how rapists and acid throwers can be dealt with effectively. This is a national issue and must be addressed as such.
People today are angry. They are out on the streets. Their anger needs direction. A fast track court to try these six perpetrators may satisfy the anger for now, but that is not the solution. This people anger needs to be channelized and Parliament needs to debate stronger laws on rape and acid attack. A strong law and its effective implementation based on scientific investigation and a quick judicial process. 
As Poet Dushyant Kumar says the aim is not to just shake the walls, the foundation of this edifice needs to shake. The aim is not just to agitate, the system needs to change. And that change should come now.