May 042005
 

The story so far:

Ward boy rapes a nurse, in the hospital, and gouges out her eyes when she tries to resist.

“the girl, a nurse, was on duty at the hospital at Karkari mode in East Delhi looking after a comatose patient in the intervening night of September 7 and 8, 2003. She woke up in the middle of the night to find the convict attempting to force himself on her. When she tried to shrug him off, Bhura plunged in his fingers into her eyes gouging out her right eye and wounding the left. He then dragged her to an adjacent bathroom, raped her and locked her in.”

The Criminal Justice system, surprisingly moving fast, arrests and brings the accused to trial. The accused is convicted and awaits sentancing. On the day of sentancing, he proposes marriage to the victim.

“In his application, Bhura pleaded the court to take a lenient view as he is now a reformed man and said since no one would be ready to marry the young victim due to the stigma, he would like to tie the knot with her. ”

The court then asks the girl and her parents to respond to this proposal before sentancing. What is our system coming to? How can the judge even consider asking a girl – who has been brutalized, had her eyes gouged out, and raped – to marry the rapist. Is it that the Judge believes that marriage sanctions rape? Is it that he believes that marriage absolves the rapist? In any other Democracy, the Judge would have lost his job by now and been hung out dry.But, not here. Our archaic and closed door approach to judicial appointments ensures that dinosaurs continue siting on the benches. And making pronouncements that make one cringe.

The victim rejected the offer and has

“…. urged the court to give the severest of punishment to the convict so that such a “horrendous act” is not repeated. “He has committed a horrendous crime, which should not be repeated. He was found guilty and now is trying to save himself with such a bogus proposal… He should be hanged,” the victim said in a petition filed before the court through her counsel.”
Way to go girl. The only stigma in rape is that of the rapist. I am so proud that this woman has stopped playing victim and has decided to fight back. The rapist getting away with rape by marrying his victim is not new in this socirty. It is in fact encouraged in many cases. IT is seen as a way of erasing the shame of being raped. The poor girl in question gets sentanced to a life time of rape. The man has a legally and socially bound victim on whom to exert his power. I am just so glad that someone has taken a stand and said that it is not going to happen to me.

The man was convicted this morning to life imprisonment.
It’s a pity that we can’t publicly hang him as a deterrant. Maybe a few examples in various parts of the country would act as a better detterent to rapists, than women being covered head to toe.

  6 Responses to “Way to Go Girl”

  1. The problem is far too deep to be solved by just hanging some convicted rapists. If we start giving the death penalty to rapists, two things will start happenning:
    1. Rapists will get a little wiser and more careful with what they do – they will more regularly try to kill the victim and ensure that no other form of evidence is left behind. The latter can also mean more pain on the victim.
    2. Since the stress in the Indian judicial system is on “proving guilt” rather than “proving innocence” (we have the age-old phrase, “even if a hundred of the guilty are let free, we must not hang one innocent”). That being the case, considering the punishment that is likely to be given to the accused, courts would start demanding more and more hard evidence before the accused is pronounced guilty.

    What we actually need is a change in attitude of society as a whole towards the victim and the perpetrator of the crime. The required changes are too vast to list in this comments box, but the end result is simple: assured punishment (from the judicial system and from society) for a rapist, and absolute compassion for the victim (again from both sides). No one would want to spend 7 years in jail for a few minutes of sadistic pleasure.

    Now, the rapist knows that there is only a 1% chance that the rape will be reported, and if it does, there is only a 15% chance that he would get convicted. We need to start changing those statistics first.

  2. I am not advocating the imposition of the death sentance for all rape cased. And, you are right when you say that the rapist may end up killing the victim.

    My suggestion is that of public execution as an example for few select rapists. This is more as an example that society is not about to tolerate such crimes. And the execution is not the norm, it is the exception. For example the Hetal Parekh rape case or the man who was convicted of raping a two year old. the execution is a signal that we are a society that no longer toleartes rape. And will punish the rapist in the strongest possible manner.

    While the attitude towards women in general, and rape in particular has to change, there also needs to be a “fear factor” that will inhibit rapists from raping.

  3. I say hang all the bastards.

    If a few innocents get hanged in the bargain, well, there’s always reincarnation.

  4. The guilty should pay severely, the laws should get “more teeth” than what they have.

  5. [...] Before we pooh pooh this and say that the victim was a tribal, and possibly uneducated and these things happen there (where ever there is supposed to be) let’s not forget that our esteemed judges have offered the victim the prospect of matrimony with the, rapist a fair few times in cities no less. I wonder where are the morchas, or the jalooses – surely raping, harming, killing someone is against our culture – much more than kissing and cuddling and making independent choices. [...]

  6. [...] that use taxpayers’ money to celebrate Sati. There are judges who offer the victim the chance to marry the rapist. The list is endless and too depressing to ennumerate. I truly hope that the [...]

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