On a chilly winter morning of 16th December 2012, a girl woke up to a promising new day but little did she know that by the end of the day her life would have turned upside down. The Delhi gang rape case of December 16th 2012 became a nationwide horror as the whole nation was shocked with the brutality the victim had to face. Unfortunately, despite the best of efforts, the victim could not be saved.
However, her death started a revolution of a kind with many demanding capital punishment for the guilty. On September 10th 2013 the victim was finally given justice, when four of the six accused were given death sentence (of the remaining two, one had killed himself in Tihar jail and the other being six months short of being an adult at the time of crime was sentenced to three year in a correctional facility under the Juvenile Justice Act). The Delhi gang rape case brought awareness about rape as a crime. Many times in the past society blamed rape victim for “provoking” the men. But the outcry made after this Delhi gang rape case changed this notion. It also brought many victims forward to put forth their complaints who were previously afraid to face the world. The recent cases of gang rape of photo journalist in Mumbai and of a girl victim by Asharam are the cases where the society has come out in support of the victims.
But what is it that has made number of rape cases increase in India in the recent year? There could be many factors leading to it, but the most important one could be the easy access of pornography and increasing misuse of social media. Many adolescents have unrestricted access to pornography. This makes them curious and in the absence of proper sex education they are more likely to get attracted to commit sexual crimes.Another important factor to note is the socio-economic background of the accused. Many accused are unemployed youth whose frustration finds such wicked outlets.
Under The Juvenile Justice Act, the maximum sentence for any crime is three years which makes them bold enough to commit such crimes. There should be amendments made to law where in if a juvenile is convicted for sexual crimes he should not be considered as a juvenile but as an adult, as the nature of the crime itself proves that he is no longer a juvenile and should be punished more severely. Of course such amendments take time to transpire, but we are on the path of change.
The victim of Delhi gang rape has been given a justice but partially. Only when the accused juvenile gets capital punishment that full justice will be given.
The victim of Mumbai’s Shakti mills gang rape too has been promised that she will get justice, with the fast track court hoping to punish the accused in two months. The third case of the minor being raped by the ‘God man’ Asaram is complicated as he has many followers and has an influential position. We can only hope that the justice be given to the minor.
These recent gang rape cases have sparked off a revolution of a kind in the country. The courage of these victims to come out and report the crime has set an example for the society. Due to their bravery, the society has now become more aware about the sexual crimes committed against women and the word ‘rape’ no longer remains a taboo it once was.
But only when justice is not denied to any rape victim, of any age or of socio-economic background that we will be sure of success of the revolution that triggered on 16th December.