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The country celebrated as the news arrived; the four men that had earlier been accused for having committed one of the most barbaric acts the country had seen in a while, were going to be hanged. Twitter and Facebook overflowed with messages of satisfaction and relief. After Kasab, it was these men whose death the country so furiously rejoiced.
The four men will die. Every day beginning on the 13th of September(the day they were convicted) till the day of the hanging that looms unsteadily, these men will live in dread – dread of the moment a rope would tear at the neck and suffocate, dread of the moments after where life would bereave their hanging bodies and disappear into the unknown. Every second will announce itself as one of the last. Their only consolation will be that the suffering will last just a few seconds before it would all be over. The men probably regret the actions that the 16th of December had witnessed. Regret that is not based on a deep understanding of the ruthless sin they managed to callously do or a realization of the pain they put the girl through by their monstrous act, but based on the stupidity of it, of having gotten carried away to doing something so dangerous, of having let alcohol take over, of having landed themselves where they are. The men will die, without ever repenting their act solely out of realization of the inhumanity in it. The men will die without a tear shed out of remorse.
We will live in a world sans the four men- the beast-like ones we cannot take back into our world. Will we then feel safe, knowing that that the four live no more, knowing that the government is willing to eradicate such beings? What about the other rapists that lurk? Are we going to wait each time for a rape so gory to happen? Are we going to kill them all each time? Is death for these men a real solution? If that’s the solution we opt for, we will still live in the same world fearing the things that we have been fearing and to the same intensity. Cause if life sentence or years and years in jail and a lifelong stigma that might tail a rapist have not managed to stop them, why will a death sentence do the job? That death sentence will serve as a deterrent is a common belief that seems rational to most of us but has no study/research to corroborate it. There have been studies that show otherwise. To you and me, two people that cannot imagine or comprehend how a man can do anything so immoral and gruesome, death penalty may seem like a logical deterrent. But it’s important to understand that we are people that fear even a night in jail. Hence what may deter you or me may not be a solution at all.
The hanging aka murder is a cruel act by itself. If the purpose is to eliminate barbaric acts from the society, does another one do the job? The way I see it, it kills the purpose completely, justifying and promoting the idea of revenge. It becomes alright to kill the man because he did something unforgivable. Vengeance becomes acceptable. It’s tit for tat. An eye for an eye. A life for a life. That murder is condemned doesn’t hold because this time, it’s the government doing the killing. Will killing be accepted if I do it in revenge for something that was done to me?
As frightening as their crime might be, they perhaps deserve a new chance, one in this life – a chance to repent. No man is born wicked. It’s got to be the air around, the people that surrounded them, the lack of moral and gender based education, their past of deprivation and desperation, an irresponsible upbringing, possible violence in life, the existing view of women and womankind in the ambiance, the unjust world around and their ways of dealing with these and more that numbed their hearts when they did what they did. That may in no way justify or rationalize their act that remains as terrifying, but if there’s a possibility of reform, isn’t giving that a chance a better solution than taking away their lives? This may involve intensive counseling and other studied and proven methods.
It is very important to identify the actual cause before we name a solution. These men may have been the perpetrators of this ghastly crime, but they, I believe, aren’t the root cause of it. If the number of rapes is on the rise, there’s got to be a reason behind that has to be identified and worked against. The reason is most likely to be found in the larger picture, beyond just these men. Killing these four men and four more is going to take us nowhere if the cause that lingers induces its ideas into more and more minds thus producing more and more rapists. Death sentence kills the rapists, not rape. Killing them will quench our bloodthirst and satiate our yearning to avenge but will in no way solve the real problem at hand. There’s got to be something that’s wrong in the way we live our lives, how we bring up our kids, something that’s going wrong in our social structure, something muddled in what our movies show or something I am unable to name that have all together, in some skewed way, contributed to the bad place our country is in today. There may be no easy laid-out way free of encumbrances to get to a solution that lies beyond hundreds of potential causes and factors entwined in each other. But it’s high time we started out on this mission if we really want a solution.