Thursday, 4 October 2007

Violence in Indian Society

Notice the stories that made it to the front page of the papers today? An ex-MP and an ex-MLA were convicted in the murder of the DM of Gopalganj some 13 years after the crime. This shows how slowly our legal system works to grant justice in a case of murder--what if the victim had been Mr. Everyman instead of a bureaucrat? And it also shows how much our politicians, who are entrusted with the drafting of legislation, respect the legal system--they evidently believe that they, and all their family members, should be exempt from the due processes of law.

Another story that made it to the headlines in the local section involved a driver who attacked a woman who reprimanded him for driving in the wrong lane. Evidently, people who react in this manner suffer from a mental illness, which is not diagnosed in time, because complaining of a mental illness itself causes the patient to face social stigma. So the diagnosis and treatment can only take place after the crime has occured.

Another horrific crime involved the rape and beating administered to a six-year-old, who was taken out of her bedroom while asleep by the perpetrator, who knew that her parents, sleeping nearby, did not lock their door at night. Anyone who can treat a child in such a barbaric fashion deserves the full severity of the legal process. I cannot imagine how sick such a person must be to ill-treat a child.

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I work as a freelance editor and writer in New Delhi. 


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