Laws not lacking, resolve missing | india | Hindustan Times
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Laws not lacking, resolve missing

It is not the severity of a punishment, but the certainty that the punishment will be meted that decides how effective a law is. Why does our discussion on the issue of rape always boil down to pointing out the deficiency in the rape law and the punishment prescribed by it? Being a law student and having studied many rape cases, I'm certain that the lacuna is not in the law per se but in the manner the law has been implemented so far.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 16:33 IST

It is not the severity of a punishment, but the certainty that the punishment will be meted that decides how effective a law is. Why does our discussion on the issue of rape always boil down to pointing out the deficiency in the rape law and the punishment prescribed by it? Being a law student and having studied many rape cases, I'm certain that the lacuna is not in the law per se but in the manner the law has been implemented so far.

Right from lodging the FIR to going through the arduous trial process, a rape victim's road to justice is filled with enough impediments to dissuade her from pursuing her case. Police insensitivity, judicial rigmarole and above everything else, societal prejudice are the biggest challenges that need to be addressed.

Shockingly, in many villages and tribal areas, rape victims are married off to their perpetrators! As rightly said, there is a "conspiracy of silence" hatched by the society itself that has relegated the critical issue of rape to a mere nothing. Except for the media occasionally bringing up the issue, nobody wants to talk about it on an open platform. Why is it that it is the rape victim who is looked with contempt and finds it impossible to integrate back into the society? How many parents actually discuss this issue with their daughters, considering the fact that most rape victims are minor girls who are raped by their uncles, cousins, neighbours, etc.? How many schools actually train their students in self-defence? And why is it that despite the Supreme Court's repeated directives and despite it being the victim's fundamental right, the Government has failed to provide adequate compensation and rehabilitation to the rape victim.

And I'd really liked to know from all those girls who are eve-teased, molested and assaulted everyday in buses, colleges, while on their way home, just what prevents them from raising their voices against those scums who so easily infringe their dignity and walk off?

What is needed is not a change in the law, but a change in the perspective and approach to deal with the problem.