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Friday, 04 January 2013 09:52

Dear Shakespeare – The day of the criminals

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My dear Billy,
When you hear of certain crimes and the sheer violence with which they are perpetrated, you start wondering whether God is still in command or whether He has not abdicated and ceded his post to Satan. For it is hardly conceivable that men can bring themselves to such degrees of heinousness under the very eyes of the Almighty.
A young girl in the Indian capital of New Delhi has just been nipped in the prime of life, having fallen victim to a hellish, six-pronged gang rape in a moving bus, savagely beaten and hurled out of the running vehicle. After 15 days of an agonising ordeal struggling for life, she had to quietly embrace death in a hospital bed.

The atrocity of the rape-cum-murder of the 23-year old girl beats the fertile imagination of any Bollywood filmmaker, the reality of the tragedy being so much bigger than any fiction.

What the perpetrators of the horrendous crime had hoped would go unnoticed, unreported even, soon caught the public eye and indignation. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets before the police or politicians could stage a cover-up. The demonstrators, mostly women, pressed for the rapid execution of the raping bastards and for more protection for women.

For you  must know, my dear Billy, that India which boasts of the largest number of goddesses in the world, is still a country which has little or no consideration for its womenfolk. Just for the year 2011, out of the 230,000 crimes registered, 90% or some 207,000, had women victims. I must tell you also that the precept of Manu has been selfishly corrupted by hard-hearted, callous males for their own greedy benefits.

According to Manu’s law, as a child a woman is under the protection of her father; after her marriage, it’s her husband who takes over; and in old age, she is under the care of her sons. What we find is that this edict has been distorted and misused through the ages to make of the woman a helpless object in the hands of all males. Her father quickly gets her married against her will and dispatches her; her husband uses, abuses and misuses her; her sons cheat her and steal her pension money; other men assault her sexually and physically.

The victim of a rape is almost always ostracised and blamed for what others have done to her on the ground that she is responsible for whatever has happened to her. The rapist, on the other hand, if he has been sentenced to jail, is often welcomed with open arms and sympathised with. No doubt then, in a society which demonises its victims and lionises its criminals, felonies often go unreported.

The Delhi demonstrations were gathering more and more momentum when reports from Punjab revealed that a girl there had committed suicide after having been gang raped. She was pushed to despair when the police, instead of dealing severely with the bandits, tried to persuade her to withdraw her plaint.
The news of the death of the Delhi girl in a Singapore hospital on Saturday inflamed the hearts of millions across the nation and galvanised support and sympathy for her. On the day of the cremation millions took to the streets all through India to express their rage and fury. “Enough is enough” was their admonition to the authorities which have taken good note of their message.

The President and the Prime Minister of India, as well as the ruling Congress Party Leader, are looking closely into the matter and have promised to review the law in order to make it more severe and deterrent. When former American President George Bush said “I’m for a stronger death penalty,” everybody laughed at him. But today, in the face of the Delhi disaster, one wonders whether a “stronger” death penalty would not indeed be desirable.

To call the six scoundrels sadists would be a most resounding understatement. They are nothing short of brutish beasts. Such barbarous monsters are also treading the streets and lanes of Mauritius. The recent Michaela Harte tragedy in which an Irish honeymooner was savagely murdered in her hotel room has not yet yielded the criminal(s), two years after the dastardly, crime. Other dismaying cases include Nadine Dantier, Vanessa Lagesse, Stacey Henrisson, a university girl who was attacked in broad daylight on a lonely path in Quatre Bornes, and a little girl who was raped and murdered by her own uncle in Petite Riviere. Some of these crimes remain unsolved to this day, years after their commitment, and the criminals are still enjoying the free Mauritian air in all impunity.

Many people are wondering whether the death penalty shouldn’t be brought back for the criminals, because the death penalty has been inflicted upon innocent people for far too long by criminals. Some people are even advocating the castration of rapists among other chastisements.
Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year, my dear Billy, in spite of everything, in spite of man’s propensity to do harm to his own kind. May the years to come witness fewer crimes.



Last modified on Friday, 04 January 2013 13:59
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