India's growing graph of violence: Our regressive law needs to change and think beyond religion

Two cattle traders hanged from a tree. A 15-year-old Jharkand boy murdered in cold blood. A student beaten by cops for cooking up a dinner in a besieged university. A dentist slaughtered because his son’s game of cricket turned bizarre when the kid  darted onto the road to chase the ball and was lightly struck by a biker.  Result; Mob rage, not road rage. It is a sad and sorry litany of spiraling violence that knows no end.

And each such blow is being interpreted through ugly prisms; of religion, of political expediency, of bigotry. The official action taken and the reportage become issues with different sides.

And what has happened in all this flawed rallying around is that crime per se is having a hoot of a time.

That dentist was murdered in cold blood. No bloody road rage soars to an open ended beating with hockey sticks and stones. This was murder.

Indias growing graph of violence: Our regressive law needs to change and think beyond religion

Representational image. Reuters

Those two cattle farmers were lynched, strung up by a blood thirsty mob intent on taking life. That is murder.

The teenage boy destroyed before he could live…for doing nothing but being…Murder, we say.

There is no religion in violence. When you take a life in such a manner you are a killer. Not a Hindu or a Muslim or a minority sect or some damn protected species.

When you rape a woman you are a rapist. Not a Hindu rapist or a Brahmin rapist or a Christian rapist as if all that makes a difference. Not white or brown or black or zebra striped. No God protects you or should be available so you can hide behind his robes and seek absolution.

If you molest a child you are a pedophile. Not a Hindu high caste pedophile or a SC/ST pedophile or a damn atheist for all one cares. Just a pedophile and a threat and a danger to children who should be taken off the roads.

We are regressing in the application of the law. Unless hate crimes are directly linked to religious persecution or caste wars and judged as such, there should be no direct or indirect implications of the victim or the perpetrator’s religious beliefs or his or her bloodlines in the aftermath of the act. Perhaps it is a bit idealistic but the first step must be taken. What is happening now is that after first agonised shriek of horror other parameters kick in.

How do we treat it? Step gently, don’t want to upset some group or persuasion. Play this one down build this one up. Don’t use the H word, leave out the M word, don’t go near the D word. A grim and gruesome alphabet soup of arbitrary and stifling political ‘correctness.’

And after the police, the various political entities and the media’s grotesque manipulations the truth is mangled beyond recognition and the occurrence becomes just another heinous crime for the morgue. It leaks into so many rivulets it dissipates.

And if there was a sliver of a chance for justice the public throws in its bit;

Oh, nothing will happen, no one will upset the Dalit vote.

That crime got a headline, this got a passing mention.

High caste Hindus, they will get away with it, the system works for them.

We cannot upset the Muslim vote bank, put this on the back burner.

Then the comparisons rain upon us.

If this one had been a low caste or a high caste or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Christian or it had happened in some other geographical location under some other political command…if…if...if…and those who are violated and murdered and raped and pillaged become pawns in this increasingly conceited aberration called ‘components of the crime.”

To a great extent it is the relative dishonesty in handling crimes of violence and this inclination to place them in categories that contribute to the mishandling.

Subjudice itself is a cruel joke with political entities cheerfully giving their sound bites and even absolving the criminals or justifying their violence with no fear of consequences.

We have to call it as it is. Murder. Rape. Assault. It is not enough to put hoods on people’s heads and cart them around on ropes till they disappear from our TV screen and life goes back to normal. Enough of this bleeding heart crap.

We must revisit our laws and whip them into the 21st century. A murder in cold blood by knife, gun, stone, hands, rope or any other instrument is only murder in the first degree. Nothing else.

Take away all the paraphernalia and see it for what it is; the men hanging from the tree, the teenager from Jharkand, the dentist from Delhi had one thing in common; they were murdered.

The ones who killed them were murderers. Not Hindu murderers or Muslim murderers or hailing from some dismal special category of the Indian pantheon here on earth.

Just murders done in cold-blood should be made an example of and fast tracked to get the victims and their families justice.

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Updated Date: Mar 26, 2016 16:31:19 IST

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