The newest instalment of what is swiftly becoming a tragic Indian custom took place last weekend when two boys, aged 16 and 17, were arrested for raping a two-and-a-half year old girl. The ill-fated child was lured from outside her home in West Delhi on Friday and was later found dumped in a park, bleeding profusely.
In no time, the achingly familiar sequence started – raging sentiments across twitter and news tickers, then images of police trying to appear in action, and the victim’s bereaved family, crying for the elusive justice. There were customary predictions, too, that such shameful acts may never stop, but Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal did offer scant hope. He wants the juvenile age to be brought down to 15 years.
So if a 15 year old commits rape tomorrow, he will call for reducing it further down to 13? Will it ever stop?
The tragedy has already put on a political colour, with Kejriwal accusing the Narendra Modi Government, which controls the State police, of paying little attention to this growing menace.
The blame-game should be nipped in the bud and serious focus must be given to where the problem lies. Most offenders are related to the victims. They are either relatives staying together, or are friendly neighbours. When Kejriwal gets the control, will he depute a police officer in every home? Will he ensure that at night, police patrol cars are quadrupled, because nothing short of that will even make a surface difference? Will an ageing uncle of a small girl child change his mindset once Kejriwal gets the control over police? What is the magic potion that he will force down their throat?
In his impulse to score over Modi, the Delhi CM is straying from his mandate, which is to help bring about changes at the root.
The rape case will continue to multiply even if the police force is expanded, even if deterrents such as death penalty are imposed. Rapists are too entrenched in their sickness to transform.
Before condemning police for their inefficiency, how about we target the decaying mindsets? How about we spread education through awareness? How about counselling and teaching young girls to resist and raise hell if anyone makes indecent proposals or advancements? How about we blame the civil society for not playing its part?
In 2014, India recorded 13,766 cases of rapes on minors, those younger than 18 years old, according to official data. Of those, more than 1,000 cases were reported in New Delhi, the National Crimes Record Data shows.
That day may not be too far when parents stop sending their children to explore life opportunities in Delhi. The city is gives no guarantees for life…