Friday, May 14, 2010

Punishing the Victims Saves Precious Public Resources.

In India we punish the victims of crime. Yeah, I know many countries punish the perpetrator but that approach assumes we don’t have a choice. Of course we do! Besides, its also easier to punish the victim because you often know who they are, unlike the more cumbersome approach of finding perpetrators. It is a waste of public resources.

Also, if victims weren’t so foolishly vulnerable, would people go about victimising them? The answer is a clear negative. For instance, if you didn’t ride a bicycle on the main road, you wouldn’t get run over by a bus. Or if you weren’t old and diabetic, you wouldn’t get overpowered by your burglars. Or if you weren’t a female, you wouldn’t get raped. Its all so obvious and yet people don’t get it! They continue to fall into all sorts of traps instead of just getting under the covers and staying there so that no harm may come to them.

Recently in Orissa, “boyfriends” were caught filming their girlfriends naked and selling the stuff on the market. One girl killed herself when she found her naked images on a CD. Now authorities in Orissa want to warn all girls against rushing into physical relationships. Combining moral science with law is such a superb idea.

But that’s not enough because there may be some rotten wenches who will still disobey despite knowing these dangers. So just to make doubly sure that this campaign is successful, the Orissa State Women’s Commission chairperson, a free thinker by the name of Jyoti Panigrahi, has told parents to ‘monitor the movements of their daughters and keep an eye on their activities.’ It’s a good suggestion but doesn’t go far enough. Locking women up would be so much easier. But sometimes it is hard to make such suggestions without avoiding charges of sexism.

Some lawyers in Kamakshanagar have held a protest rally demanding the immediate arrest of the “boyfriends” involved. This is outrageous. Now every man in Cuttack will be looked at suspiciously. How will the police prove that the guys were in a relationship? Are the police supposed to drop VIP duty to chase after boys in the street now? Is this what its come to? Mad.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Deplorable, Alaphia! :(

"Now authorities in Orissa want to warn all girls against rushing into physical relationships. Combining moral science with law is such a superb idea." - I think you have got it perfectly right, here! For years we have continued to miss the point and criticise the victims more than those responsible for the crime.

And I quite agree, placing restrictions for the two sexes is definitely not going to correct the situation; in fact it will make everyone view everyone else with suspicious eyes, the other extreme, which is not what we want.

Telling post!

Alaphia Zoyab said...

Hi Srini,

I found it interesting that the emphasis was on the women. Idiots!

Tushar Mangl said...

That precisely is the reason why rapists go scott free and are seldom punished.

For the probe and police case and judicial case and society treatment is all about the victim.

It is the victim who is the culprit in a rape case or cases such as u mentioned here.

And this just reflects on how our society, comprising both of men and women, actually treat females in India


And I have never understood why the police is so ready to conduct 'raids' in lodges , and drag off all the women . Were the men not conspirators , if not the perpetrators?

Alaphia Zoyab said...

Yeah Raji, the attitude is nauseating. The solution to all of these problems seems to end up in some form of control over women.

Tushar, thanks for the comment. Agree.

Unknown said...

the rape victim is punished again and again during rape trials when she is forced to recall each and every terrible detail, answer hurtful and demeaning questions about her morality and family background. and the rapist sits there in comparative anonymity, his family's reputation intact. bring back the tarring and feathering of criminals, parading them around the town, wearing a garland of shoes and sitting backward on a donkey. why can't we put huge signboards outside houses of rapists? if every rapist or potential rapist knew that the women in their own homes will be publicly humiliated and be ostracised, they would think twice before they committd rape. if a rape victim and her whole family is punished for her attack, why can't the rapist's family be punished too?

Alaphia Zoyab said...

Hi ms,
Why should whole families be punished? Thats unconstitutional.

Unknown said...

the rapist goes to jail, the family experiences the same humiliation their precious offspring has put his victim and her family through. the family of the rapist heaps scorn on the victim and her family at every given opportunity. i was not asking that the rapist's family be put in jail, unconstitutional procedure. but to let the criminal's family get away without any sense of responsibility? once the son of the family rapes the poor female, then we compound the suffering by behaving as if the family are not also guilty by association. if the whole family basks in the limelight of their son's success at work or in academic performance, how can they distance themselves from his crimes? in psychology, there is a mental condition of a sociopath: due to the patient's inability to understand the consequences of his actions, he continues to repeat his crimes. similarly, if every rapist understands that his family will be subjected to public humiliation, he will be deterred to some extent. our primitive forefathers had it right: if a tribe member committed a heinous crime, his whole family was kicked out. but we have to be so forgiving and sanctimonious.