Delhi rape case verdict is out. It is death sentence to all the four rape accused. Considering the brutality of the case, the vardict is not a surprise. Perhaps, we all wanted that the convicts be hanged. We all felt that the punishment should be deterrent against such crimes. Therefore, we all should be happy with the verdict. But, I do not know why a melancoly has gripped me. Any loss of human life pains me, particularly when it is lost through murder by the State or otherwise.
I understand the emotions of the victim's family. It is natural for them to express happiness. But I get worried when the learned judge says "This is the time when serious crime agains a woman has come to the fore and now its judiciary's responsibility to instil confidence among the women." (Quoted in Times of India.) Can a murder for a murder stop the crime of murder in the society? Can the judiciary bring social reforms by handing over strictest punishments to criinals? In most rape cases, which are not perpetrated by the a family member or friend of the victim, either the rapists belong to the socially marginalised class or the victim belongs to that class. This raises the question whether, the increase in such crimes has anything to do with the increase in the gap in living standards of the middle class and the marginalised class.
I do not have an answer. I am not cometent to seriously enquire into social and economic issues. However, I strongly feel that deterrent pinshments to perpetrators of such crimes will not stop such crimes. Judiciary might feel happy about its contribution in instilling confidence in women by handing over death penalty. But it should appreciate that its contribution is marginal. There is a need to examine the issues deeply.
Although I desired death penalty to the convicts in this case, evan now I cannot think about a less severe punishment, but it is a sad day for me.