Justice delayed is justice denied

Actor Raveena Tandon voices her outrage over the increasing number of crimes against women and children across the country

We have reached the 21st century, but incidents of crime against women and children haven’t reduced.

Cases of rape and murder of women and children are reported from different parts of the country almost on a daily basis.

Governments may come and go but the crime rate against women seems to only be going up while the conviction rate is paltry. The gap is wide and quite disturbing. Is there no political will to contain such crimes? Or have we reached a situation where criminals have stopped fearing the law of the land; has law itself lost its impact? These are questions that beg for an answer.

It is unfortunate that the recent Kathua and Unnao incidents have become politically charged. They are simply heinous acts of crime, a certain colour should not be added to the reportage.

My request to the media is not to highlight the communities when reporting such incidents. In such cases, I have noticed that the media highlights the victim’s and rapist’s caste. 

They are also, in a way, initiating the process of communalising a rape. This must not be done.

My intention behind doing ‘Maatr’ also stemmed from this. Crime against women and children is an issue that shakes me up, both as a citizen and as a mother.

After the film released, many called it a very ‘dark and disturbing’ movie. The idea of making a film like that was to push people out of their comfort zone and spread awareness about what’s happening in our country.

Every time, an incident of rape or murder is reported, we see candlelight marches and protests being held in different parts of the country. But it all dies down with that. What about the judicial system? In most cases, the victim’s family doesn’t get justice and the case drags on for a long time.

When we see a strong political will to crack down on those indulging in such crimes? When will the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) wake up and take a strong stance to prevent such incidents?

I hope such cases are looked at more objectively and that fast track courts would be set up for speedy disposal of the same. I also feel that the degree or level of punishment must depend on the severity of the crime.

There are instances where people have tried to boycott the rapist but this won’t help because criminals must be made to fear the law and fear for their lives. The system of boycotting the rapist will not work in our country.

I would like to conclude by saying that such criminal tendencies find strong roots in the upbringing of the person involved in committing such crimes.

I believe that the boys in our country should be brought up to love, respect, be kind to and protect the weak in the country. This will go a long way in making this a better place.

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