ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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गलत तरह के न्याय की मांग

Why does society wait for a heinous crime to take place before it believes women?


The translations of EPW Editorials have been made possible by a generous grant from the H T Parekh Foundation, Mumbai. The translations of English-language Editorials into other languages spoken in India is an attempt to engage with a wider, more diverse audience. In case of any discrepancy in the translation, the English-language original will prevail.


We are all bystanders until something heinous happens. Then, we transform into warriors clamouring for justice overnight. In our urgency to declare ourselves against these heinous acts as loudly as possible, we forget about the voices we drown with our self-righteous anger. The brutal rape and murder of a veterinary surgeon from Hyderabad has taken the nation by storm, the likes of which has not been seen since the case of Jyoti Singh in Delhi in 2012. The accused have now allegedly been shot in a police encounter, the details of which are still awaited.

Between then and now, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, or the Nirbhaya Act was passed, and police helplines were set up. The Justice Verma Committee recommended amendments that would make the legal process for seeking redressal after sexual harassment quicker. Yet, many more rapes have taken place between 2012 and now. Like milestones, we mark the ones that disturb our sense of civility with the names of places: Delhi, Unnao, Kathua, and now Hyderabad. But, our outrage is reserved only for those rapists who also kill, and in graphic and horrifying ways. In our collective conscience, therefore, there is a line that rapists must cross in order for us to consider their acts as objectively condemnable. As long as this line is not crossed, we are quick to find excuses. But, when this line is crossed, and there is no defence that can be mounted, it is only then that we cry injustice.

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Published On : 6th Dec, 2019

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