Will Disha’s case show Disha (Direction) to the county?
The gruesome rape and killing of 27-old veterinarian in the outskirts of Hyderabad is a grim reminder of the law and order and safety of women in its entirety. In this tech-savvy age, women are coming out more and more to do their work in the open world. Unlike earlier, Hyderabad buzzes with traffic even at midnight. The place where Disha parked her bike (toll gate near Hi-tech-tech city, Madhapur), is no way an unsafe place, though the crime occurred in an isolated spot. As per the Police narrative and the victim’s own phone call to her sister clearly indicated that the culprits (two lorry drivers and two cleaners) did the act, as per the plan laid prior (by them). They also tried to erase the evidence—by burning her.
The whole country was aggrieved at the abominable act perpetrated on the vet. Benjamin Franklin (one of the Founding Father of the United States) said (famously): “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outrageous as those who are (affected).” This is true in Disha’s case. People in all walks of life, aligned their emotions and feeling: of women not being protected. They have their anguish on the procrastination of judicial procedures in the country, as is evident from Nirbhaya case. They wanted instant justice. Didn’t bother who delivers it. The jubilance and celebrations on killing the four criminals (found guilty by police) testifies that.
The happiness of the people is justifiable as they have seen the judicial process time taking. In Disha’s case, facts: close set cameras showing her parking her vehicle, roughly the culprits moving, buying of petrol in a plastic sachet, burnt body of hers. Since the police told, those four were the culprits, the story was complete. By connecting the dots, to come to conclusion and giving power to trigger happy police, no matured democracy would ever entertain. If that be the case, what for, are the courts? Everyone came to know they (those four) had done the crime, out of their own derivative conclusion. Conclusions could be drawn, sometimes on emotions. The bigger story— versions of each accused, what other crimes they had had committed, what was the criminal psychology behind, if anyone among them resisted or not done or was out of the scene — has not been investigated. As per the law, they were innocent till proven guilty. Now, chances are closed forever. If police get some kind of proof that they had done some other crimes earlier, they are not position to defend to argue now. It is the worry of many, if this encounter killing, sets precent, there is a likelihood that the emboldened police could bypass the judiciary later in future.
Politician feed on what they get from people. Some of them saw the mob protest gaining momentum by day, jumped into the fray and asked for extra-judicial killings like: lynching. Of course, the politicians are also sensible enough to fathom the shame and rage associated with the incident. There’s also a “moral emotion” associated with the incident: had it been done to my child or my sister or wife? A personal equation. All in all, their emotions are assuaged through encounter.
There’s now a bigger question many are asking i.e. how to ensure that repeat of such loathing acts (of rape and murder) not happen? For this, the answer lies in our education system. Education system in India is, very selective in educating children in schools. Teachers’ energies are spent on teaching overwhelmingly on material – scientific, technological and mathematical subjects and devote inordinate hours on them. Their anxiety is to make best in them. They are at mistake, by thinking that the information given in these subjects is the wisdom. Emotional intelligence should also be made part of the curriculum. It’s wrong to abandon it (emotional intelligence) as something unproductive. In emotional education, the children are to be taught how to control their rage, angst and other such emotions. To some extent, the language lessons teach on how to control mind and emotions through the profound prose and poetry texts. Yoga may also help. Structured grooming is necessary for children in school. They shouldn’t be left to instinct and intuition in their behaviour. They have to be inculcated with a quest for self- refinement.
By all means, in Disha’s case, no side of argument, is wrong. Those who say the police action is correct have a point because the courts go at a snail’s pace: in hearing the case and delivering the verdict. By that time, people get exasperated and some other incidents of the same nature, are likely, to occur. Again, those who stand for judicial route to be correct, have a point, as police raj does not behoove well for a democracy like India.
Finally, the judiciary should come out with a reform that it would complete a rape case on fast track in a month or so and its verdict is final with no recourse/appeal in higher courts. After all, it’s the courts that say: Justice delayed is, Justice denied. So, therefore, Disha’s case should show Disha (Direction) to all rape cases and how they should be dealt with speedily.
I am Indira Garimella living in Hyderabad. I hold a Master’s Degree and M. Phil (in English) with M.Ed. I worked as PGT in English in Government run Residential Schools. I have been associated with Pragna Bharati, Hyderabad. I also worked as Associate Editor of Bharatiya Pragna, monthly magazine of Pragna Bharati in the past. I have been a keen observer of National Politics and also write letters and articles to the English and Telugu newspapers from time to time.