Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Education, Crime and Punishment

Saket District Court is going to announce the sentence to the accused in the GangRape case which happened on 16th Dec 2012 in Delhi. It led to numerous agitations at different locations in India which also included candle march at several places showing their solidarity for the cause of a strict and stringent law which could punish the accused with the capital punishment. The agitators demanded fast action from the court.

Later the parliament passed a law which made provisions of punishing the accused with death penalty. That law is in action now. The question as to whether such laws would be able to control such heinous crimes in the times to follow keeps pondering over my head and I have a different take on this.

We have several laws, many of them very strict. We have several institutions, very pious in nature, very committed to the cause of welfare of people of the republic of India. We have all kinds of bureaucrats and politicians who are involved in making laws as well as implementing them. We have sound judiciary system. When we have all these, still crime rate is not going down. If we have great institutions to serve the people, why people don't get served. If law is there why it is not followed and appropriate and timely judgement is not given. For me this is more serious an issue for India than to have one more law, one more act. 

I feel somewhere down the line the systems that are developed and followed have gone bad. I feel somewhere the kind of education we are providing has deteriorated (or rather failed) in its content, context and delivery. The person who is planning for a crime (of any nature), who is conniving with the machinery (system), who is venturing out has lost the fear of death, suffers from one or more of the following syndromes: 

a. S/He does not really fear death. He is fed up with life so thinks that what would happen if he is caught, death, no problem, it is a better thing to happen rather than continuing the life the way it is.
b. S/He is suddenly exposed to certain kind of environment which is quite open and which is quite different from her/his earlier environment. Such sudden exposure drives him/her to get into developing a criminal mindset.
c. S/He is friends with such individuals who have committed crime in the past but were not caught, which has developed a kind of attitude in them that nothing might happen to them.
d. The person in question has grown in an environment where everything can be bought or sold and availability of money as a proxy to favor is available in plenty.

There could still be some more reasons.  In fact what is required is to make sound system, make delivery of justice time bound, and develop a system which makes responsible citizens with high moral values.  This can happen when we have moral leaders.  Hence everything has to be dealt at individual level and that is where education plays most important role.  Teacher, educational institutions (school, college, university or any such institution) and system have to work together in order to convey the values to students as to what is just.

Pronouncing death sentence might be a deterrent for those who fear death but more than that the importance and respect for human life has to be taught to people so that they are not driven to the act of crime of any nature.
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