More than just Ayes: Why India needs to look beyond harsher anti-rape laws

16 year old raped, filmed and blackmailed for a year, India Times, August 2016.

The article hyperlinked above starts with the sentence “despite the enactment of the stringent anti-rape law”.
There seems to be a notion that harsher punishments will be an effective deterrent to crime despite innumerable instances where that notion fails. Harsh punishments are absolutely necessary steps to, well, punish the convicts. But what do we really want? Harsher jails or safer streets? (The former doesn’t necessarily lead to the latter). The problem with candle light vigils and week-long street protests is this: they’re consoled by paper legislation.

Tell me, after Nirbhaya did anyone see increased night time patrolling? Did you see more street lights in your gully? Did you stop seeing auto drivers driving autos in which the license on display is not theirs but someone else’s? Did you hear of psychological evaluation and treatment for rowdy sheeters and eve teasers? In short, did you hear of ANY solutions to the problem?

If we don’t stop discussing how to make more legislation and start discussing ideas about how to stop this insanity, cases like this one will continue to shock our collective conscious repeatedly until that one day when it won’t. That one day when these cases will just become numbers without faces.

A media house recently called the UP women’s emergency hotline, 1090, and found that it wasn’t operational due to some technical issues. 1090 has proved to be largely successful in terms of the number of calls it has received and resolved but the problem it faces is a depressingly familiar Indian story- lack of infrastructure and severe understaffing. We, as a nation, forget too often. Otherwise how did the 1000 crore “Nirbhaya fund” go unutilized for as long as it did? It’s a childish argument to say that the government shouldn’t spend money on the “Statue of Unity” when there are other priorities. But it isn’t too much to ask for the same pace and vigour of implementation with the Nirbhaya Fund. The Modi government has both increased the size of the fund and utilized more but with over 60% of the funds still untouched, even the Supreme Court had to step in.

Spending so much time and effort on debating if juveniles should get stricter punishment will not make the streets safer for women. Women’s safety can’t just be passed into law. It requires more effort than just a bunch of “Ayes” in parliament. We need to step our game up and look beyond punishment. Our goal shouldn’t be to punish crime. It should be to curb it.

Source: India Times through India Today

Why hang them when you can punish them?

All countries are defined by their cultures, their heritages and their values. 

India is no different. We’re defined not just by our culture, heritage, and values but also by the diversity therein. 
We’re taught to respect elders, women in particular. We’re even taught to respect cows. And trees. 
How is it then, that crimes against women are on the rise in a country like ours? 
We respect our women so much, that a majority of them in previous generations, spent most of their lives serving their husbands and raising kids. They did a magnificent job of it too. Without complaining. We, men, did precious little to change that. ( We made a quota to reserve 33% seats in parliament for women. Bravo! ) Many women, in any chance they got to step out and do something different, have done wonders. Yet, that’s a trend that’s picking up agonisingly slowly. 
It’s our fault as a people that we refused to treat women as equals. If we did, there would be more women in parliament than that women’s “quota” allows. 
Given that history of contradictory heritage and value set, is it really any surprise that there are crimes against women? These men aren’t psychopaths. They’re completely aware of what they’re doing. They find it unnatural for women to be outside the kitchen. To their minds, a women adventurous enough to wander the streets of India freely, is a rebel who won’t complain if anything were to happen to her. 
People debating on national TV, must choose their words carefully. Calling these men psychopaths or sociopaths or mentally ill is affording them an excuse they just don’t deserve. They’re extreme manifestations of a school of thought that has ruled minds in this country for too long. 
By ” these men “, I mean Stalkers, molesters, eve teasers and obviously rapists. Also included in that list should be every single man who’s ever looked at a women disrespectfully. 
I’ll come to what must be done with these men in a bit. But what do you do to stop this menace?
You’ve got to teach kids to respect not just women but their freedom too. That women can do everything men can. Education is the biggest weapon we have to change mindsets. There is an old generation in parts of our country doing things like getting kids married at 16. The generation after them, must not make mistakes of that kind. 70% of our population is under the Age of 35 or 40. Surely, that’s enough people to make sure that our country’s future promises women a safe place to live. 
Meanwhile, what do you do with the guys who’re still stuck in 1653 when kings made women dance for their pleasure? 
Hang them to death?
NO. 
Death is an escape route for them. 
Why would you pass off the chance to torture them mentally?
Besides, death is an act that god almighty controls. Mere mortals have no right to take another’s life. But they do have the right to take away another’s sanity.
Solitary confinement. 
Put the rapist in a 10×10 room that has only window. Don’t even let him see the prison guard’s face. 
Loneliness and complete disconnect from society has, in the past, turned people senile. Well, good riddance. One day, he’ll die naturally. But not before he’s turned absolutely looney, to the point that he’s waiting for someone to kill him. But we’ll keep him waiting for his own death. And then his punishment is complete. Bury his remains, with the respect it deserves and as our culture mandates. 
Lets not become murderers. Lets isolate criminals. Quite literally.