Rising for safety first
Sexual aggression on children has become alarmingly regular. About time we act
As the Ryan International School horror continues to shock with its wantonness, what shames and alarms us most is that such crimes have become commonplace. About time we went on war to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of our children in schools, buses, on roads and at homes. The Ryan case accused has been arrested. We should now act on a much larger and more effective scale. As citizens, we should ensure that rape as a crime is minimised through a sustained campaign in coordination with the police, school authorities and also NGOs. But all this is easier said than done, what with the cops being the last people the victims want to go to, especially when it comes to rape cases. Unless mindsets, mores and guidelines are modified and the police force is sensitised to the bigness of this recurrent crime, not much will change. All-round corruption in the law enforcement agencies and their genetic reluctance to even lodge a rape FIR (they want to keep the crime graph low in their territory), in a way contributes to the crime. Not that guidelines are not in place on this count. But implementation is weak and that's a snag calling for a big overhaul. With the growing violence against our young ones, both girls and boys in this a-gender crime canvas, there is an urgent need for parents and social figures to tie-up with the police to tackle the situation. A cell to monitor safety standards of all schools with parental and police members could be the first step. Wiping out such criminal activities is an uphill task considering that such acts are a result of altered mindsets, no fear of law, anytime-anywhere free porn availability, and easy access to vulnerable children.
Streamlining of police mores is another big job pending for years. Community interactions through local RWAs and faith-building measures need to be inserted into the DNA of urban societies. The argument here will be harassment and corruption is rampant at police stations. However, if reform measures are taken to straighten out the law enforcement agencies and a well-meaning police-public engagement is systematically implemented, some faith in the police would return. On another note, the police verification of all workers is must but not enough considering there is no fear of law in the minds of heinous crime-makers like the one who attacked the child in the toilet of Ryan school. So, as another step, the fear of law needs to be instilled at all levels. Today, crime sits pretty on the “scot-free” syndrome. In the Gandhinagar rape case, for instance, the crime was committed just 300 metres away from the police station! Strict implementation of law is the only answer for such under your nose daredevilry of criminals. On another level, we as a society need to look within ourselves and analyse why rape incidents have increased and gone so much younger at that. All said and done, it is also the truth that we need to become less brazen, less violent and re-inject lost value systems which allow such criminals to even think about such crimes. For this, the public at large and every individual personally, not to mention the police force, will have to undergo a change of thought process.
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