Almost the entire world know about the Delhi gang rape. Today four of the accused were sentenced. One committed suicide in prison a month or so, back. There is another one who got off scot free. The entire press is appreciating the speed with which the case was handled (9 months! By the way in India that is speed.). But I am not interested in the four who will sit in jail or are hanged. I am interested in the one that got away.
For all those who have come in late : this one who got away is a juvenile. He was short of 2 months to 18 when he raped and brutalized the 23 year old girl. It has been yapped and yapped in the press that he was the worst of them all(the girls intestines were pulled out of her vagina and anus when rusted iron rods were inserted into her). So, this juvenile is going to spend some 18 months in a correctional home. Seen a correctional home? No? I have seen it. When I was a medical student we used to volunteer with them. It is like a student’s hostel only this is run by the government. You get food, clothing, shelter, TV, an education ….you can meet family and friends and you can have a hobby too! Not horse ridding or something fancy but painting, pottery, carpentry etc from which you can make money while you spend your time in the place.
Now my grievance, call it disgust if you can:
India is a peculiar country. Why?
You can have consensual sex at 16 but cannot rape till 18! I don’t know who wrote it but must be a genius. Well, but then we have to follow the law…even if it is ridiculous. Law is after all LAW.
Now how did the police/ law/ etc come to know the age of the juvenile?
Firstly: this juvenile was proved juvenile as per his school certificate.
Now, more than half of my country is illiterate. And if you go to a village almost all of them are illiterate…most of these people don’t know how to sign their name, nor do they understand date of birth or anything such.
So when a parent takes a child to a school for admission , the principal looks up and down at the child and then assumes his birth of date and that’s noted in a certificate. That is the official birth of date.
And that’s what happened in the case of the juvenile.
The mother took the boy to school for admission when he was 6 or 7 or 8 and the principal looked the boy and noted the birth of date as he felt close.
Secondly :There is another interesting thing to note here: people in India generally request to note the lowest of the date as birth of date, why? Because that way if you get a job in some distant future you can stay a little longer in the pay roll.
So, as to conclude : if a child were to be taken to a principal of a school with a confusion like 6 or 7 or 8 years of age the principal will generously put down 6 years .
Now to the one who got away: And based on this certificate the boy has been treated as juvenile…2 months short of 18 when he raped and brutalized the girl.
And no, India does not have advanced techniques of age determination and even if we did have, we would think twice before using it.
Why? Because the juvenile is a Muslim and we are more interested in vote bank politics than any justice. We have general elections coming up in 2014 and we don’t want to screw up. But then I should be decent enough to not make it political. But then again, in India everything is political right from land buying and selling by land sharks cum political giants to riots born out of rape! But that’s another story…
So, what about the juvenile?
Well, he will go scot free after 18 months.
And if the general population is worried or scared of what he might do: who gives a shit.
P.S: a few days back I saw an interview of a juvenile robber on TV.
A journalist asked him “since you were a juvenile, you have spend so many months in correction home for so many robberies but now you are going to be 18 years. So what do you think will happen if you rob now? You know you will have to go to jail.”
The thief said, “ I will be extra careful. Or maybe I will give up robbery.”
India is a peculiar country full of smart people!