Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When morality fails, laws don't help

India is waking up to what is probably the oldest and the biggest termite eating us from within. Unlike external threats like terrorism, financial crisis and world dynamics, this one originates from within us, destroys us from inside, and has so far, quietly remained inside us. We also know it by the word 'RAPE'. Let's cut the story short. We all know what has happened in Delhi last month, and the outrage thereafter. And as unfortunate as it is, as I write this, and as you read this, there is a poor girl out there whose life is getting destroyed this very moment.

In all this outrage and the trial by media and citizens themselves, all of us have taken the convenient route of blaming the laws of our country. Everyone is demanding the severest possible punishment to the doers of this crime, and probably rightly so. Yes the laws are obsolete, inadequate and much ineffective.

However, in all this focus on the POST crime punishment, we are losing the main plot here- what was it that drove someone to do such a heinous act at the first place? Surely, that person didn't fear the laws, because as obsolete as they are, they still exist, and still command some fear. Surely, the person is not acting only under the influence of sexual aggression. Such kinds of rapes don't happen only by way of sexual aggression.

The biggest answer to curtailing the menace lies within- in our homes. We all have forgotten that how we become, behave, speak, what we do in later life is determined in the biggest amounts by how we have been brought up. Clearly, if a person totally forgets that by raping someone, he is destroying someone's life, he has forgotten that he was taught in his childhood that such an act was bad. How parents raise their kids, how they teach their kids about whats good and bad, is the most fundamental and long lasting teaching a child can get. It is the first book of law, the first book of knowledge, and possibly, the last that one remembers. So when we see such acts happening, we have to question ourselves. As parents and mentors, are we guiding the kids of this country correctly? Are we telling them that this is bad and should never be done? Are we taking enough care to know what he does outside as he grows? Are we missing the fundamental teachings that we are supposed to impart?

The reason to all of this is simple- when the moral fear of ruining someone's life does not deter someone, mere laws will definitely not.