Monday, December 24, 2012

Delhi Carnage and Our Reactions

The most heinous of crimes and the perpetrators upon conviction deserve the maximum punishment permissible under law.

Having said that, I also feel people demanding change of law and also promises of change of law being made is nothing but knee-jerk reactions. And somehow a lot of policy lately has been knee-jerk reaction; which is not how policies are made.

A more important aspect we are missing out is a thorough revamp of our laws and regulations. The Indian Penal Code, the Companies Act to name a couple. These laws are outdated, and the enforcement machinery outdated, disillusioned and painfully slow.

How about our police force? Is there salary and respect at a level that will prevent corruption. I was at Baroda Railway station last evening and it was a poor site seeing soldiers from paramilitary platoons sleeping in the open on the porch of Baroda Railway Station? And then we do the lip-service of saying, we need to sensitise our law enforcement machinery. Didn't Maslow say self-actualisation and similar were the higher needs that got fulfilled as soon as the lower needs were fulfilled?

How about the law itself, laws as archaic as 1860, 1885, even the 1950s were made then. Considering the socio-economic situations of then. Not this date. We can manipulate and change all we want. That won't help! What might help are focus groups and more importantly the will to redraw the entire skeleton.

Finally, justice. Crimes against women will now be fast-tracked. Is this not knee-jerk? All cases need to be fast-tracked. No don't work 24x7; but can we not go out of the box in scaling up? I am sure experts will have a lot of valid inputs and keep giving those. For example, Justice Katju's blog. Read it and we can find his inputs coming through.

An inside out approach, an overhaul is what is needed. Not just changes. Those won't help.

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