BRAJ KISHOR GUPTA
Crime is not just an anti-social and legally forbidden act but a blot on society;it is a threat to the very civilized world, we live in! The way, crime is manifesting in different new forms, is a matter of serious concern. Those, who are the worst victims of crime across the globe, are women and children. It is an irony that those, who deserve special care and protection by society, are subjected to greater ordeal. Are we, as society, truly growing more civilized or fast becoming an anomic one?
Against this backdrop, we can appreciate the value of the two-day International Conference on ‘Psychology of Crime’ during 2nd& 3rd of December, 2019 at the University Department of Psychology – T.M.B. University, Bhagalpur, Bihar. It was a welcome opportunity for me to understand various perspectives to the study of crime.Our society, in the recent past, has witnessed unprecedented growth in different types of crime, resulting in disruption of socio-cultural bonds as well as clash of civilizations. But given the fact that crime has become so menacing a phenomenon in India, especially against women and children, we need to shift our focus now from Psychology of Crime to ‘Sociology of Crime’.Because, crime is part of social process rather than any biologically determined pattern of behavior. After all,it is a matter of concern that women in our country are feeling hapless & helpless, despite the law becoming much more stringent in the recent time. The déjà vu of Nirbhaya case in Hyderabad and the burning of Unnao rape victim are among the most heinous of crimes perpetrated against society in the recent time. The human conscience seems to have been blunted. Our age old values like respect for the fair sex appears to be just a myth. Any act of cruelty against women is a slur on the face of Indian culture, which has always boasted of Universal Values, such as Love for humankind, Ahimsa, Acceptance and Tolerance. Such age old values of Indian society have become rather farce.
Crime against Women must be declared a National Crime. It is the responsibility of Indian Judiciary to restore the faith of common mortals in the Judicial System. The adage- ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ has certainly a grain of truth in it. This is unacceptable that a rape victim is burnt alive. How long can our Administration and Judiciary be failing to protect the lives of those, who muster up the courage to fight for justice and demand dignity of life? What is the relevance of Article 21 of the India Constitution- Right to Life, when this right cannot be protected? Time has come for fixing individual accountability, be it Judiciary or Executive. What India needs to deliver is the condign punishment, now or never!Let me hope that both Government and Public would rise to the occasion, for I am reminded of the words of Oliver Goldsmith
Hope, like the gleaming taper’s light,
Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night,
Emits a brighter ray.