“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live, deserve death. And some that die, deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even, the very wise cannot see all ends.”
A tragic incident in Hisar district of Haryana where a laborer hacked his pregnant wife to death after she was allegedly raped by two juveniles and then committed suicide by hanging himself in the Hisar district of Haryana reminded us of J.R.R. Tolkein’s quote, in a different context.
How could he? He was a laborer, with none of the education or the liberation that supposedly comes with education, was it because of that? Did he kill her because she was raped? Did he think she had become less pure? No. The answer to all those questions is a big No.
Police sources said that a hand-written suicide note purportedly written by the husband mentioned that the couple decided to end their lives after two youths raped his wife.
On August 15, the labourer had gone out of the village and when he came back home, his wife started crying. The man’s wife allegedly told him that she had been gang-raped by two youths from their village.
The police said that the suicide note mentioned that two youths had barged in their house on Saturday and raped his wife. He wrote in the suicide note that his wife disclosed the incident on his return and that they were ending their lives as they could not muster the courage to lodge a complaint against the alleged rapists.
According to Times Now, the man wrote in the note, “She said, you murder me. I said but I will become accused (of murder). Then she asked me, what I intended to do. I said I will commit suicide after killing you.” In the note, the man stated that the couple had no other option but death.
It is learnt that the lady was hit with a sharp-edged weapon which resulted in her death. Her husband was also found hanging in the same room. Their child, who was asleep in the same room, woke up and found his parents dead.
It is important here to note the reason for their suicide. Because they could not muster enough courage to lodge a complaint. How many times have we read about rape victims being subjected to ridicule, vulgar comments at every step of the justice-seeking process? From the hands of the police officers filing the report of the incident to the FIR being registered, to the examinations, countless forced narrations of the same incident to various agents who are a part of justice delivery system. In the process, making the rape victim go over the trauma over and over again. The State does not provide any psychological help, it only adds to it. But it does not end there.
The slow death comes next in the form of an invisible monster called society.
The relatives who chide, the neighbor who sneers. The victim is treated like an untouchable, ostracized from society, and treated, unbelievably as if she herself is the one who committed a crime. As if, getting raped is a crime, and for which, she must suffer humiliation, mental agony, and scars that aren’t allowed to heal.
“Many that live, deserve death”. In a society where barbaric rapes are a daily occurrence, something that is so recurring that it has gotten almost normalized, what happens to the perpetrators? Is a fitting punishment meted out as soon as possible, that serves as a deterrent and enables the victim some sort of mental peace? No. In innumerable cases, the case lingers on for years from one court to another, the rapists roam free in society, attends courtroom dates like a formality, and goes on with his life, paying nothing for his crime.
Barwala SHO Kuldeep Singh informed that the police have registered a case under sections 302, 306 and 376 D and started an investigation. The police have registered a case of murder, abetment to suicide and gangrape against two youths-both juveniles-and started an investigation.
“And some that die deserve life”. Would the couple have taken this drastic step, if there was no stigma regarding rape prevalent even today? Would they have committed suicide if they had faith in the capacity of the executive and the judiciary to bring the criminals to justice? Would they have committed suicide if they knew society would understand their plight and demand for justice as though some wrong had been done to each and every one of them?
These are questions we must ask ourselves. Individually, none of us can be blamed, or take the blame for the unfortunate incident, but collectively, we must need to hold ourselves to a higher degree of scrutiny.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” As a society, we must be truly enraged at injustice, we must tremble with indignation, we must learn to ask the hard questions however uncomfortable they are, and we must strive to ensure that there is a holistic change. Not changing profile pictures, or arranging candle marches that are only symbolic and momentary. We must individually feel responsible to do our part, in the creation of a better, more accepting, and a just society in every aspect. Only then will the victims of these crimes, feel empowered and free from the invisible shackles that confine them.