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Millennium Post

Chemical castration just not enough

In the wake of public outcry following the gangrape and resultant death of the 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus, it has been reported that the Congress is mulling chemical castration as part of a bill seeking tougher punishment for rapists. Execution and chemical castration had been the two punishments that most protesters have been demanding for those accused in this case and for rapists in general. The Congress’s consideration of the same can be either a knee-jerk reaction in the face of the rising public anger or a bid to woo the masses before the 2014 polls by giving in to their demands. However, while punishments such as chemical castration are important to put fear the fear of the law in potential criminals, simply tougher laws cannot ensure a safer society for women. For that, infrastructural changes and improvements will have to be made, in addition to bringing into force tougher punishments for criminals.

Chemical castration is reversible. Plus, prevention, they say is better than cure when it comes to a physical disorder and crimes are nothing but a social disorder. Large parts of Delhi have no street light. Walking down such streets for women post sundown is fraught with danger. Get the lights working. Ensure better police coverage. Get checkpoints after every few yards, not just after midnight, but after sundown. It is not possible to have a policeman on every bus or public transport, but introduce a system of random checks. Let policemen board buses on a random basis, enquire from the women passengers if they have faced any harassment and arrest the culprits on the spot. Increase mobile patrolling not just on New Year’s eve or Republic or Independence Day, but every day of the year. Get more people to man helplines so that no call for help goes unanswered. Instil discipline, in the men in uniform and in every man in the country. Ensure that a cab or auto driver is not able to refuse a passenger, especially a woman passenger, on issues of fare or preferred route, like this victim and her friend were, before they boarded the horror bus. Ensure that when a woman goes to report an incident of molestation, she is not subjected to further harassment by the force. Make it a safer society for women.
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