The fate of the anti rape law in India in which the age of the consent will be lowered from 18 to 16 years is going to be decided by a group of ministers headed by Mr P Chidambaram. As per this new law, false cases filed will have no future. Amendments to this law will be made for stricter punishment and include various crimes against women. The gang rape of a medical student and her death has led to this revolution of amendments and changes in rape law.
But how will the lowering the age of consent will help in preventing or reducing incidents of rape in India? What about the cases in which juveniles of younger ages are involved? The anti rape law is not new to the Indian Legal System. It was already there, but in no way has helped in decreasing the crime or rape against women. So, just making a few amendments won’t give the desired result. Instead of amendments in law, there is a need of doing something additional to control the situation.
To do that, we have to reach the root cause of the problem which lies in corruption and distorting public life, as such things were not part of India’s culture. Not only cities but even villages are facing this problem. There are cases in which even government personnels are charged with rape. New trend of misusing power and strength is also resulting in the increase in number of rape incidents.
There should be a total improvement in the government and even if the previous laws are enforced with strictness, half of the problem will be solved. The Government should understand that by amending the law time and time again won’t be of any help until these are enforced with strictness and without proper channels to track the enforcement.The police should start acting swiftly on the complaints made rather than slapping the complainant. Laws should be simple as too much of this is also creating a chaos. The Government should show courage in defining death sentence and there should not be any delay in the judgement as it leads to diminishing faith in justice.
There was an analysis done by Patrick French, author of a book called India, which shows that politics in India is mostly hereditary again leading to less growth and more crime. The study clearly shows that 156 out of 545 federal MP’s have hereditary connection, out of all 70% of women in politics are because of family connections, young MPs below the age of 30 have family connection, 86 % of MPs in a leading national party enjoy the family seats in politics. This means that there is a very less scope of having genuine leaders who can lead our country without vested interest. To bring a great change, great leaders are required and for that India has to break the hereditary system of politics.
Also many of the MPs do not have the required education as no basic education is needed to become a leader. Court cases are going on against many MPs which is further aggravating the problem because if you cannot set an example then how can you expect people to behave in a way you want.
Our whole judicial system needs amendments as there is a huge backlog of unsolved cases that need hundreds of years and additional force of judges to clear these. Many rape victims kill themselves as police do not do anything to solve the case and culprits move freely in the country.
So it is not the new law or changes in the existing law that would bring the difference but for this the entire system has to be changed in India, which I think is a biggest challenge of today.