Gunshots rake through Chatanpally, Telangana. The four accused in the gruesome rape and murder case of Disha are killed. There is a celebration all around and closure for families of other rape victims. This is the victory of good, this is justice
But what baffles me is the meaning of law and justice. Does it entail retaliation and revenge? Does it encompass taking the reigns in your own hands? Or does it mean a systematic and organized process of punishment and deterrence?
These questions swirl in my head while reading the various perspectives regarding this incident that seems to have been the final straw in the history of appalling crimes against women. While some hail this act, others condemn it as an extra-judicial killing. And still, others feel this to be the awakening of a new dawn, a safer world, a brighter future. But this incident is a grim reminder of the eroding faith of citizens in the state institutions of courts. It shows how the years of wait in the courtrooms, hoping for justice have led to the reduction of its legitimacy. Courts are perceived not as harbingers of justice but as a mechanism of enhancing the victim’s suffering by delaying redressal of grievances. The pendency of cases, reformative punishments and an exhaustive list of remedies for the accused, evident from the mercy petition filed by an accused in the Nirbhaya rape case a few days back, have marred the fabric of trust and belief of citizens in justice. This, in turn, has unleashed unbridled rage. It has been aroused all those times the charred bodies and torn identities were displayed in media, girls were ripped apart and killed for daring to dream big. The tolerance has given way to hellbent rage, a longing to right the wrong, to take an eye for an eye and restore order in the society.
It is a sad state of affairs that the inadequacies of the state institutions have brought us to this cusp where we all now become our own masters and rebel against order and balance. But who decides this order and balance, the state and its mongering mouthpieces, the opposition parties with garlands of onions adorning their necks or the academia which does publish reports and articles but is then gagged and underfunded? Or is it decided by commoners, who ride their pillions towards their offices every morning and try to maintain a facade of normalcy in the face of the breaking news they read which threw their age-old ideals and ethics out the window?
While answers may not be plenty, I can say that the present state of affairs is not welcome. It only heralds a darker age of brute force and fury which will burn our existence to the ground.