Emotional waves of protests surge aimlessly ahead without knowing how exactly to ensure that justice is indeed done for her.

Does Justice for Jisha by default translate into rope for the accusedPic by Sudeep J Salim
Voices #JusticeforJisha Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 18:00

Everywhere you now hear slogans of ‘Justice for Jisha’. But what exactly would ensure that our society is indeed able to deliver justice to a girl so horrendously murdered?

Is it by capturing and hanging to death a demonic monster who chopped out her internal organs while brutally violating her? Can justice be ensured by trying to match a gruesome act with our own version of unbridled cruelty?

This would however not change the sad reality that irrespective of the most terrible punishment we could envisage for the accused, we would never be able to compensate for the fatally terrible ordeal that she underwent.

It was only five days after she died and that too because social media refused to let go that her death even became news-worthy. Now, emotional waves of protests surge aimlessly ahead without knowing how exactly to ensure that justice is indeed done for her.

Justice in such cases does not come with mere mutilation of the perpetrator’s genitals or by prescribing capital punishment. It can be done only by ensuring justice for countless similar women under daily threat to their lives.

It is by relentlessly asking ourselves why in the first place Jisha and her mother had to live in an insecure single-room shanty into which an intruder could easily enter. And more importantly why did her heart-rending cries for help go unheard?

The accused should not go scot-free. But we need to keep in mind that ‘Justice for Jisha’ should go beyond that.

Justice for the victim and ensuring punishment for the criminal need not always mean the same thing. An eye for an eye will only serve to further justify criminal tendencies in a society already engulfed by violence.

For a people inured to the sight of spilled blood or to cries for help, there is a sadistic touch of glee involved in the indifference shown to a victim or when revenge is heaped onto the accused.

What is needed is empathy for a fellow-being in distress. Where exactly have we enshrined a woman in our psyche is something we all need to ask ourselves before we rend the air with our protests.

We need to really dig deep within to examine whether or not we too subconsciously objectify her… whether we genuinely believe in gender equality or merely espouse it in theory alone.

Remember, it’s not just the perpetrators of such heinous crimes who alone can be deemed ‘guilty’, but also those who sit back doing nothing to prevent such a crime from happening.

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