There have been a few publicized crimes that have made my blood curdle. The Arushi murder case and the Aruna Shanbaug case are among them.
The Aruna Shanbaug case in particular gave me a lot of sleepless nights, in the run-up to the Supreme Court verdict on euthanasia.
It's indeed horrifying to read Aruna Shanbaug's story, a story of a violent twist to a fairy tale of hope, love and humble beginnings. The only question that lingers in my mind is how could a human be so brutal to rape the embodiment of hope.
What's sad is that the perpetrator of the crime walked away with just 7 years in jail, that too for assault and attempt to rob and not for the heinous crime that brought the pretty Aruna to this vegetative state.
The Supreme Court in its verdict has shaken the country's conscience by legalising euthanasia, but I wonder if it is human to let Aruna live, especially if she's not brain dead, as the doctors have testified. Imagine, if she still can think, she must be reliving the horror of that fateful night over 37 years back, that dashed her dreams. To have her relive that tragedy day after day for nearly 4 decades is a travesty of the basic principles of human justice.
But, the country has to doff its hats for the staff of King Edward Memorial Hospital, Bombay, who have tenderly taken care of Aruna for all these 4 decades.
As the world celebrates Women's Day, it is worth a debate whether India can let violators of the fairer sex get off lightly. In my opinion, such people deserve nothing less than a castration, followed by death, to prevent emboldening of wayward men.
But getting that legalised will be tough, when a number of our lawmakers themselves have blood on their balls. It is shameful to have had rapists like Taslimuddin heading union ministries and lawmakers who condone violations done post midnight.
I hope that the Honourable Supreme Court nudges the government into legislating watertight laws on rape.
It is indeed the time to introspect - what is the kind of society we need, one that looks the other way, while the crime is tolerated or one where respect for the fairer sex is recognised by law?