I have been asked my opinion by many people about the recent gangrape of a girl in a bus in Delhi. I strongly condemn this crime, and am of the opinion that those who are found guilty by a court of law should be given harsh punishment.
At the same time, I would like to know whether the same hue and cry which has been raised about it in the media and in Parliament would have been raised had this incident happened in some other part of India, particularly in rural India. I am sure it would not. But surely Delhi is not the whole of India.
There has been hardly any hue and cry to a similar extent about the 250,000 farmers suicide in Vidharbha , Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere over the last 10-15 years( an average of 47 farmers suicide per day, which is still continuing) which is a world record of farmers suicide. There has been very little hue and cry about the fact that 48% of Indian children are malnourished, which is a rate far higher than the Sub-Saharan African countries like Somalia and Ethiopia where the child malnourishment rate is about 33%.
There is very little hue and cry about the massive unemployment in India, the almost total lack of healthcare for our poor people who cannot afford the expenses of a doctor or medicines and have to go to quacks. Education in India is in shambles. Most of the money given by the govt goes to IITs and some other institutes of higher learning but hardly any money is given to primary schools ( particularly in rural areas) where the foundation of knowledge is laid. Prices are skyrocketing, and one wonders how our 80% poor people are surviving, but there is no such hue and cry about it in the media or even in Parliament. There are many others huge socio economic problems facing the nation but very little is discussed about them.
I am not trying to justify rape but I only request people to maintain a balance and not hype the Delhi gangrape incident as if it is the only problem in the country. Section 376 Indian Penal Code already provides for a maximum of life sentence for rape, and I see no reason why capital punishment should also be provided for it.