TODAY -

Law catching up after 21 years : State of the girl child
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: November 16, 2022 -



Time they say is the best healer but obviously not when it concerns something as heinous as raping or sexually molesting a 9 year old child. Obvious that the wheel of justice crawled along the way in delivering justice to the rape case of a then 9 year old child 21 years back but at times this is the road to justice.

The young girl child must now be 30 years old and the perpetrator of the heinous deed is now 46 years old, that is as recorded in the Court's file.

Will the victim and her family get a sense of vindication after 21 long years is a valid question, but now that justice has been delivered with the Court ruling that the guilty should undergo 12 years of rigorous imprisonment, it is perhaps time now to view the whole thing beyond an individual case and admit that there are indeed beasts lurking everywhere.

In a sense it is frightening to even entertain the idea that a girl child, as young as 9 years, is today no longer safe.

And making things all that more disturbing is the fact that in most cases of children being subjected to sexual assault, the perpetrator is mostly an individual with whom the child is well acquainted.

This is what is deeply disturbing and reprehensible.

A child of 9 is at that stage where innocence is her or his hallmark and to even think that this innocence can be so cruelly taken away is something hard to digest.

While 12 years certainly measures up to the heinous crime committed 21 years back, this is also the time to reflect on the turmoil and pain that the family of the young child must have experienced in the 21 long years.

Pursuit for justice can be tedious and in some cases frightening at times and there is a big possibility that the family members of the young child must have undergone this experience.

And this is what makes the crime all that more unpardonable.

The ruling of the Court is noted and acknowledged and even as the guilty is set to serve time behind bars, it is also time for the great Manipuri society to reflect on the rot that has come to define society here.

It was a coincidence, but the fact that the story of the conviction came on the same day that India and Manipur celebrated Children's Day makes it all that more significant for while it is about delivering justice to a case that dates 21 years back it is also a commentary on the safety and security of the young girl child.

On the same day that the Court announced the quantum of punishment for the rapist, another man was convicted for sexually assaulting a minor girl in 2019.

The sentence hearing is fixed for November 16 and here again is a story of justice coming to the victim after a gap of more than three years.

These stories are clear indications that there are perverts roaming the streets and neighbourhoods of Manipur, making it unsafe for all the young girls out there.

Not at all a healthy reality and parents, guardians, the families and society as a whole need to be on guard against such deviants who think nothing of letting their baser instinct get the better of them.

Rapists are not born. They are products of society and this should more than tell the story of how the great Manipuri society has been giving birth to elements who think nothing of victimising the girl child.

Rape is bad enough, but it gets worse when the victim is a young child.

And news stories of so and so being sentenced, remanded and charge sheets being submitted have now today become staple news on any given day.

Says something profound about the place, which gave the Meira Paibi movement to the world, a place which observes the Nupi Lan every year and is the only place which has a market place run and managed by womenfolk.

The way a girl child is being exposed ' to such beastly conduct is a reflection of the status and role of women in society.

And this does not exactly say anything positive about the great Manipuri society.



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