Intelligentsia neglect of women & children

THE ABHORRENT RAPE AND MURDER of eight-year-old shepherd girl Asifa in Kathua, Jammu, the gang rape of a teenage girl in Unnao (Uttar Pradesh) by a BJP politician and his henchmen, followed by her father being beaten to death inside a police station, as also the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Surat — all within the first fortnight of April — have shocked and outraged all right-thinking members of society nationwide, and indeed around the world. Quite clearly, crimes against vulnerable women and minors have not abated since the Nirbhaya rape and murder of 2013 sparked countrywide anger and revolt, and prompted amendment of the criminal and juvenile justice laws of the country. 

Regrettably, the pathetic ineffectiveness of the police-justice machinery to prevent or punish the multiplying tribe of perverts is matched by the poverty of solutions provided by self-styled intellectuals and feminists to check the epidemic of unbridled licentiousness and anarchy spreading across the nation.  

Curiously, none of the country’s high-profile intellectuals seem to be in agreement with the argument (often made on this page of EducationWorld), that unchecked and continuous streaming of pornography, including child porn, over the Internet is substantially responsible for the sharp upsurge in sex crimes against women and children. Unmindful of ground conditions in this under-developed republic, liberals seem to believe the impact of continuously streamed hardcore pornography on the minds of the country’s 300 million illiterates and 400 million neo-literates, is negligible.  

Likewise the media pundit who raises the issue of the woefully adverse police and judges to population ratios in India is a rara avis. Yet the plain truth is that India’s police to population ratio (13/million) and judges (19/million) are the lowest worldwide. Nor do any of these worthies seem to be inclined to highlight the well-known truth that a substantial proportion of the country’s policemen have bought their jobs because of ubiquitously corrupt recruitment systems in the states. Self-promotional breast beating and finely phrased anguish seem to be better options than insistence on implementation of the Justice Verma (2013) and/or Justice Malimath Committee (2003) reports which have made 158 recommendations to reform the criminal justice system. 

Unfortunately too, the great majority of the country’s shallow intellectuals and academics seem unable to connect the dots which link rock bottom learning outcomes in the country’s 1.40 million government-dominated primary school system to the huge leap forward in the number of crimes against women and children. Despite every high-powered commission from Kothari (1966) to TSR Subramanian (2016) urgently recommending raising the annual outlay (Centre plus states) for public education to 6 percent of GDP (gross domestic product), it has remained stuck in the 3-3.5 percent groove for six decades. 

But this continuous sin of neglect of education by successive governments at the Centre and in the states doesn’t seem to perturb the country’s vociferous public intellectuals. The fault, dear countrymen, is not in our stars but in our effete intelligentsia that we are the world’s underlings.