The following piece is fictional and only meant to be symbolic....
I was one of the lucky protesters who managed to grab the rapist while he was being taken to a court for trial. For months I had been following the brutal crime he had committed, on television, newspaper and Internet. The horrific deed of murder after rape brought tears to my eyes not once or twice but repeatedly. The innocent victim was subjected to such horrendous and sordid torture that I wanted to kill the accused myself. I had lost faith in the political system and wanted to take the law into my hands. I thought of various ways of killing the rapist while the country debated on the forms of punishment the rapist deserved.
And there were many who thought like me. As we pulled him away from law and shoved him roughly towards a moving bus to take him to a wasteland, we wanted nothing but revenge for the victim. It was all pre-planned. A huge angry crowd was waiting at the wasteland to see him punished. We ripped apart his T-shirt and hit him hard where it hurt the most. But to our disgust, he grinned at us showing his ugly yellow teeth. The mob showered him with indignities, he got kicked around like a sack but surprisingly not a drop of blood oozed out of his sickened skin.
Hot iron rods were brought to burn him. And a man volunteered from the crowd to pluck out his eyes. But the shameless rapist still laughed. Hours of burning did not give him burns and nothing could blind his lusty eyes. No amount of torture could hurt him.
And to our horror, gradually, we realised how strong he was. The rapist was not alone. His followers were in the crowd too ostensibly booing him but secret partakers of his crime. Like vultures they had fed on female body not sparing even little babies, elderly ladies and close relatives. Some had repeatedly raped even their relatives; others had sedated their trusting friends and played havoc with their bodies while some attacked vulnerable girls and gang-raped them just for a little diversion. The losers had vented out all their frustration, weaknesses and anger on women. The shouts and screams of the innocents only increased their lust.
It is a fact that rapists consider women as subhuman beings who need to be punished for being a girl. They feel that the female body is meant for odious pleasure. Their thoughts and deeds are sick and repulsive. And then there are those who thrive on such tragedies -politicians…leaders….film makers….and beings who crave for five minutes of fame and footage.
I wanted to set an example by killing this rapist myself so that any man would think a thousand times before raping a girl. But the question was how to do it. No torture was affecting him. We tried various forms of punishment but every time he let out a gut-wrenching laugh. Physically, he was so hardened that every torture was futile. And psychologically he was a monster!
After a lot of deliberation I looked deep into his blackened heart to look for a solution. And a shiver ran down my spine at the hellish sight. He was the devil himself but for a small hushed voice deep down his conscience. And then the idea struck me!
I pulled up the rapist and brought him into the middle of the ground. He was mocking me with his jeering leering laughter! I coldly smiled back at him because I knew what fate had in store for him. All of us in the crowd came together and ensured that the thin little voice of his conscience reaches him. It took some time but gradually the enormity of his crime dawned on him.
His face changed from devilish to pathetic. It seemed as if he heard and re-lived the screams of the girl, her helplessness, her anguish, her pain, her pleas, her death. He had not only defiled her body and sanctity of existence but also subjected her family to immense grief throughout their lives. He sort of understood that a rapist not only harms a victim at a physical level but also subjects her to mental and psychological trauma which lasts a lifetime. The victim leads a life worse than death and that too without any fault. Her screams deafened him, he tried to close his eyes but saw her blood-stained face everywhere; he tried to run but the little pathetic voice followed him everywhere. He begged to be killed but no one wanted to be kind. We ensured that he dies a little everyday by leaving him remorseful and burdened with his misdeed. That day, in that wasteland, even God and death defied him!
His followers fled on seeing his deplorable state fearing their end was near. The example was set. Our collective vendetta was fulfilled and we went home determined to end all kinds of crime against women and hoped that a time would come when we would not be forced to take the law into our hands. We prayed for the day when our minds would be truly without fear and heads held high…
Capital punishment is too small a punishment for such enormous crime. Only ensuring a life worse than death for such criminals would act as a deterrent against rape.
(The author is a freelance writer and a guest contributor.)