According to recent media headlines, the Prime Minister (PM) stated that rapists should be publicly hanged or castrated.

Historical facts prove that violence countered by violence hasn’t produced desired results of peace and order. Instead, applying brutal punishment has resulted in more chaos and increased crime rates.

Rivers of blood caused by foreign invasions, genocides, crusades and ruthless use of force by states made societies inhumane and brutality increased around the globe. It was literary and art movements during the Renaissance which diverted attention and energies of nations from war, crime violence to science and arts and peaceful coexistence resulting wonderful spree of inventions and industrialization. We can take a leaf from Saudi Arabia’s book where beading, chopping off hands for murder and drug trafficking haven’t resulted in rooting out or reeducation in these crimes. We expected from our highly educated people having huge overseas exposure to have a completely different take on this course of action.

Either PM Imran Khan is playing to the public gallery to get political mileage or he harbours the same primitive inklings of countering violence with violence. In both cases, it is more than dangerous. Leaders are not expected to be swayed with harmful public sentiments but they are expected to guide the public to enlightenment. True the intensity and nature of rape on the motorway is highly condemnable. But there are several other ways and strategies to deal with such crimes: first, we should fight obscurantism, which abhors science, scientific thinking and stifles enlightened debate. Furthermore in our society, games and art etc are largely considered a waste of time and something which is promoting vulgarity. 

In such situations, youth don’t have any ventilation to release their catharsis. Considering women subordinate to men, thinking women should remain confined to four walls of homes, must be accompanied with a male guardian and blaming them (women) for rape and other kinds of violence indirectly provide justification to few diseased minds. PM and other top leadership must invest their energies to counter such victim-blaming proclivities in our society instead of further brutalizing minds of the new generation.

GULSHER PANHWER,

Johi.