Severity of Punishment or Certainty of Punishment?

After the heartbreaking incident at Lahore Motorway, a heating debate has flooded social media with a demand for the public hanging of criminals. However, a few months back a bill about the public hanging of rapists was rejected by parliament due to ”human rights violation”. After the recent excruciating rape at the motorway, it has become a burning question in Pakistan. While the majority is in favor of public hanging a very small group of people holding their ground against the popular views. This tiny group of intellectuals wants people to see the larger picture by finding the cause of the problem rather than its effect. Both the protestors and the opposing party have some arguments that need to be analyzed logically.

Every passing day brings disastrous news for Pakistan. As a matter of fact, no news is more frustrating than rape cases. Child abuse, harassment, young boys’ and girls’ rape is turning out to be a routine thing. Nothing has moved the nation in this year more than a brutal gang rape at Lahore Motorway of a mother in front of her children. The reaction of Pakistanis for public hanging has emerged by dint of their emotional but not rational attitude. However, we also need to think from their perspective. Despite the fact the public hanging is against international human rights, one may argue that we are in a state of lawlessness. When we look at the moral values of our society, more often than not we find it lesser than animals. Every sphere of life is full of corruption. The level of cruelty involved in a rape case is massively painful, that’s why people just want instant punishment and want to have catharsis not realizing that problem is so deep-rooted.

It is universally acknowledged that the severity of punishment can only kill the criminal, not the criminal mindset. It is not the severity but the certainty of punishment that can hinder the crime. Presently, we are living in a society where the rule of “survival of the fittest” works. The hardness in punishment can not alternate the attitude of people when they know there is a fair chance of escaping it. The basic principle, at which the developed nations of the world have maintained the security of people, is the rule of law. Never in this world have been a country full of pious people. It is the fear of “certain punishment” that stops the crime. The police and judiciary are the foundation at which a system of a country stands. Unfortunately, we have rotten police and judiciary system that can not provide us any support.

The history of the world shows that violence breeds violence. Public hanging is never going to solve any problem. We need to demand the effectiveness of Police and Judiciary. We need to let people know about the rule of law. As long as the Police stand aloof of our lives we will continue to witness such unfortunate cases. Raise voice about productive change in society rather than mere catharsis.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.

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