Sunday, June 27, 2010

Why liking for brutal punishments?

I read a post in leading English daily today in which the writer has shown his amazement on a survey conducted by a US concern into affairs of Pakistan. The survey says that while people in Pakistan reject rule of Talibans and have shown their disliking for them (except 10% of the surveyed people who endorsed their policies). But the survey also came up with the finding that over 70% people opined in favour of harsh punishments like flogging and stoning in public. And the writer was finding himself at odds as to why a very small segment likes Taliban on one hand and why on the other a vast majority endorses punishments being promulgated by Taliban?

Well, I didn’t take long to conclude. In fact in me personal opinion, it is the very long, slow moving and very expensive system of justice that forces people to ask for prompt action. Actions that leave a gruesome impact on the onlookers and which may force them to desist from committing crimes. But what happens otherwise in our system of justice that it takes years to decide a case and to fight and pursue a case requires lot of money, guts and boldness. As the stronger parties, who are mainly the culprits, force the poor victims to give in, stop pursuing the case and settle down out of the court. If the victims do not succumb to the pressure, then a long battle of wits starts, which requires lot of money to hire a counsel and moving to and fro the court, boarding and lodging and even paying the witnesses, who play a double game and whoever prices them high, the y witness in their favour.

And then in the end, the victims, deprived of the energy, money and witnesses are declared criminals themselves or charged for lying against the o called nobles of the area to tarnish their image.

I wish someday a justice system prevails that addresses the grievances of the poor and the fallen so that people don’t vie for harsher punishments or go along behind a fundamentalist pied piper. Till that becomes reality, such surveys would continue to come up with findings that worry not me but most.