DailyPost 2320

All theories of criminology from deterrence to reformation are all fine, but if the society being created over the last few decades, has been able to do away social stigma attached to crime, the warning bells are then loud and clear. By far the biggest deterrence both for the accused, his friends, relatives and erstwhile well-wishers is the social stigma attached to the crime. If that is dispensed with, then what is left of social fabric? An experience of some sort of ostracization becomes a pressure factor to stop such crimes from happening, lest all will land in a thick social soup. Crime sans social stigma is a tacit yet visible support to it.

Technically it may sound weird, but from a societal point of view friends and relatives who have been active with the accused in different ways, knowing all the gory activities being committed, getting no societal backlash is reprehensible. While the person is in jail and that too even after conviction, his world outside behaves as if he has not done anything untoward. For his friends, family and more so if he is from a political party, they behave that nothing has happened. Getting caught in a criminal case and going behind bars seems to be a part of bigger politico social mandate.

Politicians have been fighting from jails, for quite sometime now. What image of a law maker does it carry? A law breaker and law maker rolled into one. A crazy mix of a democratic political personality. Can you imagine a jail serving minister? He has been caught in a money laundering case and the polity and society are fine with it. How does the departments of the government and society he represents function in this queer predicament? I am sure the constitution would not have imagined of such an eventuality. Similar aberrant criminal behaviour seems to be acceptable, soon to be a norm. In another instance, a minister’s son ploughed a vehicle through the agitating framers, killing a few. The social standing and acceptability do not seem to go down.

In one case of a Godman convicted of most heinous of the cases, while out on parole, was still living larger than life and the followers making a beeline for him. Even POCSO cases don’t deter social acceptability. The wrestling chief was wrestling out most serious of the charges, no criminal case has been registered as yet. In another epic incident, criminals released after serving jail sentence on remission, where greeted with full religious fervour and respect. On similar lines, a bahubali politician on release from jail few years hack, went home in a cavalcade of hundreds of cars. Ditto for a lady politician recently, the cars were not so numerous. These are tales of societal numbness. No one knows where we are heading to. White collar crime the less said the better. Society yearns for it.

Sanjay Sahay

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