makes humans unique in the animal kingdom, other than contraception,
is its judiciary. I have seen cats reprimanding kittens; but
they do it secretly, as if breaking a certain feline law is
itself shameful. Only we employ fellow human beings to punish
humans; and unlike cats and co., we do it quite openly. Not
only that, we want these incidents to be highlighted.
only plausible conclusion that can be drawn from this is: committing
a crime, getting punished for that and, sometimes, getting away
without being punished are three salient features of the game.
Another analogy can be drawn; whatever the criminologists suggest,
crime is solely a human proposition.
and its relationship with punishment date back to the early
days of the history of Man. God forbade Adam to eat the fateful
apple, he broke it (human behaviour, you see) and punishment
followed. Eating apples is not a crime nowadays, in fact from
Judaism to Islam no religion imposes a ban on the popular fruit.
Laws change with the advent of modernity and human behaviour.
life, laws are not static and its dynamism has generated contradictions
in history. During slavery, laws were made to save the social
system, and anyone found breaking it was brought to the dock.
When slavery was abolished by feudal lords, it made its new
laws; and slave trade became illegal. Ironically early feudal
societies were based on bonded labour, religious bigotry and
intolerance. Feudal laws were made to save the ownership of
firms operating on bonded labourers; several labour upsurges
were brutally crushed and they were tried under the law of society.
And that law, indeed, defended the "right" of the
feudalism was abolished by the bourgeois (the French revolution
was the first of its kind and several more followed across Europe),
it promised a society based on Liberté, Égalité
and Fraternité. But laws were enacted against the new
class that the society itself had newly made, the proletariat.
smaller nations across the world had started to break the shackles
of colonialism, the First and Second World War took place. The
social system that was established to defend the rights of people
on the basis of liberty and equality had produced the Holocaust
and resulted in the death of thousands of innocent lives. But
at the same time the World Wars brought about a positive change
too. With Soviet communism on the doorstep and strong anti-imperialist
movements brewing in the colonies, European bourgeois left the
colonies, in some cases, brutally defeated by the locals.
Zealand was the first country to introduce the concept of a
welfare state; in the early part of the century, the country
had established a social system that guaranteed the rights to
have free education and unemployment benefits.
communism brought another change in European politics; welfare
states were formed all over the continent; countries like Norway
and Sweden enshrined the socialist principle of "from each
according to his ability and to each according to his needs"
in their constitution. The move became popular in other countries,
with France, Germany, and Spain following suit. England became
a welfare state in 1945.
were changed, too, to make it more humane, the death penalty
was abolished. Ironically, the country that acted as a catalyst
to this change, the Soviet Union, didn't abolish the death penalty.
of a welfare state is a far cry in Bangladesh, labelled as one
of the most corrupt and crime ridden countries in the world.
Crimes that have been committed in our country are quasi feudal
in nature; be it rape or acid throwing, every crime committed
against women here manifests the presence of feudal remnants
in our society. But the way the state has been reacting to crime
against women is itself ludicrous. Laws are being enacted almost
every year, death penalties being handed down to alleged perpetrators.
But the saddest part of the story is that crime has not abated
but increased in frequency.
anti-women behaviour lies in the very fabric of the social system.
Ours is a society, which views women as nothing but reproductive
machines. The movies we watch and the music we listen to portray
women as sexual objects; the society encourages machoism, women
are seen as confused and frail.
infatuation with machoism coupled with sheer exploitation and
poverty has contributed to rising crime and unemployment. But,
again, the state has reacted to it by enacting new laws.
the so-called listed criminals of our underworld have political
affiliations either with the ruling party or with the main opposition.
Both the parties need their help to run the parties effectively;
in lieu of the "help", the parties turn a blind eye
to their activities. A parallel government runs the country;
with the "listed criminals" playing the roles of both
judge and the jury. Criminals rule the country by proxy, they
get the politicians to fight and die for them.
get caught sometimes, being on the wrong side of the fence;
and, in rare cases, brought to the dock-- death penalties and
life sentences are handed down. But the "godfathers"
remain at large, and, sometimes, they are elected to the parliament
to enact new laws against rising crime.
remains unchanged for the ordinary citizen day in and day out.
Some rules of the game, perhaps, never change.