Presumed innocent…

A 12-year old boy, along with his friends, abducted and then raped an 8-year old girl. This bit of news originated from Sheikhupura yesterday. We see tales of rape cases everyday on our television sets. Gang-rapes on orders of panchayats, doctors raping nurses, teachers raping students, some just plain old cases of kidnapping and rape. It is a four-letter word that has lost its meaning by being in the news so frequently. A few would contradict me, but I tell the truth here and nothing else. If its meaning had not been lost, then these cases would not go unnoticed as just another piece of news. We would not simply utter a “tsk, tsk” at the sight of the grieving girl and her parents, and the next minute proceed to change the channel. Our reaction would be quite different, if the despicable nature of the word’s meaning was not lost on us.
What makes this case from Sheikhupura different from others is this: Can I look at a 12-year boy from now on and presume him to be just an innocent kid? The perpetrator of the heinous crime this time was not a grown man. He is a child, a sixth-grade student, who has admitted to committing this sin. Standing behind bars and asking for forgiveness, what would you say to him? This is what our society has come to! We should no longer just expect a 12-year boy to be ‘the innocent kid who is still ignorant of societal sins”. He could always snatch up an 8-year old and wreak havoc with her life.
I do not intend to generalise this seemingly isolated incident. It was just one 12-year old who faltered, you would say. The thing that is troubling me is that the mind of a 12-year old could sink to these depths in our society, that is what is alarming.


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