Why media is creating such a panic about juvenile : Kishore

 

Guest Post by Kishore

Date of a release of the juvenile involved in “Nirbhaya” rape case is coming close and media is once again has started its vicious campaign against juveniles. It is the same media that declared the juvenile most brutal without any basis. Later they were exposed by statement by chief investigation officer that final charge sheet filed by police did not say that juvenile was most brutal. Some of them did a small story in inside pages to rectifying their mistake of calling him most brutal in headlines for months.

Media and certain section of society are very concerned about the prospective threat posed by Juvenile involved in so called “Nirbhaya” rape case. He will be released on 15th December and many sections of the media are “worried” that what if again he commits crime and poses threat to the society. Same papers are not bothered as what happened in last three years to rehabilitate reform and reintegrate him in the society. Same papers did not raised questions if government has made any individual care plan for him with a long term plan to rehabilitate him. May be they were sure that nothing had been done. In fact they believe that nothing can be done and best option is to keep him in jail for life. They are just waiting that he will come out and commit another crime again so they can say that “we told you earlier”

Yesterday TOI presented very attractive graph telling that “Non Adults” are now big threat to the safety of women. It further says that rape by juveniles has risen by 70 %. There is another side of picture.

As per the analysis done by Haq, center of child rights, based on NCRB data says that juvenile crime in comparison to adult crime has declined. As per NCRB (ministry also rely on NCRB data), percentage of rapes by juveniles (who are 42% of population) was 5.6 % in 2013 which came down to 5.4% in 2014. Assault on women with Intent of outraging modesty of women was 2 % of total crimes in this category which came down to 1.9 % in 2014. Share of murder by Juveniles was 3 % of total murders in 2013 which came down to 2.9 % in 2014. Even recidivism came down from 11.2 % in 2012 to 5.2 % in 2014. Seeing this data how media houses are saying juvenile crime has rose. Crime in general has rose than why blame only juveniles.

Share of Juveniles in IPC Crimes (in percent)  2012 2013 2014
Murder 2.9 3.0 2.5
Attempt to Murder 2.5 2.3 1.7
Rape 4.7 5.6 5.4
Assault on Women with intent to outrage her modesty 1.4 2.0 1.9
Insult to the modesty of women 2.0 2.5 1.2
Kidnapping & Abduction 1.7 1.7 1.9
  • HAQ, Centre for Child Rights

It is not that so called think tanks in these media are not aware of above data and neither have they lacked skills to analyze and bring true picture in front of world. They are well aware about facts but they want to twist them and present them in sensational manner. They don’t want to go against public sentiments and present a picture according to public sentiments. Rather they want to fuel and strengthen such sentiments to increase their circulation. This is part of well thought strategy which is aimed towards increasing their circulation.

We request all media to stop thier vicious campaign against juveniles. Rather start a campaign for proper rehabilitation of juveniles as per juvenile justice law. There is no reason to propagate that juveniles are threat to society. Tell them to run a campaign to run juvenile justice system properly and advocate increased investment in this sector.
The problem is that we don’t give attention on difficult part of the law of reforming and rehabilitating juvenile but put our all energy in taking easy option of changing it.

(Author is working in child right sector for more than two decades and working with terre des hommes, Germany, India Programme and Pro-child network)

5 thoughts on “Why media is creating such a panic about juvenile : Kishore

  1. nirat

    I absolutely have no reservations about the core argument of the author. But the criteria generally used for fixing ‘juvenility’ always make me uncomfortable. Many biological studies, with strong evidences, confirm that we can’t argue it with full objectivity that after a specific age limit a human being has become more reflective and introspective about his or her actions. That’s why the ‘age of Juvenility’ varies country to country. I think we have to discuss this issue more and have to redefine and reorient our old settled definitions, especially in the today’s era of Information communication and technology. This era has brought immense qualitative change in our exposure to various dimensions of society including sexuality.

    Please share share your views on it.

  2. Ved Kumari

    One can see the manner in which Times of India of 14 December 2015 p 12 has published its correction and regret about the wrong data after flashing the wrong data in Red and Bold.

  3. Tushar

    While the writer gives a view from the other side, he seems to have forgotten the real issue.

    % of rape cases by juveniles at 5.4% under no circumstance is an acceptable figure. True, it has decreased by 0.1% to support the writer’s stand against the media however the problem is that we have such cases being reported more and more and there has to be a stricter way of dealing with these criminals.
    Murderers and Rapists have no place in society and just coz they are young they should not have a diff treatment compared to the older ones.. They are all criminals.
    If a teenager is old enough to rape a woman (brutal or not is irrelevant) he needs to be subjected to the strictest punishment.

  4. K SHESHU BABU

    Media focus on juvenile crime is to shift the focus from ‘adult’ crime. Since, most political leaders speak of rape as’necessary’ and ‘evil, the media is tacitly toeing their line. TRP… !

  5. The writer of this post has gone overboard in defending the juveniles!! That’s why 0.1 % decline is a significant development in his eyes!! He seems to have conveniently forgotten that modern times has brought big change in nature/character of juveniles!! How can you treat these changes in such a casual way?

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