'So sad that a girl's extinguished life is worth only three years'
The juvenile accused in the December 16 gang rape case was found guilty of murder and rape of the 23-year-old girl, but he got away with a maximum of three years imprisonment mandated under the juvenile law.
Bollywood voiced its opinion on justice denied, and vented themselves.
Swara Bhaskara, actress: It’s a SHAME. People should be judged and punished for their act, not for their age. There is nothing childlike or juvenile about the brutal crime this boy has committed.
This amounts to him getting away almost scot-free. He deserves to be hung for the volume of violence he inflicted on the girl.
It shows an inhuman perversion and brutality.
He deserves only the death penalty.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, filmmaker: We need to redefine the term ‘juvenile’. Let this be the moment when the law is amended. The thinkers, movers and shakers have to spearhead this moment and lay down the foundation for a social change.
The society, media and governance have to take the responsibility. There is no room for rhetoric.
Image: Swara Bhaskara
'I believe in hating the sin, not the sinner'
Shilpa Shukla, actress: I had lit a lamp earlier this year at Bodhgaya for Nirbhaya. She is always in my heart. I believe in hating the sin, not the sinner. And I believe in the power of change of heart.
I hope the boy realises his sin and seeks redemption in the next three years. And the same goes for every man who violates a woman.
Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, actress: It is an absolute shame paving the way for juveniles to make a career out of crime. Our lawmakers seem to be pandering to vested interests instead of serving the people.
Vishal Dadlani, music composer: Clearly the law is ill-equipped to deal with borderline cases. This has made it seem like other 17-year olds can get away with the worst sort of brutality. It’s disgraceful and truly sad.
Gauhar Khan, actress: So sad that a girl’s extinguished life is worth only three years of the life of the monster who perpetrated the heinous crime.
We really shoudn’t refer to our nation as Bharat Mata because we insult our mothers sisters and daughters all the time.
Image: Shilpa Shukla
Photographs: NV Reuben
'Every rapist should be castrated'
Neetu Chandra, actress: I am hoping for divine intervention for proper justice to happen.
Nirbhaya’s family and all of us deserve nothing less. The current punishment is a joke.
Deepa Sahi, actress: The very idea of rape makes my blood boil. Every rapist should be castrated. If a person is old enough to commit such a heinous crime, he is old enough to be punished for it.
The law needs to be implemented in a perspective. Nothing in life makes sense without a context. Otherwise offenders will always take advantage of well-intended laws.
Kunal Kohli, director: It is sick and disgusting that the perpetrator of one of the worst crimes in recent times gets away with just three years. This is a mockery of justice. Juvenile laws should not be applicable for rape and murder.
If you can commit such a crime then you do not qualify as a juvenile. What is really juvenile here is our archaic legal system.
Prasoon Joshi, ad filmmaker and lyricist: This decision urges us to look at a more nuanced process of justice. Our fight for the safety and dignity of women needs us to re-define the law.
Image: Neetu Chandra
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
'If he is old enough to rape, he is old enough to hang'
Kabir Bedi, actor: The three-year sentence is outrageous. The maximum sentence the juvenile court is allowed to give must be changed immediately, and in this case with retrospective effect.
Richa Chadha, actress: Those who are declared juveniles are often parents. We can’t show this leniency just because he is declared a juvenile. If he is old enough to rape he is old enough to hang. Or he could be a bomb ready to explore after three years.
Surely, effectual reform is the way forward.
To simply claim he is a child and must be handled leniently is myopic. He was conscious of the chilling crime he committed.
Onir, filmmaker: The verdict is a shame.
I think looking at how fast the new generation grows 16 is the new 21. While I believe that the so-called juvenile needs to be counselled and given a chance because his crime is a consequence of social divide and illiteracy that we are guilty of.
I hope this judgement does not give licence to others of that age group to commit the same crime.
Also, I am worried about what such a ‘juvenile’ can do to other inmates in a remand home. It is a shame that the law doesn’t know how to evaluate every case individually and functions on obsolete rules.
Pooja Bhatt, filmmaker: I am too nauseated to comment. The thought that this person will be roaming the streets in less than three years is scary, to say the least.
Image: Kabir Bedi
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar