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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightKerala beats POCSO!

Kerala beats POCSO!

Kerala beats POCSO!

In Kerala which boasts of being the most socially and culturally enlightened state in India, it is a stark truth that the number of cases registered on sexual abuses against minor boys an girls, is increasing every year. Not to be forgotten is the fact that this phenomenon happened after the POCSO Act of 2012 came into force in the country. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which was passed by the Parliament following some incidents that shocked the entire country, prescribes rigorous punishment for those who abuse children to satisfy their thirst for sex. But figures show that this has not contributed significantly to the minors who as per 2011 census constitute 47 crore of the population. , A total of 1.5 lakh cases have been registered in India in 2019. In Kerala alone, 4641 POCSO cases were registered in 2023. It is alarming that this is the highest number for a year in the last eight years. A look at the record of the previous years will show that not only there is no decrease in the number of POCSO cases in any single year from the previous, but also there is an ascent every year. With it, there is a sad situation in which even a quarter of what actually happens is not reported to the police station.

The matter of great concern is why this immorality, which dims the future of children and younger generation bleak, is not adequately addressed. The fact that this deep moral degradation facing the country is not even a topic of discussion when the bugle of the 18th general elections is being blown, can only be seen as a national disaster. The irony is that from those who are making all preparations for the construction of Ram Rajya, to those who are clamouring for an egalitarian society and go hoarse about fascism weakening democratic constitution, do not even promise to take steps to reduce the crimes that are ravaging the country. In other words, strong laws are in place to deal with them, including the most recently passed Nyay Sanhita, and the Shiksha Sansthan, but then would it be that their very existence in the statute books is lulling rulers, opposition and social scientists to a complacence that such laws are be sufficient to reduce delinquency and crimes and eventually to wipe them out? If so, there could be nothing worse than such miscalculation.

It is sad that even in their own homes, the younger generations - especially females - are losing security or a life with dignity. . This is not an attempt to generalize isolated incidents. For many reasons, only a few incidents that go unreported attract the attention of law enforcement officers under certain circumstances and are prosecuted. Still the investigation gets nowhere. Even in cases where evidence has been obtained, the court proceedings drag on indefinitely and the defendants roam freely, which gives them an opportunity to repeat the abuses time and again. Above all, there is a flourishing mass media that incites sexual assaults. The all-time high prevalence of alcohol, which is one of the main sources of income for the state government, and the ever-expanding drug trade, which is catching on among youth, are all too obvious to need any convincing about the extent of spread of sexual offences.

The remedy mostly proposed for every such malady, is the introduction of sex education in schools. It would be beneficial, or undoubtedly even necessary, to provide scientific sex education in a healthy environment by teachers with self-restraint and prudence.. However, sex education should not wait for the arrest of the criminals who ruin the lives of girls by subjecting them to brutal sexual harassment and punish them under the POCSO Act. Religious-ethical-political movements and institutions have the responsibility to enlighten the society to turn away from sexual crimes through strong and comprehensive awareness.

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TAGS:POCSO ActEditorialincrease in crimeslast seven yearslaw without enforcement
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