We see any crime through our narrow spectrum and define it as an individual disconnected action or at times a reaction to any preceding or expected action. But this process is not as simple as it might seem. Deprivation, parental ignorance, societal neglect, low self-esteem, feelings of revenge, attaining quick fame, drug abuse, poverty, racism and witnessing violence in its several forms are some of the reasons behind the path that leads to a crime. Zooming out to understand the past incidents, childhood experiences,parental upbringing and other ‘accidents’ in life are few of the factors to be considered while analysing the reasons for crime. Every criminal weighs the rewards of the crime way higher than the consequences. That encourages them to commit the crime while, in most of the cases, knowing its ill consequences. Had it been a socially just society, the urge for revenge and feelings of deprivation would not have existed. Social wellbeing, standard of living and mental condition play their role in the same way as all aforementioned factors do. In an unjust society, lack of opportunities incite an urge for crimes. In an unjust society where opportunities are are not at the disposal of all but few, the feelings of deprivation would lead individuals to snatch their rights when they do not get them the other way.
Human mind is a complex organ. It can create wonders or it may create havoc. How a ‘mentally disturbed’ mind be subject to the same trail when mind and body are fully out of synchronisation. Let me help the readers envision the idea using a simple analogy. Imagine a car gets into an accident. While analysing the reason for accident, who is at fault if the steering of a car and tyres are not aligned? Car, steering or the alignment? Certainly the alignment for both other parts were doing their jobs as per their design and function. It was the out-of-synchronisation of both that led to the fatal accident. And the blame for this out-of-synchronisation partly lies on the shoulders of the driver for his ignorance and unpreparedness. As it is true for all other idiosyncrasies found in society, no child is born a criminal. It is true that different individuals have different tendencies to get involved in criminal acts. Filling a jar with salt wound not turn it into sugar. How long you may wait or how hard u may try, it still tastes salty. Same way, a mind being fed with hatred, discrimination, superiority complexes, intolerance and dogmatic bigotry would only give rise to criminal responses.
It goes without doubt that the severity of the punishment needs to be stronger in order to prevent crime in a society. If punishment is harder, crime rates are to vary inversely for the fear of being caught and facing the consequences get higher. Amid this mechanism of punishments for crimes, it remains our responsibility to consider all the factors discussed earlier while analysing and evaluation the motives behind the crime. Addressing the underlying factors that lead to crime would help us shape a better society.
We not only need to be tough on crimes but also on the causes of the crimes.
Bridging the lacunas of inequality in our societies, easing off the provision of basic human necessities, harmonised parental upbringing, social inclusion of all irrespective of any differentiation, having a check on drug and substance abuse, racism and intolerance in the society and cessation of the violence being telecasted and viewed by children and adults alike would help us create the societies we all dream of.