India’s Progress Or India’s Regress?
So, how’s India doing these days? Before, you grimace and wonder whether or not this is going to be a long diatribe on the country’s progress or regress, let me take the elephant out of the room by saying that it is going to be neither. This is going to be a game of numbers; pure, simple and well, government authorised. What am I talking about? Well, recently the Ministry of Home Affairs released its 2017-18 report (MHA report) and while one of its points made headlines, there’s much more in the 334-page dossier that didn’t make any news.
Now, the reasons for this can be diverse – maybe the mainstream media didn’t find it newsworthy enough, maybe, the shock value of the report wasn’t titillating enough to merit a hot debate on primetime news, maybe just maybe like all important news, things that matter always get sidetracked. Then again, who am I to judge the behemoths? All I can do is state the facts and in the end, we are also going to leave a link to the dossier, so that one can check for themselves. A salient point to be noted here is that this comes from the “government,” therefore, these are reported statistics. The things that went unreported are probably higher in numbers.
The One That Made To The Headlines From The MHA Report
Child lifting and hoaxes surrounding it have been discussed widely. It was cited by several publications that a WhatsApp message has been doing the rounds throughout the country leading to the lynching of people and causing several mob outrages. This has propelled the state and national authorities alike and also the media to issue warnings and educate people that one shouldn’t take everything on social media in its face value and there should be a proper validation of the sources instead of panicking and lynching on innocent people.
What the media picked up from the MHA report was the fact that there was a 30% increase in child kidnapping in India in 2016, or to be exactly as per the government statistics, 54,723 children have been kidnapped in 2016. While this comes as a shocking revelation, one would do good to remember that the same report shows that out of these kidnappings, charge sheets were prepared in only 40.4% of the cases and the biggie is the fact that the conviction rate for the same was 22.7%. So, in plain terms, the authorities were able to catch a very small fraction of the kidnappers and children. There are thousands of children out there, who have been kidnapped in 2016 and no one knows what happened to them. Now, the 2017 figures are yet to come by but one can safely assume that it will add to the already staggering statistics.
Those That Didn’t Make The Headlines But Should Have
Dowry Death, Rape And Assault On Women With Intent To Outrage Her Modesty, Cruelty By Husband Or His Relatives:
The MHA report says that from the 8455 dowry deaths officially registered in 2014, the number came to 7621 in 2016 and the charge sheet was filed in 88.7% of the cases too. This sounds amazing until you come to the part where it says that the conviction rate was only 30.7%.
Now, coming down to rapes – in 2016, 38,947 cases were noted, which is a far cry from the 36,735 in 2014, two years after the Nirbhaya incident. So four years after the Nirbhaya incident, rape cases in India have been on an increasing graph. If that’s not scary, I wonder, what is!
Once again, it is important that we look at the charge sheets and conviction rate. Charge sheets were filed in 87.6% of the cases in 2016, however; the conviction rate stood at 25.5%. In short, the rapists got away.
Next comes an assault on women – according to the MHA report, this stood at 84,746 cases in 2016; as expected an increase from the 82,235 cases noted in 2014. The conviction rate dips further; here it is 21.8%.
Cases related to cruelty by husband or his relatives, however, came down from 1,22,877 cases in 2014 to 1,10,378 in 2016. Then again take a look at the conviction rate. It is mere 12.2%.
I would urge everyone to read this paragraph again. Understand that these are official statistics and even there the margins are very high and the conviction rates are abysmally low. There are thousands more that don’t get noticed by authorities. Add it to this, there is a pile of data and maybe it will help you to get the picture in your head. The numbers are increasing; the conviction rate is abysmally low. Even if people are getting caught, they are managing to get away.
Incidents Of Crime/Atrocities Against Scheduled Castes During 2014-2016:
Here’s where things go really bizarre. The numbers are so much in stark contrast; it’s really hard to ignore them. According to the MHA report, in 2014, the assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty was 2,346 and in 2016, it was 3,172. In 2014, rape incidents were 2,233 and in 2016 it climbed up to 2,541. In 2014, attempt to rape was 87, in 2016 it was 148.
Incidence Of Crimes Against Women During 2014-2016:
Things, as you can see, are slowly getting messy. The biggest sufferers in all these years have been women. I, as an Indian citizen, may find it hard to digest when a foreign organisation labels us as a dangerous place but when the MHA report itself brings forward stats such as these, it’s not unusual for a person to start questioning what if things are really that worse in here.
In 2014, cases related to causing miscarriage without women’s consent was 45; in 2015 it was 54 and in 2016 the number was 462. Let me repeat, from 45 in 2014 to 462 in 2016 and these are only the officially registered cases. The conviction rate here stands at zero. It’s a whopping 755.6% increase from 2015, YET the conviction rate is zero.
Acid attacks on women increased from 177 in 2014 to 206 in 2016; human trafficking from 469 in 2014 to 659 in 2016, at the same breath; unnatural offences against women stood at 105 in 2014 and in 2016 it was 489, noting an upward spike of 352.8% from the previous year.
The Final Stop Here, The Future Of The Nation, The Children
There is this one point here, among foeticide, infanticide, killing of children, kidnappings, selling of minor girls for prostitution, buying of minor girls for prostitution, abetment of suicide of a child that I couldn’t place my finger on.
Under un-natural offences against children it reads, 765 in 2014, and 1,247 in 2016. Apparently, there are people, living in the same country as I am, who don’t stop at just rape or murder.
The final toll here is 89,423 cases registered in 2014 and 1, 06,958 in 2016. The conviction rate is 30.7%
In the meantime, India is having its fill of Opium, Morphine, Heroin, Ganja, Hashish, Cocaine, Methaqualone, Ephedrine, Acetic Anhydride and ATS. In 2015, there were 96,794 drugs-related cases; in 2016 it was 3,50,862 cases. A 262.5% jump.
So, how do you think India is doing these days?