You are on page 1of 3

1/28/2017 The bizarre correlation of freedom and crime – The Shillong Times

ABOUT  |  CONTACT US

SELECT MENU

Browse: Home / 2017 / January / 25 / The bizarre correlation of freedom and crime

The bizarre correlation of freedom and crime


PUBLIC | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2017

By Fabian Lyngdoh

Freedom and crime are strange bedfellows. Decrease in crime leads to increase in freedom, but increasing
freedom leads to increasing crimes. This bizarre correlation is due to the compounded correlation between
‘individual freedom’ and ‘collective order’ which have a positive correlation only up to a certain optimum
level when a balance is achieved in the ‘social order’. Beyond that level, enhancement of individual
freedom would lead to increasing crimes by the common citizens; and enhancement of collective order
would lead to increasing crimes by the rulers. Perfect democracy where equality and justice reign lies in the
mid-point between anarchy of lawless freedom, and the rule of a tyrant.

Most of the social disorders in modern societies are rooted in the individuals’ attempts to expand freedom
in the name of democracy. Today we are witnessing a rising contempt of social order and defiant disregard
for law and authority. Defiant individual behaviour and excessive critical stance against authority are not
signs of a democratic character but are reflections of social disorder and anarchy. So, democracy must be
viewed more in the context of mutual submission to the rule of law than in the context of rights and
freedoms. Indeed, individuals would not find real freedom apart from the protection of the collective
authority. If we downplay social norms and moral codes by over-emphasizing individual freedom there
would be lawlessness and anarchy in a society because individual freedom is limitless. Democratic right is
nothing but regulated freedom.

Let us consider the crime of rape which is much talked about today. In popular language rape is a forced
sexual intercourse committed by a man on a woman against her will. If the sexual act is committed with the
full consent of a female adult, then it is not a rape, but it is perceived as a democratic freedom defined as
permissible ‘sex between consenting adults’ which can be legally indulged even outside the marriage bond.
There are two forms of rape that a man can commit: One form is committed without the consent of a female
adult; and the other form is committed with the consent of a female who is falling short of the age of
consent. But the age of consent varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction between fourteen to eighteen years.
Hence, there is no universal yardstick for marking the age of consent for marriage or for charging a man of
rape.  In traditional societies, the age of consent for sexual union is decided by the family or by customs.
Among the Khasis there is no definite age of consent recognised by tradition. Visible signs that a girl had
entered into the age of youth called ‘khyllud’ seemed to be sufficient to define the age of consent. There
were cases of marriages solemnised according to the traditional custom between girls of fourteen years of
age, usually with much older men, either with or without consent of the girls. In clause 1 of Canon 1083 of
The Code of Canon Law, 1983, it is prescribed, “A man cannot validly enter marriage before the completion
of his sixteenth year of age, nor a woman before the completion of her fourteenth year.”
http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2017/01/25/the­bizarre­correlation­of­freedom­and­crime/ 1/4
1/28/2017 The bizarre correlation of freedom and crime – The Shillong Times

In India the age of consent is eighteen. Hence, consensual sex with a woman of seventeen years of age is a
rape in India, but it is ‘sex between consenting adults’ in other countries. The gravity of rape should be seen
more in the context of its being a forceful act against a human person, not so much in terms of breaking the
age-of-consent law. A man who rapes a woman of forty years of age commits a greater crime than a man
who has consensual sex with a woman of seventeen. Transgression of a relative law can be treated only as
an offence against the state, but transgression of fundamental law by aggression on a human person is an
offence not only against the state, but also against the society.

Why is there rising rate of rapes?  Rape is interpreted by feminists in terms of power play in the context of
patriarchy. But rape is fundamentally concerned with the sex instinct, not with the power play of
patriarchy. There are many reasons, mental and social why a man rapes a woman. The most important
mental factor is because he is deprived of moral conscience either by habitual defiance against the moral
code and social authority or by momentary pressure of the sex instinct in a man who harbours unconscious
feeling of rejection. Hence, for the moment, he perceives the act as a harmless and natural indulgence, and
the strong protecting arm of social authority against such action does not reflect in his mind. The catalyst to
the act is the particular situation when such an act could be committed without visible hindrance. A sexual
act though accompanied by pleasure, is fundamentally meant for propagation of genetic heritage. Hence,
most rapists prefer younger females, because in line with socio-biological principle, younger females are
unconsciously perceived as still having longer children-bearing period.

An important social factor is the increasing laxity of attitude towards sex in modern society. Rampant
sexual indulgence is no longer considered as a sin answerable to divine authority whose judgment cannot
be avoided, but only as a crime answerable only to legal authority which can be cleverly escaped. The
pleasure of violence and bloodshed portrayed in movies sell like hot cakes. If we increasingly seek to
secularize even the faith in God for the sake of the material and social world, then faith in Satan
manifesting in rebellious deviance, lust and violence, becomes increasingly religious for the destruction of
the moral self.

I am not defending the rapists, but I am not defending the champions of excessive freedom either. The
minds of this generation are cruelly indoctrinated by blatant propaganda of the pleasure of violence and
sexual freedom. Anyone can surf the internet and find all kinds of sexual exploitation of helpless and
hopeless women and children in sex actions not only with humans but also with dogs and horses. A school
boy can easily pollute his mind in the company of his smart phone and see how teenage girls are being gang
raped by five or six adult men, an old grandfather having sex with a teenage granddaughter, a teen age son
having sex with his own mother, defloration sex of teenage virgins is being explicitly displayed in the
mobile screens by uncensored production companies, all in the name of freedom. How producers of such
reprehensible things could have the right to acquire a space in the internet in the name democratic
freedom is the question everyone has to answer.

The fundamental problem does not lie with the individual criminals, but lies deeply with the kind of society
that breeds such human beasts. It is no use arguing with the criminals how they could have committed
crimes because they have enough reasons to justify their ghastly acts. Solution does not lie with the law
because according to democratic freedom, unless a criminal is convicted by a court judgment, his
confession before the police is not final evidence and even the charge sheet by the police is taken only as
argument of the accuser subject to the counter-argument of the accused. Because of democratic freedom
even a confessed criminal has the right through his legal counsel to argue for acquittal from his crime.
There is no solution with the government either because by virtue of democratic freedom, a criminal or

http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2017/01/25/the­bizarre­correlation­of­freedom­and­crime/ 2/4
1/28/2017 The bizarre correlation of freedom and crime – The Shillong Times

surrendered terrorist had the right to contest election. Because of democratic freedom the people had the
right to elect him as their representative to the government.

Solution to rampant crime of rape would include the censuring of aggressive, arrogant and exploitative
commercialisation of female sexuality by the male-dominated corporate world which marred the image of
all womanhood and deranged the minds of ordinary men and turned some of them into cruel predators
against innocent victims. In the name of prosperous economy, Thailand was popularised as an attractive
centre of sex tourism, and Thai women had to demonstrate against such questionable item of export by the
slogan, “This is Thailand, not Thigh-land”. There is a need to eradicate the slogan “Wealth, Wine, and
Women” which portrays women only as objects of pleasure for men. Women’s organisations should fight
against the attempt by corporate patriarchy to victimize womanhood in the guise of empowerment and
freedom. We have to keep in mind that freedom of the common man is assured only by curbing the
freedom of the criminal, and the criminal is bred in excessive freedom.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE NEXT ARTICLE
Jallikattu protestors 2nd session of Khasi classes from Feb 4

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Search Site… SEARCH

CATEGORIES

Meghalaya National

Regional International

Sports Editorial

Entertainment Buzz Letters to the Editor

Special Article Sunday Canvas

Your Neighbourhood Polls Archive

ST POLL

Question: Do you think victims of sexual


harrasment should immediately file FIRs
irrespective of who the perpetrator is?

http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2017/01/25/the­bizarre­correlation­of­freedom­and­crime/ 3/4