There are two sides to a coin. On the one side are the rape victim, her family, and common people shouting for justice. On the other are family members of the rapist who are forced to live in shame. The Bharthua panchayat in Bihar has ostracised the family of Manoj Sah, the man accused of raping the five-year-old.

The family is suffering because it failed to teach its son moral values and responsibility towards society. It is the duty of parents to inculcate moral values in their wards so that they become responsible citizens. This will help not only the wards from committing heinous crimes but also the parents to live a respectful life.

Neeraj Tiwary,

Delhi

Whenever atrocities against women come to light, we have the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and others making tall statements. But no effort is made to punish the culprits swiftly. In this context, the immediate action taken by the Bharthua panchayat is remarkable and laudable. Unless stringent punishment is meted out to rapists, it may not be that easy to reduce atrocities against women.

T.V. Nageswara Rao,

Visakhapatnam

By ostracising the alleged rapist and his immediate family, the nondescript hamlet in Bihar has proven to be wiser and bolder than the rest of the country. While New Delhi witnesses faithful demonstrations after every act of sexual abuse and an insensitive and weak government perfunctorily hastens through a law against assault on women, the village in remote Bihar has stood up and showed vision, courage and concern. Social isolation is worse than death. A thousand gallows for rapists will not deter rape. But a social boycott will act as an effective deterrence.

Anilkumar Kurup,

Manama

It is distressing to read letters hailing the Bharthua panchayat’s decision to ostracise not just Manoj but his whole family. One is reminded of the Fascist regime which killed not just the ‘traitor’ but annihilated his whole family.

Shakti Singh,

Shimla

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