As much as I despise torture, and as much as I frown upon vigilante justice, I find it difficult to outright condemn this man. The father who tortured and then killed his impregnated fourteen year-old daughter's rapist claims he didn't mean to kill him.
“I burned his genitals once, he screamed. I did it again, he shuddered. When I did it the third time..he did not move. He was dead…I did not want to kill him,” the 36-year-old father has reportedly confessed. He tortured a 45-year-old medicine supplier after he found out that the supplied had allegedly raped his 14-year-old daughter and made her pregnant.
Rape in India is out of control, and the justice system seems to perpetuate rape more than prosecute it. Patriarchic cultural mores that punish victims further by branding them as "dishonored" -- sometimes to the point of justifying their murder as an "honor killing" in a demented interpretation that somehow the murder of their violated daughters or wives will restore honor to the family, are commonplace.
In fact it's the reason the father gave for not going to the police before dispensing "justice" himself. After the rapist warned his victim to shut up or risk dire consequences.
Perhaps it's because of the fact that this father couldn't take the pain and emotional toll the rape took on his daughter that I feel conflicted. That despite my own moral compass that condemns the torture and murder of the rapist being the wrong way to deal with it, I still somehow feel empathy for the father and most importantly his daughter. Appreciative that if vigilante justice was going to occur anyway, rather the rapist, (himself a father of four daughters), than his victim.
Obviously I still think torture and murder is wrong. I am against capital punishment, for heaven's sake. Yet this story still haunts me. Because rape culture is so pervasive, despite my better judgment and supposedly evolved mindset, I find it difficult to lament the punishment of its biggest perpetrators.