Monday, 27 June 2016

JUVENILE DELINQUENCY



Introduction: One of our Group-D staff is very active and laborious. Very seldom do we get such an employee from among the persons posted under Die-in-harness scheme. He is a tribal boy from Champaknagar area and still possesses an unblemished simplicity. It’s an incident of last year. He had produced some vegetables in his garden. Especially the production of bitter gourd was noteworthy.  He could even sell the excess vegetables in the market and earn something extra. One day he realized that somebody was stealing his vegetables. So, he made some inquiry by interacting with the local people and in the process suspected a teenage neighbour behind the theft. He visited the boy’s house and noticed a store of bitter gourd similar to the product of his field. My colleague raised the issue of theft of bitter gourd from his garden before the father of the boy.  The man didn’t admit rather he replied that he had purchased the vegetable from market. However, the theft of bitter gourd from the garden of my staff didn’t recur. Perhaps, the neighbour had told the truth. But, still there is a chance that he protected his child from the charge of theft.      

In our country, the birth of a baby is treated as a boon of God and the joy knows no bound when the first child is a son. The boy gets extra care and affection from family members including his neighbours. In course of this extra pampering, guardians often forget to punish their offspring when they commit an offence in their boyhood. Many a time we find such parents to lament afterwards, ‘Alas! We hadn’t punished him in childhood lest he got hurt! Now, we dare to touch him lest he pulls our ears!’

What I have described above is perhaps the first step of Juvenile delinquents’ life. The word Juvenile delinquent is defined as a young person who habitually breaks the law, especially somebody repeatedly charged with vandalism or anti social behaviour. Thus, those offence committed by adult and punishable which when committed by children between the age group of 7 to 18 are denoted as Juvenile crimes. Recently, the upper age limit has been brought down to 16 years for heinous cases like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. through an amendment of the relevant Act.    
               
Statistics : The Crime in India statistics for the year 2015 is yet to come up. Given below are some tables as per the latest statistics published by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in 2015  for the year 2014 in respect of Juvenile delinquents in India :
Table-I
JUVENILES’ DELINQUENCY OVER THE YEARS
Year

Cases of Juveniles’ Delinquency
Total Cognizable Crimes
Percentage Of Total Cognizable Crimes
Ratio per one lakh population
2010
22740
2224931
1.0
1.9
2011
25125
2325575
1.1
2.1
2012
27936
2387188
1.2
2.3
2013
31725
2647722
1.2
2.6
2014
33526
2851563
1.2
2.7

Table-II
JUVENILE DELINQUENCY IN TERMS OF CRIME HEADS
SL.No.

Crime Head
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
1
Murder
679
888
990
1007
841
2
Attempt to commit murder
543
642
580
825
728
3
Rape
858
1149
1175
1884
1989
4
Kidnapping & Abduction
524
760
789
1121
1455
5
Dacoity
97
134
174
160
182
6
Robbery
551
639
767
904
1024
7
Theft
4930
5320
5528
6386
6717
8
Outrage of Modesty
546
573
613
1424
1591
9
Others
14012
15024
17320
18014
18999
10
Total
22740
25125
27936
31725
33526

         Table-III
JUVENILE DELINQUENCY IN THE NORTH-EAST IN 2014
States
Arunachal Pradesh
Assam
Manipur
Meghalaya
Mizoram
Nagaland
Sikkim
Tripura
Total Incidents
77
466
20
120
44
09
19
64




The above statistics has covered only the cognizable cases registered in our country. It indicates a constantly increasing trend. However, in respect to contribution towards the total cognizable crimes in our country, the Juvenile delinquency maintains a constant figure of 1.2% in last three years. In the 33526 cases registered during 2014, a total of 48230 Juveniles were apprehended. Out of them 36138 had crossed 16 years but below 18 years of age. It comprises 34941 boys and 1197 girls. Number of Juveniles apprehended above 12 years and up to 16 years were 11220, comprising 10906 males and 314 females. Persons detained below 12 years of age were 872, comprising 791 boys and 81 girls. In terms of their education, ৷ 10530 were illiterates. Out of the rest, 15004 have studied up to Primary level, 17637 up to Madhyamik level and the rest 5059 up to Higher Secondary and above. Interestingly, 38693 had their parents and 7905 had their guardians to take care of them. Remaining 1632 were home-less. In Tripura, a total of 78 persons were apprehended in 64 cases in 2014. Out of them, 30 have studied up Primary level while 26 up to Madhyamik level and the rest 22 are illiterates.

        Reasons: Before I try to find the reasons behind the rise of Juvenile delinquency, I like to point out an incident of gang-rape of a twelve years old girl in Guwahati by five persons witnessed in the recent past. All the five accused persons were Juveniles. In the Nirbhaya case in Delhi, one of the principal accused was again juvenile and this in fact, moved the nation to amend the laws in this regard. This is just the tip of the ice-bergs, the actual extent of the menace of Juvenile delinquency in our society is far deep-rooted and it has multifarious impacts. With these few words, let’s discuss the possible reasons behind the Juvenile delinquency.
a)    Family: In a study it has been established that the disturbed family relation between the parents, especially which results in divorce is a major cause for the Juvenile delinquency. It contributes around 13.3% of such delinquencies.

b)    Association: Teenage boys and girls prefer the friends circle to their family relations. It’s termed as Peer pressure. The influence a peer group encourages others to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual. Often the delinquencies and addiction towards drug and alcohols percolate to friends. This factor contributes to around 23 % of the cases of Juvenile delinquency.


c)    Neighbourhood: The place of upbringing of boys and girls contribute to a great extent to build up his mentality. Chance of becoming a Juvenile delinquent is directly proportional to the crime rate of the area. The more we witness crime in an area the more is the chance of a minor becoming a delinquent.

d)    Poverty: A major cause of the Juvenile delinquency in our society is poverty. It is estimated that more than 400,000 children live in street in India. Mainly because of poverty and family conflict, they come to live on the streets and take on the full responsibilities of caring for themselves, including working to provide for and protecting themselves. They miss basic amenities and observe the wealthy lifestyle of children from rich families. This discrimination acts as catalyst for children from poor families to become delinquents.


e)    Politics: A large section of politicians in our country are corrupt and involved in criminal activities. They maintain link with the underworld criminal gangs and mafias to run illegal business like running bootlegging, gambling, prostitution, beggary, etc. Often, they utilize the service of children for running their business and thereby to amass wealth. The children become addicted to vices and turn delinquents.

f)     Education: There is a very famous quotation of Swami Vivekananda, "Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man". Education helps us to become a responsible citizen of country. At times, education also contributes towards the Juvenile delinquency. The IQ level of children varies according the phenomenon of Nature. But when a kid of low IQ level fares badly in the examination, often he or she gets scolding from parents and even torture. Statistics indicates that children with IQ level from 80 to 85 are vulnerable for becoming delinquent. A normal child has IQ around 100.


Conclusion: To conclude, we may consider the following steps for controlling the Juvenile delinquency:
1)    We should take care for grooming the personality of a teenage boy or a girl. He or she should get the required affection and social safety.
2)    As parents or guardian we should assess the IQ of the child and if any aberration is noticed he or she should be given with proper treatment. The early we do it, the less is the chance of his/her becoming delinquent.
3)    The children should get chance for participating in extracurricular activities like games and sports, music, dance, paintings, Yoga, etc.
4)    Efforts should be taken for offering our offspring with value based education to make them responsible citizens of our country.  
5)    We should debar delinquency not the delinquent.
6)    Confession of guilt perhaps checks a person from becoming hardcore. So, encourage your child to tell the truth even if he or she gets involved in any aberration.
7)    Try to give your child proper ambience in his childhood both at home and outside.
8)    Instead of concealing the delinquency which perhaps you have noticed in a teenage ensure his/her to undergo the corrective measures.
9)     Keep away the materials or means in the vicinity which may spoil your child.
10) Child-labour is curse for the entire nation. Children should not be deprived of their right to education.
11)  The best way for curing a Juvenile delinquent is entrusting him with some added responsibility like preventing other children from becoming prey to the menace of Juvenile delinquency.
       

It’s easier said than done, I shall conclude the write up with a story involving Tagore. One boy had access to visit to the house of Gurudev. One day he stole a pen of the poet.    To his friends who had similar access to remain in the vicinity of the great poet he told that Gurudev had gifted him the article. Being disheartened at the preference of Tagore, his friends couldn’t conceal their feelings. Taking the name of the boy one day, one of them said, ‘Gurudev, you have given him a pen. But, you never consider us fit for that!’

Tagore was very much surprised at this and he said, ‘So, it’s the reason, I am not finding the pen for last few days. He is also not stepping this side for last few days.’
At once his friends suggested, ‘Shall we bring him?’
The great poet said, ‘Not at all! Let his conscience rise to confess, otherwise he will become a hardcore criminal.’
We should be extremely temperament in dealing with the Juvenile delinquents.