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It is heartening to see that policymakers are listening to public opinion, but they also need to hear the voices from the marginalised communities. The spirit of real democracy is, as Mahatma Gandhi says, when the welfare of poorest of the poor is prioritised by government. The issue of lowering the age of a juvenile is far more complex than is apparent.
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This December, the 16th, marked the third anniversary of the Delhi gang-rape that horrified the world. I am sharing my story to tell the world a few facts: That, even today in Indian cities, in public transportation, we are all Jyoti Singh and that whatever happened to her could have happened to any of us. We must not forget her. We must say her name and in her honour, we must empower all girls.
The belief that juveniles, even those committing heinous offences, get away with little or no punishment in the name of reformation has led to a strident demand for a reduction in the age of juvenility. This mass hysteria has clearly been bought into by the current government, which has repealed and re-enacted the entire law on juvenile justice. The legislation follows the "adult time for adult crime" approach, which I argue is not appropriate for the administration of juvenile justice.