Th Kamini Kumar Singh
Life is more precious than the money you earned. There will never be an effect without a cause. The transformation a juvenile into a juvenile in conflict with law is an effect resulted from a cause. Such cause arises from the society. It is not because of his destiny to become so but due to his growing up in an unhealthy social environment of full of corruptions, crimes, extortions, hates, etc. It is boldly claimed that the destiny of our future lies with our juveniles. He is called the pillar of the nation and the destiny of the future. Is such claiming a mere lip service? By a Juvenile, it is understood as a young person who is under the legal age of adulthood. He is an adolescent, and is in the process of developing from a child to an adult. It is the formative stage for him to become a good and responsible citizen of the country. Under the law a person who attains 18 years of age is known as an adult. When a juvenile attains the adulthood, he is granted with the right to exercise adult suffrage i.e. the right to vote in the elections. What he needs at this formative stage is the protective umbrella of the society. Is the society giving him sufficient care and protection as the law mandates? What are the causes for to-day’s ever increasing number of juvenile in conflict with law? This is a serious issue for all.
There are various factors which are responsible for transformation of a juvenile into a juvenile in conflict with law. Of these, the unrestricted flow of the proceeds of crime through the money-laundering in the social setup is one of the relevant factors.
We, human beings, seem to forget all about the three grammatical tenses i.e. the past tense, the present tense and the future tense in the context of human life. The past and the present make the future. We held our heads high with the glories of the past, but we make the present with full of crimes, turmoil, deceit, trust deficit, etc. Being haunted by the present, we do not care what the tomorrow will be. We must remember if the present fights with the past, there will be no future. If there is no future, everything will become a history of the past. So we must fight for the future. If one gives a serious though to the happening presently in Manipur, it will be felt that our concerns for the future seem to be thrown in the air. It is a matter of pain and pleasure. The pain without pleasure is for the weaker sections of the society; the pleasure without pain is only for those rich peoples who generate and accumulate wealth through the criminal activities. Will it be a paradox to draw an inference that the unabated increasing numbers of the juveniles in conflict with law in Manipur are related with the increase in the numbers of so called rich men? The answer is with you. It will be an interesting piece of discussion on how the manner of generation and accumulation of wealth in the society has impacted the behaviour of the juveniles. There is a wide gap between the rich and poor. Nowadays it becomes easier to count the poor than the rich. How the wealth can be generated and accumulated within a short period of time if it is not from the money-laundering? Everybody knows. The sources of revenue in our State are limited and minimal. The State has no industry worth to name. Its agricultural products are not sufficient to meet the local demands. Most of the things and materials available in the State are brought from outside the State. The prices of all things and materials available in the State are comparatively much higher than that of the other States. Most of the well educated persons are without employment. Unemployment in the State is a big issue. The financial benefits entitled to the serving and the retired employees cannot be disbursed well in time due to lack of funds in the government purse; they are under-paid. In spite of all these drawbacks, how all these wealth are generated to make many persons rich within a short period of time in this State? Is there any “mantra” to acquire easy wealth in a State? Do these rich persons only know it? Do they know well of the time, place and situation of a given circumstances to act?
In a country rules by the rule of law, the generation and accumulation of wealth shall always be through the hard work and the lawful means. So long as the generation and accumulation of wealth is through the hard work and the lawful means, the social, economical and political balance in the society shall remain in equilibrium. There will be peaceful co-existence amongst the members of the society. It becomes difficult to maintain such equilibrium when the proceeds of crime pour into the society without any hindrance. It resulted to economical imbalance in the society. Once the equilibrium is lost, there will an adverse impact in the social, economical and political setup of the society. It disturbs all activities of each and every member of the society. But who cares for it? Whenever there is an adverse impact in the social setup, whatever may be the cause, it hits most to a juvenile even though he is innocent and tender at birth. He becomes a victim of the circumstances. Why the society fails to provide a protective umbrella to our juveniles to become them the responsible citizens of the Country? Is it not the right time to remember why the ancient civilisation did not last long?
The children of the economically weak parents suffer most from the economical imbalances in the society. For economically weak parents, their main focus is to meet the daily needs than to spare time for his care, protection and development. His care and protection becomes a secondary concern for them. To meet the felt needs, all unfelt needs are neglected by them.
No one can stop the running wheel of time. With the passage of time, it becomes a great difficulty for the parents to keep him confined within the four walls of the house. He is deprived of the necessities of life. He gets the advantage to roam freely. He is, therefore, left unattended. He observes the lavishly spending of money as the pieces of paper by the so called rich person. But he cannot understand that he and his parents are forced to become the victims of economical imbalance in the society. He sees the world from a wrong perspective. Such a situation forces him to transform himself into a neglected child. He gets an impression that one’s respect and regard in the present society is earned through the wealth accumulated by an individual.
He has no care to the means used by the individual to generate and accumulate the wealth is lawful or unlawful,. He considers that money is everything. He loses fear and respect of the moral values. At this juncture, he looks upon everything and everyone as his enemy. This is the beginning to transform him into a juvenile in conflict with law. This opens the door for him to indulge the criminal activities without knowing the seriousness of the consequences of his activities. He can be lured easily to indulge the criminal activities to satisfy his hunger and wants; the criminal activities become his escape doors from all pains encountered in his daily life. He will try all possible means at any opportune moment to do illegal things. Whatever he earns from such illegal means will be utilised to project himself as an individual born with a silver spoon. He prepares to meet any eventuality of the present but nothing for the future. Now he involuntarily metamorphoses himself into an anti social element. He has tasted the blood of crimes. The blood of crimes runs in his self. Shall we remain as the mute spectator as the death man lies? It is the simple word “No”. Otherwise our present will venture into a future of unknown destinations. We must raise voices to rescue the metamorphosis of all juveniles into the juveniles in conflict with law. It is a question of now or never.
For securing the best interests of the children, the Constitution imposes the primary responsibility to the State to ensure that all needs of children are met and their basic human rights are fully protected. To fulfil the constitutional mandate, the laws enacted by Parliament should be implemented in full spirit by the State Government. In order to tide over from the present malady, all public spirited NGOs, agencies, individuals, but no private spirited one, should come forward to make a wake-up call .
The writer is from Nongmeibung, Imphal
Th Kamini Kumar Singh