A crime is a crime. But when the perpetrators are those with whom we should feel most safe and secured, how do we deal with it? We are not talking about small acts of thievery and cheat. We are talking about lives and well-being of young boys and girls.
Media know and play by their rules. They are acutely aware of the roles they must play in the making of a society that is harmonious and safe for both adults and children. When someone gone mental comes hovering down on our children to violate their innocence, the media will not unsee and keep shut. Because that is not right.
When teachers molest children and throw babies out of windows, some experts hold the view that media has overdone with reporting the incidences. There will always be varying viewpoints. But the rules that govern our personal beliefs must also change with intensity and growing nature of crimes that unfold by the day in the communities.
A teacher who had a past record of having molested his students and landed a job in a school in Thimphu to repeat the same crime in broad day light in a class is disturbing. May be it is not for certain people. Teachers allegedly impregnating support staff and throwing a newborn out the window is unsettling. May be some media experts see it differently. Media practitioners have moved on, though. They are worried by the loss of one relic piece from a choeten and by one inappropriate touch of an adult’s hand on children.
And there are many crimes in between.
If crimes committed are horrendous, shocking and inhuman it is the responsibility of the media to bring them, the perpetrators, to the fore so that even if it means nothing to them people are aware of and alert about the dangers in our vicinities.
It is often the image of the group we protect that is at the heart of complacency and rising crime rates. Concerning the recent crimes, teachers are, of course, embarrassed by what a few among them in their warped sense of being did what they did, but they are equally and openly against such behaviours from among them.
Condemning the recent incidents, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has asked the Office of the Attorney General to investigate and prosecute the case thoroughly and hand down the heaviest punishments to the guilty. He said no person who has been indicted for rape, sexual harassment and molestation, especially of a child or a minor should be given security clearance for a lifetime for any kind of work.
This is perhaps how certain acts of crime should be dealt with, but then crimes in their myriad manifestations will continue to occur.
There is today a yawning gap that needs to be filled. Where laws are short of hand, media are going all out. And they will continue to do so boldly to make our society safe for all.