When an injustice occurs repeatedly without any action taken against it, it usually becomes a norm. Such is the case of the increasing instances of acid attacks in our society, with mostly women being the victims in these atrocities. Looking at the cases of acid attacks, one sees that they are usually carried out by jilted lovers, ex-fiancés or mistrustful husbands. Or they are committed by people who do not have any particular reason or excuse to distort someone’s face other than sheer spite and frustration.
Acid attacks are carried out over the most capricious of reasons. They are a product of the ills that our society shies away from pointing out, thus allowing them to bloom. Acid attacks, and the vitriol they represent, leave irreparable damage not only on the human body but also on the nervous system, leaving the victim emotionally crippled. Full recovery from this excruciating experience is a rarity. A life is altered for the worse forever, all because of a small rejection or exercise of free will by women or men.
Yes, the victims in such cases are not always women as our media would have us believe. While the percentage of female victims is greater than male ones, we must not be so myopic as to bring to our minds the image of a disfigured and distorted female whenever we hear or read about such attacks. Men can also be vulnerable to this atrocity. Regardless of the gender of the victim or the perpetrator though, we must accept that what is wrong is wrong. Acid thrown on either a male or a female is reprehensible and no reason can justify the disfiguring of a person. The state has a vital role to play in this regard. Such dangerous substances as those used in acid attacks must not be made readily available in local markets or sold at low prices. Any business transaction related to such toxic substances should be monitored at the grass-root level.
Strong actions against culprits who commit this act are rarely seen. They need to be made public examples out of, and exposed in the media so that the general public is made aware of the repercussions of these acts and is educated about the evils of extreme anger and malice.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2015.
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