I said, “I will send her to my therapists. And we have all kinds of therapies possible. So she will have to move through all those therapies, which will cleanse her mind, make it clearer, more perceptive, so that she recognizes that what she did was something in the unconscious of her own mind. And once you recognize something as your own unconscious – this is a law of nature – it loses control over you.”
Not only to Sheela, this is my approach to all crime. For five thousand years we have been punishing criminals, and the whole story is simply hilarious.
A man tries to commit suicide but is caught red-handed, so he could not commit it. Now, the court in many countries gives him death as punishment.
Strange world. Strange laws made by great men.
You support the man. He was committing suicide – that was a crime. You caught him, and now you kill him and that is punishment. In fact, you are fulfilling his desire which he has not been able to fulfill.
Somebody commits a murder – certainly the greatest crime. But the question is: the murder is committed in the past, the man has a long future ahead; who gives you the authority to hang this man and destroy his future? For one thing, killing him will not bring life to the man who is murdered.
Killing him is not justice but only revenge. You are doing the same that the man had done. But he is a criminal because he is powerless, alone, and you have the power of the government, the power of the law, the power of the army, so naturally you can justify your crime as law. But murder in any way is unlawful.
Can any court give life to any man? If the courts cannot give life to any man, then no court has the authority to destroy any man’s life. And, in fact, it is not needed at all. That the man committed murder simply means something is wrong with his psychology. It is not a crime; it is a disease. It has to be treated, not punished.
And for a single act you condemn the whole man. That too, is not justified. You can condemn the act, but you cannot condemn the individual. The individual has to be respected, just as he was respected before. All that can be done is, he should be sent respectfully into a psychiatric nursing home, treated, helped, so the wound in his psychology which created the crime disappears.
Your jails are nothing but universities for criminology. A man goes into your jail for two years’ confinement. He was just an amateur, obviously; otherwise it would not have been so easy to catch hold of him. But in the jail he finds great thieves, master thieves, experts of crime who have come many times to the jail and treat the jail as their home. They are called jailbirds.
Outside, they don’t like it very much. You leave them and soon they will commit a crime and will be back again. And all the criminals in the jail know one thing: that they have been punished not because they committed the crime; they have been punished because they were caught…because they know people who have committed the same crime on a far greater scale and are respectable citizens, are receiving Nobel Prizes. They have not been caught.
So the real crime is to be caught. Crime itself is not crime. And once this enters into the mind of a person, you have spoiled his psychology forever.