My God Is A Juvenile Delinquent – 2008
“If children are created in the image of God, then… My God is a Juvenile Delinquent.”
When a child is accused of committing an offence, then the child is known to be “in conflict with law” or a juvenile delinquent. In India, there are more than 30,000 children, who are supposed to be “in conflict with the law.”
The maximum period a child can be kept in judicial custody is fourteen days, thus if the child is not released, then every fortnight, the child is presented in front of the Principal Magistrate, who passes an order to extend the juvenile custody by another fourteen days.
Author and documentary filmmaker, Ruzbeh N. Bharucha, whose earlier work dealt with mother and child in Indian prisons, volunteering as a social worker, spent time with these children, in the confines of the cell, where the children waited to be presented in front of the Principal Magistrate.
A book about children in conflict with the law, that focuses more on the emotional, physical and psychological issues, rather than only the legal perspective. My God is a Juvenile Delinquent dwells on the author’s journey into the world of children in conflict with law, his interactions with them, their stories, their point of view, their angst and often, the loss of childhood and the ruin of countless futures.
“The book has its cynical, ironic, even funny moments but at its core is an outrage at how, irrespective of remand homes and psychiatrists, damage to children’s psyche is irreparable in a country where juvenile justice, is far from just.” – Taru Bahl, livemint.com.
This book has been included in the reading list of all Judicial Academies by a Central order.