On “Rape is rape,no exceptions”

March 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm 4 comments

This is in reference to “Rape is rape, no exceptions” (IE March 21st) by Mrinal Satish .He rightly points out that rape is rape irrespective of how and where it is committed. Marriage is sanctimonious and does not allow for rape since it is a contract between two adults whereby both are equals. It calls for consent between two willing adults united in marriage. By no stretch of one’s imagination does it presuppose that one is inferior to the other-it also does not yield to the notion that the wife becomes the property of the husband to do what he likes and when he likes. It does not presuppose that marriage can become a right for the husband to become a perpetrator and the wife a victim.
If marriage is a sacrament then again it imposes on the couple equal rights and duties. This is further galvanized by our Constitution which confers equal rights on individuals. It is a sorry state of affairs to hand over this important women’s rights issue to a group of empowered group of parliamentarians. Hence the author is right when he states that to hand over this significant issue “to a group of parliamentarians to advocate extra-legal solutions to violations of basic fundamental rights is worrying”. It is strange that the Parliamentarians cannot realize that violation of human rights can be perpetuated within marriage and outside it. It is not that when a woman marries she forfeits her autonomy and her basic right of selfhood. She does not become the property of the husband to do what he wants with her. This notion is outdated and will not stand the test of constitutional rights. It is this andro-centric mind set which is the cause of domestic violence and sexual violence and sexual rape within the marriage. The sanctity of marriage is then lost and the contractual consent to treat each as adults is forfeited. There is no marriage then. The marriage then becomes a licensed institution for perpetuators to victimize the ‘wives’.
May be the Parliamentarians are not aware of the kind of violence and forced sexual assault and sexual rape that happens under the garb of matrimonial alliance. Is marriage then a freedom conferred to the man to let him do what he wants with his wife even without her consent? A marriage presupposes the consent of both the husband and wife for sexual intercourse. One cannot impose on the other. In the present state of affairs it is a tragedy that marriage becomes a ‘free pass’ given to the man-here the husband, to do what he wants and when he wants. Then there is no marriage and no sanctity of marriage which our Parliamentarians are trying to uphold if it cannot uphold the constitutional rights of the woman-here the wife.
It also prejudges that women cannot be trusted-they lie. On the other hand it is the man who lies because for a woman she looks for both economic and social security and carries on irrespective of the sexual violence domestic violence and rape within marriage because society is thus structured. The society’s attitude can be well gauged by the perception of our Parliamentarians-who think that a woman once married must submit to the husband no matter what it is-no matter how violent no matter how dehumanizing and no matter how degrading-all this because she is no longer a person and has no identity except that of her husband’s. Is it small wonder then that our female feticides and infanticides are high? Once you have lost your PERSONHOOD what else is there-a woman becomes chattel.
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
Vadodara

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Government showering lavishness on the netas Justice Markandey Katju sans justice

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sagar pilare  |  March 24, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Respected Ma’am,
    I cannot agree more with you that rape is a rape irrespective of how and where it is committed. It is an example of hypocrisy prevalent in Indian Society that on one hand we use tall words like ‘sacrament’ etc. in reference to marriage and at the same time treat the women as chattels. It is better to learn to treat it as contract entered into by consenting adults in which both have equal rights. ‘Religion’ has always given secondary status to women. Therefore so long as the concepts like ‘religious sacrament’ prevail, the people will not accept the progressive views. The Honorable Supreme Court has taken a positive step in recognition of marriage as a contract by putting stamp of approval on live-in relationships, though with some caveats. Instead of glorifying the so-called Indian Culture and Indian Family System, the Indians need to learn the value of individualism and equal status of men and women from the westerners.
    Thanks for your forthright blog.
    Regards,

    sagar.

    Reply
    • 2. Hilda Raja  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Dear Sagar,I wrote that because I have near and dear ones who have been subjected to domestic violence and sexual violence and rape in marriage.You have absolutely no idea how these women suffered.On died of TB-the other was an asthma patient and yet her husband used to take ‘possession’ of her every night and sometimes day.I think of all those dear ones and was shocked that the Act had kept rape with marriage outside its purview.All the best to you Sagar-HR

      Reply
  • 3. drvjanaki  |  March 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    VERY TRUE MAM. KUDOS FOR BEING FORTHRIGHT IN ELUCIDATING YR VIEWS… I JUST WISH BETTER SENSE WILL PREVAIL….. I DO THINK THE PANEL OUGHT TO HAVE A WIDER AND RELEVANT GROUP OF MEMBERS,DRAWN FROM WOMEN ACTIVISTS GROUPS, VICTIMS THEMSELVES… FOR IT IS THEY WHO KNOW THE GROUND REALITIES AND NOT THE SO CALLED PARLIAMENTARY GROUP.. ALL THEY INDULGE IN IS ARM CHAIR POLITICS….. WITH AN EYE ON THE VOTE BANL…..

    NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE STRUGGLE WILL CONTINUE.. UNLESS THERE IS AWARENESS AND ATTITUDINAL CHANGE VIS A VIS GENDER ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES…. ON THE PART OF EVEY MEMBER CITIZEN…. THE PRESENT SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE….WE NEED TO BOMBARD THE MEDIA, THE LEGISLATURE, EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIARY WITH HARD HITTING MESSAGES AND IMAGERY- USING SOCIAL MEDIA TOO IF NEED BE…. FOR ATTITUDINAL CHANGES TOWARDS WOMEN IN A POSITIVE WAY…. EMPHASISING THE NEED FOR EQUALITY IN THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED…AT EVERY STAGE… AND EVERYWHERE- BEGINNING FROM THE MARITAL HOME….

    WILL BETTER SENSE PREVAIL…. IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN….

    ENJOYED YR PIECE MAM…..U COULD’T HAVE PUT IT BETTER…

    THANKS, REGARDS AND RESPECTS JANAKI

    Reply
  • 4. Hilda Raja  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Dear Janaki
    ,I wrote that because I have near and dear ones who have been subjected to domestic violence and sexual violence and rape in marriage.You have absolutely no idea how these women suffered.One died of TB-the other was an asthma patient and yet her husband used to take ‘possession’ of her every night and sometimes day.I think of all those dear ones and was shocked that the Act had kept rape within marriage outside its purview.I think of all those dear ones who had silently suffered.Millions are suffering silently because they think it is their duty to be a chattel…that’s what religion has done to us.In the Old Testament a visitor had to be not only fed and nourished but also the husband offers his wife to the guest.I prefer it to be a contract-where both have equal rights.The Self Respect marriage of Periyar was aimed at that.
    Love-maam

    Reply

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