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July 31, 2012

Rape and Indian Law

For a long time I had decided not to read about it, or write about it simply because it disgusts me. The thought of the situation itself does. But social networking hasn’t made that possible and the more I read about everyone’s opinions the more angry I become.

What is the justification of rape? Is there anyone who can justify forced invasion of another persons body, and privacy? “Libido” someone said. Some said “the woman was wearing short clothes”. Some even said they are “sex starved and they wouldn’t have done so if their wives/gf gave them the sex they needed”. Some said such girls deserved it. “they were asking for it”.

I need to ask one thing. What if you went through the same ordeal, where you were bound, mauled, pinched, hurt in every possible way and molested? Would you be scarred, and lived your entire life with them etched in your mind? With each detail vivid through every moment? Or would you be justifying the men/women who had done this to you.

According to the official statistics of 1991, one woman is molested every 26 minutes. These statistics refer to the reported cases. Whereas, if the unreported cases were to be included, it would be a matter of seconds- rather than minutes. investigation of Most cases are not reported by victims because of various reasons such as family pressures, the manner of the police, the unreasonably long and unjust process and application of law; and the resulting consequences thereof.

I don’t know why I am writing this. Because I read about men justifying the acts and blaming the girl as much as they can. I can see policemen washing their hands off by saying “it was just an act of prostitution without the full payment”.

Central Government Act: Section 155(4) in The Indian Evidence Act, 1872

(4) when a man is prosecuted for rape or an attempt to ravish, it may be shown that the prosecutrix was of generally immoral character"

I agree i dont what are the other acts the rape laws have. but a digressive act like this one has to stay speaks volumes of the justice system in place for victims of such trauma.There are times when I agree justice has been given to the victim, but then the justice is delayed for so long that it ceases to have an affect on anybody, especially the victim. And instances such as these are too rare to actually dissuade others to not repeat or do an offence like this.

The Supreme Court has in the case of State of Maharashtra Vs. Madhukar N. Mardikar9, held that "the unchastity of a woman does not make her open to any and every person to violate her person as and when he wishes. She is entitled to protect her person if there is an attempt to violate her person against her wish. She is equally entitled to the protection of law. Therefore merely because she is of easy virtue, her evidence cannot be thrown overboard."

As observed by Krishna Iyer, J. in Rafique’s case13:

"When a woman is ravished, what is inflicted is not mere physical injury but the deep sense of some deathless shame… judicial response to Human Rights cannot be blunted by legal bigotry."

Therefore rape laws in order to be of great deterrence, must have a cooperative victim, professional investigation, diligent prosecution; and an expeditious trial. For otherwise it shall not be the law, that fails, but the applicants, the process and application.

Failure of law reflects the failure of the society to protect and serve humanity.
Writing this wont make any difference, because our Indian laws are so weak, or so badly utilised that punishing such bastards (pardon the language) on time, and well, is something that Indian law has failed to over the decades. And things don’t change. Like everything else that is stagnating in this country, the law was the one to lead the way. No one gives a damn about this country and the people, especially not its leaders or those who are supposed to uphold the law. For the first time in my life, I wish I was living in US or UK, atleast I would know that if anything wrong were to happen, there was a system that atleast pretended to help you. I am ashamed to be called an Indian. a country where women are supposed to be akin to goddesses. Where millions of people fast, walk long difficult treks, take cold dips in the Ganga for the supposed Mata Rani protecting them from everything wrong in the world.

The only way I think it can is... women, learn self defence... kick the fuck out of men who even dare touch you without your permissions... stop making excuses and learn self defence professionally, if you love your children, teach them too. Stop ignoring the lewd comments and gestures, learn to fight when you have to... enough is really enough.