Recently the apex court has dismissed the rape case against Rahul Gandhi and imposed a fine of Rs. 10 lakhs for filing a frivolous case without an iota of evidence.
However, we don’t find the same happening in other Indian rape cases. Extortion in the name of rape complaint is very common and that is why Delhi HC in 2010 rejected quashing of a false case. Many women continue to misuse such laws for their benefit as most of these cases are settled for money and that encourages many to file false cases and earn some easy bucks. In the west, we find that the rape laws are gender neutral. However, in India it is not. This section (IPC 375) starts by saying “A man is said to commit rape…….with a woman” etc. thus assuming that a man only can commit this crime and a woman can only be the victim.
In definition of rape, this law further states that “Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape”. It doesn’t specify penetration by any kind or by any specific organ and thus a woman can also be an offender under the definition of the crime (it can be penetration of external objects, fingers etc.). But the legal definition has kept them away by specifying ‘man’ and ‘woman’ instead of ‘person’.
Indian law classifies the rape cases against men as ‘Unnatural Sex’ (IPC 377). There had been cases in India of men being sexually assaulted by women however, these cases are not reported by mainstream media and hence people are not aware of any such case existing. Many wouldn’t believe that any woman can actually rape a man.
In recent years, women’s groups are shouting about increasing number of rape cases. If we look at the relevant NCRB data, we will see that in 2009 out of 21,397 cases registered under IPC 375, only 3,698 cases (17%) had seen conviction. In 2010 and 2011 the case conviction rate was 17% and 16.8% respectively. So over these three years, there is a drop in genuine rape incidents in India. However, we see 24,206 cases being registered in 2011, a 13% increase in registration of rape cases compared to 2009. This clearly shows that the so called increase in rape incidents actually is increase in registering false rape complaints rather than the genuine ones. (NCRB data 2011, data for crime against women 2009-2011)
It is not that women’s groups or media are not aware of this statistics but still they make a big fuss about it in all national and international forums stating increasing assault on women and thus seeking more protection for them. Some go one step ahead seeking stricter punishment for the offenders.
A recent Tehelka report alleges that such cases are not dealt with proper attention and care and and hence the accused easily get away with the crime. They blame that the lackadaisical approach of police in such cases make it impossible to prove the accused guilty and hence they get acquitted.
Whereas any crime needs to be dealt with stern hands and it is the duty of police to ensure safety and security of general public and instill confidence in them. Police is also duty bound not to make any presumptions or stereotyping people. However, what the various videos released by the media showed was conversation from their experience in different cases where women had consensual sex and later termed the same as rape. There are some extreme comments by police officers are mentioned on the site only to be verified by the supporting context and evidence and hence can’t be commented simply from the written letters (as the audio quality is very poor and we have seen many a times media twist the stories to make them sensational).
This incident in Gurgaon created ripples all over India with people shouting how women are restricted to follow dress code and not given ‘liberty’ to wear the dress of their choice. Many a times these groups / women forget that all of us including men have to follow certain dress code in public. Men, however have never voiced their ‘concern’ over that issue.
Also these women need to understand that the arousal in men and women work differently. Different scientific studies conducted, confirms that men responds more to visual cues like women’s sexy dress etc and women respond more to influence, power and status of men. Men’s arousal is faster and orgasm takes less time (due to certain hormones) compared to women’s arousal and orgasm. That is why women dresses are made more ‘sexy’ to show their curves and men flaunt their expensive cars or accessories to attract the opposite sex.
Some argue that rape is not meeting sexual obsession but it is exhibiting dominance over the other and hence even women can rape men. Under present ‘Indian’ definition of rape no woman can ever be accused of rape no matter whether the victim is male or female. In a society when we accept same sex relations and different groups are demanding the legal acceptance of same sex relations and same level of rights but that still has a long way to go in social acceptance.
Let’s consider the latest controversial case involving a female athlete in Kolkata. This case was controversial because her gender was in question. Even though the lady accusing her was having a live-in relation for years she has charged Pinki with rape. We have seen that in the same case NHRC and state women rights groups have moved to Kolkata HC to save her ‘Rights’ and to stop her public humiliation. One wonders when a man is accused in a similar case, why NHRC do not take their issue of saving man’s dignity. We in fact see the man’s identity being thrown open in all public domain and he is humiliated openly. Whereas no one here is trying to defend the real criminal what needs to be done is to protect accused identity in all cases, especially when 75% of rape allegations are found false later.
In another case in Park Street earlier, we have seen that initially the victim was accusing completely innocent people of rape and time and again accused that those guys were responsible for the crime. One of them was in Canada at the time of the incident and hence from the beginning this case seemed to be false. Even though the real criminals were caught later, everyone forgot the pain that the innocent families had to undergo because of constant media focus on them revealing their complete identity. No one ever came forward to save their dignity too. In fact in a local Bengali TV news channel called them on a live chat show to humiliate them further. They were interrupted and ridiculed when they wanted to place their view. If these false accused families now ask for justice for their defamation, there is a high probability that their case will not be admitted anywhere.
In Park Street case too we have seen police making mistake of stereotyping people only to be thrashed by all concerned. So they wanted to ACT in the female athlete case later, but that again backfired with women groups shouting against police atrocities against the accused who was ‘incidentally’ a woman.
Thus we see that in India, a crime like Rape is always used for mean political gains and different interpretations are made. In Rahul Gandhi case the SC has fined the complainant, but in Park Street case the falsely accused families can’t even think of getting compensation. In one hand we observe accused of around 75% false cases every year not getting any legal recourse and in another case NHRC takes up the case of a female athlete to save her from humiliation.
This double standard prevailing in society is only making mockery of the victims (both falsely accused and victims of the crime). The pain, the sufferings they undergo is laughed at every time a rape case is filed on flimsy ground just to take revenge. And this trend can only stop if our legal system punish the false accusers, protect the identity of the accused and brings in speedy justice for the victims, else the politics of rape will continue to ruin many lives.