In ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’ Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation has candidly described his personal life. He has expressed his shame many a times about the Child Marriage and the domestic violence he had committed against his wife. Even though Gandhi himself was a victim of child marriage and lost one whole year of his study, his description of his personal sexual life was quite shocking.
In his article – “My father’s death and my double shame” he wrote this to describe the night of his father’s death –
“It was 10:30 or 11 pm. I was giving the massage. (to his father in his deathbed). My uncle offered to relieve me. I was glad and went straight to the bed room. My wife, poor thing, was fast asleep. But how could she sleep when I was there? I woke her up..”
His wife was pregnant then and he described the result at the end of this article as “I may mention that the poor mite that was born to my wife scarcely breathed for more than three or four days. Nothing else could be expected. Let all those who are married be warned by my example“.
Going only by his description, we find this act of a husband clearly falls under Marital Rape category. If feminists existed in his time even Bapuji could have been accused of the same. Simply expressing shame and guilt for such acts is never enough and today feminists are demanding at least seven years imprisonment for this kind of acts by husbands.
Psychologists however, find it is highly normal for two persons having different sex drive or libido. While they could identify many psychological and physiological reasons for low libido, someone having a high sexual desire is also explained by them.
According to Sex therapist and New York Times bestselling author Ian Kerner, PhD , “sex can be a form of self-medication for some individuals suffering from anxiety. Low self-esteem, unresolved shame, and other entrenched feelings can increase sex drive as well“. The same is true for men as well as women.
While we clearly understand that Gandhi’s was probably a case of Marital Rape, but we can’t just judge such situations based on our perceived definition of rape.
To explain this, we need to consider that the year in Bapu’s story was 1885 when Bapu was only 16 years of age. Like any other teen he wouldn’t have had enough knowledge or education about sex at that time.
Sex being a taboo in India, most Indian youth face the same problems even today. Youth sexual drive is anytime more and psychologists explain this phenomenon as rage of hormones in youth. This is also true for all couples in the initial few months of marriage and almost all psychologists term that behavior as normal.
While child marriage could have aggravated the problems in 19th and 20th century, the situation is much improved today from child marriage perspective. However, in terms of getting knowledge in sexual matters Indian boys still depend on their friends who are equally ignorant. The other source of information is pornography which is even worse. Today’s youth live in a highly sexualized environment (thanks to the feminists) and often can’t decide their right sexual behavior.
As a society, if we blame these men completely for not having enough knowledge about the right or wrong sexual behavior, that is only a fault with us. Our first responsibility is to train our youth about the right and wrong behavior, orient them to the acceptable differences in partner’s sexual choices, rather than criminalize everything in a relation and making the relationships more complex. In case the partners find their sexual drives not matching they can always go for divorce. Punishing one of them with seven years of imprisonment with a rapist tag will completely ruin one’s life. We surely don’t want our future Gandhis to waste their time in jail, simply because their libido didn’t match with that of their partner’s.