Indian Govt. is mulling the option of bringing a comprehensive law against marital rape by the husband. As the news reports say, that on 4th Dec Congress MP Shri Avinash Pande has brought a private bill “The Indian Penal Code (Amendment) bill”. The bill sought to remove exception (2) under IPC 375 to criminalize Marital Rape. Govt. however has confirmed that it is waiting for a Law Commission report to deal with this sensitive matter in a comprehensive way and to bring a comprehensive law against it.
However, bringing a separate criminal provision against marital rape is thought to be another nail in the coffin of Indian marriages. What Mr. P J Kurien has said in the parliament (“…if you think rape by a husband is a crime, why should the govt wait for a report?….”) is a dangerous thought in itself. This makes it clear that the amendment is going to be one-sided that will consider only men as rapists whereas women can be rapists too. Many activists are up against this notion of the parliament that refuses to accept women as criminals.
Clearly for men, when not accepting wife’s proposal for having sex may lead to impotency charges against him, this new law will give his wife a chance to force her unwilling husband to have sex which otherwise should have been considered as rape if the amendment was gender neutral.
Journalist and ace writer Dr. Partha Chattopadhyay in his latest book Purush had already expressed his fear of women taking revenge against their husband if marital rape becomes a law. He has shown that libido is different for different individuals. So the sexual drive of a husband and a wife may not match and many times the intercourse may be termed as rape by a revengeful wife. He had also expressed his concern that when the woman has sexual overdrive and forces her husband to sex will not be accused of such crimes ever.
Mr. Radhikanath Mallik, pioneer of Bengal’s Men’s Rights Movement has expressed his concern over this proposed amendment as well. He said now men will not want to marry.
This law is nothing but an attempt to term all common Indian men as rapists and break more families. So far it was to make them dowry seeker, but as the stigma of 498a is gone now a new extortion tool called Marital Rape is brought.
Mr. Mallik expressed his concern and wanted to ask the lawmakers the following questions –
- Do men need to install CCTV cameras in their bedrooms and film all sex tapes now?
- Do they need to take consent to have sex with their wives in any format?
His concern echoed by other activists working on the same and everyone has said that when such a crime cannot be proved and when there will be no punishment for false and frivolous complaints how can the govt. think of such a provision? Clearly, the sole aim of this new amendment is to term every common man as ‘rapists’.
Radhikanath Mallik says these kinds of laws don’t affect lawyers and politicians. They get an easy exemption. Only the common middle-class men are affected badly.
However, so far none of the activists can think of another greater danger. The men accused under marital rape may be denied passport, other govt. schemes and also from getting jobs. Recently, a judgement stated that any person even accused in a criminal case cannot be taken into police forces. With increasing misuse of 498a and frivolous complaints under such acts against extended family members, taking away job opportunities from many men.
Men are still considered as the provider and protector of their family and with changes, they will fail in their roles and will be looked down upon. Many will commit suicide out of frustration to their lives. Not only men will increasingly be discouraged to have families of their own, even women will not find suitable life partners. Men not entering into certain job roles will increase job opportunities for women but then women will need to marry less qualified or even unemployed men. These changes will increase women’s responsibilities.
Since feminists are also pressurizing the govt. to name and shame rapists, these persons accused in false marital rape cases on divorce may also be shamed and many of them may lose their existing jobs. Such complaints will also debar them from getting future jobs as companies may not be ready to employ rapists in their roles.
Today, job roles and expectations have changed so much that women can equally take up any corporate job and perform equally well. Since women cannot be charged in these complaints they will never get rapist tag and those criminals will infest our workforce. However, men not able to enter the workforce will reduce the number of available employable people and will lead many companies to leave India. For this reason, Modi’s great India dream seems only to be a farce.
So far, in all national and international debates, Indian MRAs have already proved beyond doubt that existing provisions under different IPC sections are enough to tackle the crime called Marital Rape and there is no need to create another IPC section for that or to consider that as equal offense as under IPC 375. MRAs have also demanded any law be made gender neutral so that even women sexual predators can be brought to book, but our lawmakers have turned a deaf ear to these proposals. The reaction from our parliamentarians also does not seem to make this new law gender neutral in any manner and consider women as offenders too. This is sure to create a huge disturbance in Indian families and marriage and create a greater sense of frustration among our youth.
With increasingly unstable future, bleak job scenario, fear of being termed as criminals in every walks of life will cripple Indian society. Prostitution (both male and female) will increase as families break and India will soon to observe a situation like anarchy. If India is still not reacting to this danger – that proves beyond doubt that we are extremely tolerant, probably Indians now need to be really intolerant to show that they are concerned about their future.
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