Before you guys boycott me, let me make it clear that the statement in the title is not mine, but of the Government of India. That’s right. The government. To give you guys some background, India made some changes in the rape laws a few years back, but there are a number of loopholes, mostly around the offence of marital rape. To fix this, United Nation’s committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recommended the lawmakers to include marital rape as a crime (it is NOT yet, yes). This was the government’s response to this recommendation:
“It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors, including level of education, illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat marriage as a sacrament,” Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in the Rajya Sabha.
Now, I hope people are cringing right now. Mr. Chaudhary, who represents the governments perspective, very easily dismissed any hopes of criminalising marital rape. And the reasons cited were extraordinary (read: ludicrous, absurd, any other synonym). And I, as a responsible citizen of India, also aware of my freedoms of speech and expression, decided the world needed to know about this.
Dear government, here are some pointers that might add some sense into your otherwise nut sized rusted and rattling brain:
- Most rapes or sexual offences are committed by men who are known to the woman. This includes husbands.
- Being married does not mean a woman is no longer human. She is not a slave for her husband. She is still entitled to human dignity, human rights.
- A marriage certificate, ‘saat phere’, ‘I do’ or ‘kabool hain’ are not a license to get away with violating that right. It is your job to ensure so.
- Whether or not marriages are held sacred by a religion of two is irrelevant. India is a secular country. Religious beliefs should be given absolutely no importance when making laws.
- Level of education, poverty, social circumstances are not taken into account when we talk about crimes. They are not talked about when an outsider committees a felony, a rape, a robbery, a murder. Marital rape should be looked at just as another crime.
- By not criminalising marital rape, you are encouraging disgusting men to treat their wives like objects. Wives are not meant only for sexual satisfaction.
- If you actually believe husbands ‘own’ their wives, fuck you.
You know what, government? I am not a big fan of yours. But this ticked me off to the extent of being ashamed at the fact that I am a citizen of a country that fails to protect my rights. It is one of your prime duties, but then who cares? Crime against woman starts since she’s in the womb, so why not just make it easier? Please, by all means, decriminalise all crimes as well. If you are so ardent on being ignorant jerks, might as well do it wholeheartedly. Let half of this country’s population suffer, just as they deserve.