By Lipi Mehta:
Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi recently told the Rajya Sabha, “The concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors like level of education/illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament, etc.”
This issue of whether to consider marital rape as ‘rape’ has been a contentious one for many years now and successive governments have dithered over a solution, with no mention of it in the country’s rape laws, whether old or amended.
To understand how the youth feels about this issue and Ms. Gandhi’s statement, we put out a question on our FB page asking whether our community of readers agree with her or not. We received a variety of answers: some took a clear stance for or against her statement; some questioned the minister while some others cited that if introduced, the law could be misused.
Here is a pick of some of the answers we received on whether people agree or disagree with Maneka Gandhi, and why:
We vehemently disagree. I know, that talking about marital rape is hard in India, given the place of marriage in society, but that is NO EXCUSE for not talking about injustice. Just imagine if the builders of modern India had given these excuses, then even the concept of equality cannot be applied to India because of our socially prevalent caste system etc etc.
Our dear minister,
Every rape in India is due to rotten mentalities, and to prove the “man power” over women!
Most of them happen due to poverty, less education, poor mindsets, religious beliefs, so why not legalise all of them? Why only marital rapes? Will that not be a brilliant idea? When you can talk of development of India in western contexts (despite the reasons cited by you), why are you bringing Indian context in crimes of rape?
All of what she has said in no way justifies marital rape. The only difference between rape and marital rape is that in the second one you live with your rapist and are vulnerable to assault anytime anywhere. Just what makes it even more dangerous.
I am sure the PAIN, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, and sheer awfulness of being raped is an INTERNATIONAL GODDAMN CONCEPT.
I don’t understand. If you dislike a person, don’t marry him. No rape then because even a touch by a man anywhere on woman’s body is considered rape as per new law. I urge women to not marry at all to avoid such things.
As lots of fake cases of dowry, and rapes are being filed in india, just think about how this law will become a tool of oppression so easily. Either in indian judiciary cases like this being registered fine. And by this I don’t support marital rape, it’s just the other side of coin.
When discussing homosexuality – the government shouldn’t interfere in what happens in our bedrooms. When discussing marital rape – the government should interfere in what happens in our bedrooms.P.S. I think government shouldn’t interfere with what happens in our bedrooms. Plus, it’s we who got married by will. It’s almost impossible for jurisdiction to actually verify if the sexual act was consensual or non-consensual. At best, the solution is to grant divorce and find a partner with whom you’re sexually compatible.
There is nothing like marital rape. In lieu of all the luxurious life and facilities and hard work done by men in order to keep her comfortable and happy, it’s an obligation on a woman to give him a good f**** whenever he needs. What’s wrong with you feminists?Having sexual satisfaction and children in socially acceptable and moral way is right of man and is another important motive of marriages. We do have laws based on the same. Eg. Section 9, restoration of conjugal rights, compels a woman in a marital relationship to stay back with her husband in do her duties towards him as committed. This includes fulfilling the sexual needs.
Marital rape is a reality there is no doubt about that. But only a law wouldn’t be helpful as that would disturb a lot of things between a husband and wife. Basic problem would be the husband will be in a confused mode that should I ask her or not, and I am not talking about the urban couple here as women there are not so shy as the rural ones. Misuse of the law is a major concern for sure. Men will be definitely live in a constant fear of false allegation.
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