Edited by Jai Kalra
India is famous for a lot of things- The Taj Mahal, Bollywood, cricket, religion and rape. Politicians can sense the pungent stench of filth in the streets and infrastructure, for which the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' has been put in place. However, a more dangerous filth, unceasingly growing stronger in its reek, doesn’t seem to register in the nostrils of politicians and lawmakers.
A good example of this would be Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code that simultaneously broadens and narrows down the definition of rape.
If spouses are legally separated, and the man rapes his wife, it is legally rape. The consequences of which being one of divorce or a minimum of a two-year prison sentence. The law also states that a man having sexual intercourse with his wife who is under the age of fifteen is considered rape. This statement epitomizes the situation of rape in India. Marriage to a girl under the age of fifteen is illegal. Raping your wife if she is over the age of fifteen, on the other hand, is completely legal, with no real repercussions aside from marriage counseling, during which the wife has to share space and interact with the rapist. A 2015 CNN study states that these counselling sessions are rarely productive as the woman is hesitant in “being open with their feelings”. Furthermore, the stigma of being crazy to go to a psychologist is a barrier to true and complete recovery.
Thereafter, feminists have long argued that rape is a form of expression of male dominance against women by turning an act of pleasure into a weapon. However, this is a flawed outlook. By forwarding the idea of the existence of “rape culture”, feminists undermine the actual crime, having a counterproductive effect. In the US, more men are raped than women, when considering prison assaults. According to the US Department of Justice, in 2008, an estimate of 216,000 inmates were raped, in comparison to 90,479 rape cases out of prison. It is immoral to say that rape is only a weapon of misogyny. Ignoring rape against men is wrong, and in India, it only acts as another retrogressing factor.
Leaving aside the ramification of Section 375 on the women and girls of the country, and focusing on the nomenclature used, it is clearly heavily biased against rape against men. To find figures for rape of men in India would be impossible as the definition is specific in saying that only men are capable of rape. It blatantly disregards the barbaric crime committed against men, by both sexes.
With all the attempts of the Modi administration to modernize India, and to make it a superpower that the world would respect and admire, a very basic and essential component of civilization is being more than ignored. While the country may be progressing on economic fronts, it is regressing in terms of recognizing and effectively countering a very obvious and evil crime against humanity- rape.
United human beings can bring about huge changes. It is time for us to not waste our potential by trying to ban video games because the women in them are attractive. Times can change for the better, and it is up to us to catalyze this change. It is time for us to recognize real issues that plague our country, work together to combat them and to cleanse the filth before our noses become accustomed to the stink.