Shilpi
Marital Rape, a serious crime or just intense love making?
Shilpi Thakur 1 Sep 2017

Marital Rape, a serious crime or just intense love making?

In India, some people strongly believe that it’s not possible here. For us, it is just another form of love-making known as intense love making. Girliyapa associated with the viral fewer came out with an audacious video subjected to the concept of marital rape. In this video, a woman is asking her family members whether her “consent” to having sex with her husband has any value or not, as her husband has nothing to do with her consent for having sex with her. In response, her family termed it as an act of “intense lovemaking” not “rape”, something that is very usual in India and there is no such thing as “marital rape” exists. The video has a funny accent but displayed the truth that even modern society is yet not ready to consider “marital rape” as a social disease.                 

Since the dawn of human civilization, men have dominated the lives of women, even rights of women have always been manipulated time to time. No matter the community, caste or religion, everywhere they have faced social norms regarding their clothing, eating, walking, talking, etc. In modern civilization, women have learned to raise their voices against these norms, but disappointment is what they found in the end.         

Education has played an important role in building confidence in them to stand against such mentality that women lack the capacity to sustain an independent identity on her own and must follow the commands of their male partners to live with dignity and pride. 

Laws against Marital rape is considered an impractical idea by the Central Government, saying it would destabilize the marriage relation, terming it as a tool for women to harass their husbands. Government instantly observed the consequences of making such laws, but failed to calculate the length of sufferings and pains, Indian women have endured for thousands of years. They overlooked the existence of hundreds of laws, designed to legalize physical abuse of Indian women in the name of marriage. How could they neglected the violation of the rights of women that have carried out in our society from thousands of years, who’s going to bring justice for all those years of slavery that prevented all women to do anything independently, even in her own house.

An intense debate has been ignited regarding the establishment of strict laws against marital rape offences. The written submission of Central Government before the Delhi High Court, however, has made some strange contentions, that rape can be a realistic construct of Indian Marriage. It is uncivilized and intolerable, especially when the marital rape is supported by the Government on the grounds that it may destabilize the institution of marriage apart from being a tool for women to harass the husbands. 

All property rights, economic rights as well as laws regarding marriage, succession and adoption reflect this.

In our society, the way we treat our women is seemingly the same way that we treat disfranchised and marginalized communities in India be it our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgenders etc. Unfortunately, the fundamental right of men and women are unequal, even unfair and impractical. In Muslim marriages, such unfairness is no separate from others. 

Triple Talaq judgment is a revolutionary step to empower Muslim women by declaring it as unconstitutional and un-islamic practice.   

The Delhi High Court heard the petition seeking declaration of Section 375 (offence of rape) of the IPC as unconstitutional on the ground that it may discriminate against married women being sexually assaulted by their husbands. The Center expressed that the law could be used to harass the husband just like the Section 3 (Anti-Dowry Prohibition Act).

The affidavit was filed by Central Government’s learned Counsel Monika Arora, wherein she stated; “if all sexual acts performed by a man with his own wife qualify to be marital rape, then the Judgment as to whether it is a marital rape or not will singularly rest with the wife” submitted in the affidavit. The Center asked the Court what criteria they would follow to validate evidences in such circumstances as there can be no lasting evidence. Center also stated that marital rape cannot be criminalized in India due to some regular issues related to various factors like literacy, lack of financial empowerment of the majority of women, mindsets of the society, vast diversity, poverty, etc. 

NGO PLEA

During the trial, the Court agreed to hear the petition filed by an NGO, representing men victimised by the alleged misuse of gender laws. They expressed that the issue affected a large number of men who might be victimised by the hands of women under “fake rape” and “domestic violence” cases.

The NGO stated when a couple gets married, the act of sexual intercourse can only be carried out by the consent of both parties and that cannot be considered as rape.      


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