Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Let law be the judge on rapists, 
not power-hungry politicians

My thoughts on Quota Goondas trying to fish in the troubled waters following the aftermath of Delhi gangrape of a 23-year-old girl. 

The gangrape of the Delhi girl has unleashed a clamor to “hang the rapists” from innocent youths who are too shocked and angry that such a brutal and unthinkable incident occurred in a debased Congress-ruled burg which also happens to be the capital of India. Though what happened to the Delhi girl is utterly shocking and no words are enough to condemn it and which can easily be counted as the rarest of rare case the issue is not as simple as it sounds.  We have surfeit of laws to tackle rapists and hang them if need be. What is worrying is that the craven political class, I fear, could see a sinister opportunity to unite among themselves to keep India as its permanent fiefdom in nailing one more nail in India’s divided social fabric coffin to fetch a few additional marginal votes. See the way they did repeatedly in giving quotas for the asking to eradicate backwardness when the Dalit rich are getting fatter. By passing a law “death to a rapist (maybe on suspicion)” politicians can secure their future in further compartmentalizing people of India into irreconcilable groups of men and women who are to be always at loggerheads. This could set the trend of political discourse and blackmail to settle scores in whatever way the dominant ruling rogues deem it fit.  This is Machiavelli at its worst and only Congress has the gumption to resort to such degraded vulgar thinking.

Yes, rape usually occurs when a man imposes himself on a woman without her consent, by force or when she is under aged (statutory rape). Does this mean women cannot turn rapist when they can turn into women dadas as seen from Mayawati incident when she makes her slaves dance to her tune, especially the chief one who has shown an excellent elasticity of spine in kowtowing? India's moral fibre is in a completely weakened state today and it is puerile to think that woman are more honest and decent than men. It depends on the individual character and not on the class. Let us not make the same quota mistake here too as we term the rich Dalits poor and shower them with more benefits !

Certainly it cannot be denied that like degrading the people of India into eternal backwardness as symbolized by quotas there is a move over the past decade or so to bring women domination in all spheres of life by looking down upon men. Women’s rule after eons of men’s domination may not be a bad idea after all provided it has purity of thought and a sense of well-being for the country. But the way Indian politics has hurtled to its divide-and-rule nadir — and the way our male PM is told to behave by a woman without he being allowed to exert his trappings of power — all point to a dangerous, diabolical trend that can have far reaching consequences for all of us, both men and women.

My fear is that a strong, blanket anti-rape law in a troubled society such as ours will weaken our resolve to see the truth, stop lies from being spread and will allow the traitor politician to secure a hold over the beggared classes of India.

Already there are many horrible true life stories about draconian laws that women have begun using lately against men and as statistics shows innumerable men are already ruined and many have turned destitute. I am referring in particular to pro-women draconian law Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 (PWDVA 2005) and 498(A) (mental and physical harassment of a married woman). There are still innumerable draconian laws such as IPC 406, 306, 304B, Cr Pc 125, Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act etc that have brought untold miseries to husbands and their close relatives at the hands of law and law enforcing authorities. Anybody can verify the statistics if they take the pain to go through it and see how women easily get away even after it becomes clear that the woman had foisted a false case. The men then have no right to punish the women who had foisted false cases. This is the law as it stands in India today !

The Supreme Court itself has termed the anti-men’s laws as legal terrorism and totally unconstitutional especially the Section 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code. “The rise in the number of cases registered under Section 498 (A) shows that the act has not been serving its purpose. It’s more used for settling scores than to protect women,” the Supreme Court had observed. The flaw in the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act is that it is not gender neutral and heavily tilted towards women. How can that be with justice being blind in one eye?

The laws as they exist today have many loopholes exploited as they are by unscrupulous women and their families. As per existing data on an average of 22,000 divorce cases are being filed every year in metropolitan cities which is alarming to say the least.

That is not all. What is worrisome is that ignorant are harassed unduly when the PI of a police station registers 498A against the accused whimsically. A PI is supposed to take nod from the DCP before he acts. But that usually doesn't happen when the accused is from lower strata of society. Even if someone dares to question the PI on the law he is browbeaten into submission as experience shows.

But what happens after the present law being mulled over is passed and the men are, say, rounded up on suspicion and sometimes led to their gallows? Certainly nothing can be done about it as even the courts will wash their hands away as they have done in case of invidious and treacherous quotas. Repeal or amending the law too will be out of question as it would require 2/3rd majority in Parliament which will be hard to come by and the damage that it will do will be as permanent as the quotas that has divided India into two permanent vertical halves— the quota class and the non-quota class.

Let us now come to the basic truth. Does rape mean, as is commonly understood, only the woman being the victim? The truth is that women raping men are rarely heard in India, though there are rising cases in foreign countries such as in the USA.

Rape can be used by men against women, and women against men though men on average are stronger than women. However, victimizing others is often not about physical strength but about the will and desire to dominate or manipulate others. This desire is a human trait, not just a male one. In addition, men are penalized with jail or worse if they use physical strength to hurt women while the contrary has not been heard of.  

Interestingly a BBC report last year had said that Zimbabwean police arrested three women after a year of investigation on rape charges. The report said the police believed that there was a nationwide syndicate of women raping men, possibly to use their semen for use in rituals that claim to make people wealthy.

Even the PC American Bar Association admits on its website on domestic violence that 7.6% of men were raped or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance. According to the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence in Canada:
In a study of male victims, 60% reported being abused by females (Johnson and Shrier, 1987). The same rate was found in a sample of college students (Fritz et al., l 981). In other studies of male university and college students, rates of female perpetration were found at levels as high as 72% to 82% (Fromuth and Burkhart, 1987, 1989; Seidner and Calhoun, 1984). Bell et al. (1981) found that 27% of males were abused by females. In some of these types of studies, females represent as much as 50% of sexual abusers (Risin and Koss, 1987). Knopp and Lackey (1987) found that 51% of victims of female sexual abusers were male.  

There are one-track minded women activists in India like Flavia Agnes, a Mumbai-based lawyer, who debunks offhand that women can ever rape men. "To presume that women can rape men is rather outrageous," Agnes had told a TOI reporter adding "While women can sexually harass men, they can't sexually assault them. There have been no such cases anywhere."  

Fair enough. But what happens if it happens in future? Is Agnes willing to give a guarantee to the contrary?

Instead of being seized by the mob lynch mentality let us stand up for the rights of boys and men just as we are now doing for girls and women who are abused by those of the opposite gender. Can rape be okay just because the victim is male and the woman is the accuser? Let us not walk into the political trap that is being sprung on the lines of eternal quota-divide.

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