2ndlook

India – Land of rape, kidnapping and crime

Posted in America, Current Affairs, Desert Bloc, Feminist Issues, India by Anuraag Sanghi on February 23, 2012


More laws means more crimes. More police, more courts – more crime. For proof, take rape, kidnapping cases in India.

When all fails, create sex charges  |  Cartoonist Paul Zanetti; source & courtesy - courrierinternational.com  |  Click for larger images.

When all fails, create sex charges | Cartoonist Paul Zanetti; source & courtesy – courrierinternational.com | Click for larger images.

Fixing Julian Assange

After everything failed, two Swedish women filed rape charges against Julian Assange – based on ‘withdrawal’ of consent. Is sex such a trivial matter that consent is given and withdrawn– with or without notice?

Can sexual relationships be debased to the extent of opportunistic ‘consent’ withdrawal?

Power corrupts. |  Cartoonist Olle Johansson / Sweden; source & courtesy - nrc.nl  |  Click for larger image size.

Power corrupts. | Cartoonist Olle Johansson / Sweden; source & courtesy – nrc.nl | Click for larger image size.

Criminalizing love, sex, marriage & romance

Many ‘kidnapping’ and rape cases in India, are also in the same category.

Police categorize juvenile marriages, love affairs, and cases of pre-marital sex as rape, kidnapping and enticement.

Familial or parental consent, knowledge, while being economically dependent on parents or family is essentially implied by law.

Special mention must be made of laws that have made 18 years as the age of consent for girls. 18 years is way too old. Going by current laws, even consensual sex by two people, below 18, is a crime – and

Rape, it is.

Part of the population control dogma.

While around 150 kidnapping cases were registered across Mumbai during each of the past three years, police officials said a large number of the cases pertained to elopement. Statistics accessed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from 85 of the city’s 93 police stations show that 136 kidnapping cases were registered in 2009, 169 in 2010 and 159 in 2011.

“In cases where the victim is an underage girl, her consent would be immaterial and the man would be booked for kidnapping,” said joint commissioner of police Himanshu Roy. “Although a large number of the cases we receive pertain to elopement, we treat each of them with seriousness.”

However, in such circumstances, lawyers said that for the charge of kidnapping to be framed, an important condition needs to be met — ‘enticement’. “If a boy promises to marry a girl and then elopes with her, that would amount to enticement,” said criminal lawyer M A Khan. He added that if the girl is underage and elopes with a boy after being enticed, and they subsequently have a physical relationship, the boy would be also booked for rape.

Nandita Shah, co-director of NGO Akshara, spoke of trends she has been noticing. “More and more girls and boys are taking an independent stand on their marriages, while parents are not yet ready for this. Secondly, the age at which youngsters are getting into a relationship is falling, so a lot of these cases get registered with the police as kidnapping.”(via Many kidnapping cases in Mumbai involve eloping with minor girls – The Times of India).

So many rape cases …

Similarly, most cases of rape in India, too fall in the same legal confusion.

Recent stats show that in 91% of cases, rape was committed by ‘known’ people – with 33% of the ‘rapes’ committed by neighbours. A significant number of these ‘known’ people probably received a ‘distorted’ signal, some ‘disguised’ consent or faced a ‘withdrawal’ of consent problem.

Rape, she alleged  |  Credit embedded  |  Click for source image.

Rape, she alleged | Credit embedded | Click for source image.

This takes rape out from the class of random crime, on unknown victims by dysfunctional or maladjusted aggressors – which can properly be termed as crime – and rape.

I would doubt claims of ‘rape’ by neighbours, relatives, known people. It maybe withdrawal of consent, or misinterpretation of behaviour. It may also be deliberate ‘gaming’ by the ‘victim’. In such cases, rape is not the reality, usually.

I am defining crime and rape differently. Some ‘consenting’ couples indulge in sex that borders on rape. Marital rape cannot be grounds for classification as crime. The State cannot enter bedrooms of consenting partners – at least in societies based on Bharattantra.

In most of these cases, the perpetrator of the crime was an acquaintance of the victim, according to data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau. A total of 21,467 rape cases were reported in 2008, registering an increase of 3.5% over the previous year. Provisional data for 2009 shows that 21,397 rape cases were reported during the year.

In 2008, 57.2% (12,299) of the victims were from this age group, only 0.5% less than in 2007 (11,984). In as many as 91% (19,542) of these cases,the offenders were known to the victims. Neighbours were accused in 33.1% of rape cases. (via Madhya Pradesh tops in rape cases, Nagaland ranks lowest – Times Of India).

Only in a confrontational equation does the State come into play - which is what the State wants  |  Cartoonist Crumb; image source & courtesy - bleedingcool.com  |  Click for larger image.

Only in a confrontational equation does the State come into play – which is what the State wants | Cartoonist Crumb; image source & courtesy – bleedingcool.com | Click for larger image.

Thou shalt not have sex

Girls attain puberty mostly by 13 years. Forced, mass, abstinence for 5 years after puberty is just bad social practice. Especially, when you consider contrary social values and norms.

In parts of India, a girl’s first menstruation is celebrated as a community event, with feasting and worship. Remember, Gandhiji was married and eagerly into sex in his middle teens – as were my grandparents.

These ‘rapes’ are crimes under laws that: –

  1. Are a carry-over from colonial period
  2. Discourage ‘relationship-building’ laws with an anti-marital agenda.
  3. Make withdrawal of ‘consent’ easy.

Now imagine a zamindar in cahoots with corrupt policemen, who uses these age-of-consent laws to foist a ‘rape’ case on a ‘troublesome’ farmer or a political rival.

Bad ideology, confused law

These laws have created horrifying legal situations like marital ‘rape.’ Withdrawal of consent for sex is an especially potent tool used by ‘authorities’ to ‘fix’ or ‘control’ elements in the system.

In Indic societies, consent was a public event, which became marriage. Vishnu Purana specifies 8 marriage types. Though, most common in India, is the what we see – grand, public affairs, with neighbours, friends, relatives and family – announcing voluntary, long-term ‘consent’.

These laws, squarely and roundly, belong to the Desert Bloc. These laws deviate from Bharattantra by restricting kaam, desire, which is one of the four essential freedoms, called purushaarth in Indic systems. Loaded with an agenda – aimed to make India into a regressive society that discourages ‘relationship-building’.

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