MARITAL RAPE IN INDIA
India as a patriarchal society has always attached greater importance to men than women and always subjugated them to men. Women weren’t allowed to say or participate in decision making no matter whether the decision affects them or not. They were seen as a maid and do household chores. They had to follow whatever their husband say. Men used to be the sole bread earners and hence gained more respect in the society and seen as superior to women. Sati prantha was prevalent before 1829 where widow set herself on fire on her husband’s pyre. Women have suffered tortured behaviour for a long time and have faced much turmoil. There is an old saying that reads: “Aurat, aadmi ke pairo ki jooti hai.”Regardless how arbitrary the man makes the decision that the woman must blindly obey and Husband can be disrespectful of his wife. Most differences in the sexes have led to Atrocities inflicted on females. As society is moving towards modernisation and evolving, people’s perspective is changing and the difference between two genders are reducing. Lots of social activists Dedicated their lives to women’s upliftment, so that she could live her life on her own conditions. The government has played a significant part in improving people’s view by introducing many programs such as “Beti Bachao , Beti Padao”. The program has changed the perspective of people and they started accepting a girl child and seeing them as a boon. Notwithstanding the modernisation of society, we still encounter too many cases of females are attacked in some way or another. For instance: rape, domestic Crime etc. females generally don’t complaint against her husband and against her laws because from the beginning they are being taught to respect her husband and in laws and save her marriage in every possible way. The patriarchy has made women inferior and weak , females are being taught by society to tolerate crime against her. If anything wrong happens be it rape, society blames women .
Rape is a most inhuman and heinous crime against woman. Rape does not only harm the body of a woman but her soul too. It impacts her psychologically and emotionally. Section 375 of Indian penal code talks about rape which states that rape is committed when a man penetrates his penis into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of the woman or forces her to do the same with any other person. There are some provisions in section 375 which explain the situations in which a person who committed the rape can be convicted. If man tries to have a sexual intercourse without the consent of woman then it becomes a crime. But one of the exception in the section is a cause of concern which says that if a man has sexual intercourse with his wife who is above 18 even without her consent, will not be considered as rape. This violates article 14 of the constitution which talks about equality. The law is prejudicial, since it is Not covering the entire female population but only a particular age group. Also committing rape includes marital rape which is a very serious problem when a woman in marriage get sexually assaulted and unable to properly articulate what she is going through. the marital rape is committed when husband tries to have sexual intercourse without the consent of wife to quench his thirst of lust by forcing and threatening her . Marital rape destroys marriage sanctity, and calls into question this sacred bond. Many people have undermined the true worth of marriage purely for the sake of sexual pleasure. Marriage is not a license for a man to do anything with his wife.
The Indian Penal Code does not criminalize marital rape committed against a woman in question who is above Eighteen years that inflict injustice on them. Everyone should get equal protection. Legislation Is sexist in nature when marital rape happens with a woman aged 17 years the accused will be punished, but if same happens with 19-year-old woman then her husband will not Responsible for the abuse of marriage. The cases of marital rape are very difficult to decide, as it is a very delicate matter; the whole sacred bond of marriage is at stake with the lives of two people. The actions happen behind the four walls, where the couple is the witness themselves, so ,they can make up stories. So until and unless it’s proven beyond any reasonable doubt the accused will be convicted the responsibility to prove the accused guilty is on prosecution. Lawmaking is simple but it is difficult to execute, the stringent law can help in fighting the evil act, but with too many false cases of Marital rape, too, may occur. The issues like rape are very sensitive and the law related to it is biased hence it becomes difficult for man to prove himself innocent. We have no such law to date that punishes marital rape, and police still do not conduct any F.I.R. against the husband. The women don’t feel safe at home. For her marriage women have many desires, yet some end up stucking with their husbands who don’t love their soul but their bodies just to satisfy his sexual desires, without even considering how woman feels. Women who face sexual abuse by their husbands should raise their voices against it and should fight for her rights. They should not sit silently. And society should play an active role for their empowerment. If the women face marital rape then they should seek legal assistance, sexual violence has the same meaning whether it’s done by the stranger or the husband. Article 21,which talks about right to life and personal liberty also includes right to live with dignity and hence there is nothing beyond the woman’s dignity . So no one should harm it and the woman should give Consent whether or not she wishes to engage in sexual intercourse. It’s not her responsibility to have a sex with her husband even if she is not ready. The movement # MeToo is just the beginning of the real liberation of women; women are not meant only To give birth to infants but much more. Women are nothing short of a man.
Author: ADITYA GUPTA,
Manipal University Jaipur 2nd year