She was 21 when she was married, he 25. They both were educated and professionals. In an arranged marriage with a man she barely knew, she didn’t think that he would demand sex on the night they got married. He did. She wasn’t ready for it. It didn’t matter.
And then the ordeal of marriage started, almost trivial issues from in laws to dowry, she was beaten up, abused and shouted upon. But the point is sex went uninhibited. It was important for him, he said. He needed it , he demanded, whether she wanted it or not.
She was my friend. She still is my friend. She is in the same marriage.
Who all remember that scene in the movie “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” where in a refugee camp Milkha singh’s brother in law forces himself upon his wife played brilliantly by Divya Dutta and she afterwards cries near a handpump. Yes my fellow countrymen, that scene showed what a woman goes through when there is no consent involved in sexual act in marriage and this concept very suitably applies to India.
Today Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi said in a written reply, “It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors like level of education/ illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament etc.”
Are you serious Maneka Gandhi?
Let’s see some figures Miss Minister. Domestic violence has emerged as the single-largest crime against women. In 2013, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported over 118,000 domestic violence cases, which made up a third of all crimes against women, far ahead of molestation (70,739) and rape (33,707). The number of reported domestic violence cases also shot up from a mere 50,703 in 2003 before the passage of the Domestic Violence Act of 2005. a 2014 study by the United Nations Population Fund and the International Center for Research on Women. The study found that 60% of men admitted to using violence. The belief that they are entitled to sex even without their partner’s consent is a common motivation, the study found.
These findings tie in with the 2005-06 National Family Health Survey, which found that the commonest source of violence for married women was spouses
Basically Mrs Gandhi, you are saying that it is perfectly ok to rape your wife and when you are a wife your rights take a back door? when a government whose stated intention is to secure women’s safety inside and outside the home, starts talking about culture and tradition to justify a crime.
If there is legal backing for marital rape, women who are victims of sexual assault by their husbands have little hope for justice. The exception in the law needs to be repealed urgently, as recommended by the Justice Verma Committee in 2013. The committee argued that the “relationship between the accused and the complainant is not relevant to the inquiry into whether the complainant consented to the sexual activity.
The problem is not marriage . The problem is not men or husbands. The problem is our ability to tolerate any buulshit in the name of religious beliefs, mindset of society and social customs. We fail to question anything that is challenging to our rotten norms. The most saddening part is government doing the same. The problem behind a man beating up you in morning and forcing upon you in night saying mere liye jaruri hai deals with patriarchy.
Are we ready to challenge it or this concept also does not apply to Indian context?