Sajal Manchanda

Does Development = Regressive Thinking?

As a firm believer in the institution of marriage, I am deeply disturbed, sad and angry by the recent state of affairs on marital rape. The present statement of the ruling party minister on not making marital rape a crime is a very sad day for our country. When representatives of people make such statements, one cannot question the rapists or the defense lawyers for making statements which point fingers at rape being a girl’s fault.

If you look at the law it’s a joke. You can be punished for marital rape if the girl is under 15 years, the severity of the punishment is more if she is under 12. Given that the present minimum age of marriage is 18, the law makes no sense as it’s a crime any way to marry an underage girl forget rape. The redundant laws added to the regressive mind set of our ministers is an insult to the women of this country.

To have a crude understanding, marital rape is like living with a rapist for your life, with the consent of the society. You cannot challenge it, because you have nowhere to challenge it; it is a sacred bond that you have just indulged in. Marriage has a sacred place in our society and when you hear about marital rapes you are made to think that marital rape is a sacred practice. It’s like “Wow man! I must be real proud of myself, I did such a sacred deed! I just raped my wife and I will do it again and again. No one can say anything to me, for I just got the license to rape by marrying her” #mywife #mychoice.

When the Prime Minister talks about development we get hope that India is changing. The “BetiBachao, BetiPadhao” schemes make us believe that the daughters of this nation will have an equal footing and equal rights, and not be subject to discrimination of the past. Then we have statements like these which make the entire hope turn into a false promise; a way to fool the citizens into believing something, which is nothing but a utopia. The speech from Red Fort simply falls flat, a speech on changing India is a lie, a speech which was only made to get TRPs with no substance. If the PM really cares about it he should make changes to the system to provide women empowerment and walk his talk. We have had enough of false hopes in this nation already in the past 65 years. This government was voted to break the old system, not to make it even more regressive especially for women. What we have seen in the past one year, needs to stop and development where men and women are both partners should be the priority.

About the Author

Sajal Manchanda is a social science researcher, who loves to read anything and everything, no matter how stupid or how intelligent it is- mostly columns, news, articles. He believes that he forms an opinion based on factual backing.

Sajal Manchanda
Sajal Manchanda
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