Let me tell you an amazing little story!
I had a neighbour called Rana Bhaiyya. He was 37, jobless, alcoholic, partially bald, lecherous and a nuisance to the neighbourhood. No wonder Rana Bhaiyya’s parents were worried. So one fine day, somebody gave his parents an amazing idea to bring his life back on track and voila! The next thing we see is Rana Bhaiyya riding a ghodi and getting married to a pretty, qualified and soft-spoken girl, someone Rana Bhaiyya did not deserve in 7 births.
Today, life has changed for the better for Rana Bhaiyya and the whole neighbourhood. Today, Rana Bhaiyya has a source of income. He never leches at other girls. He is much more respected in society. Do you know why?
Because Rana Bhaiyya now has his own PRIVATE SEX DOLL! Today, he abuses, beats, and RAPES his own wife until all his pent-up frustration has been vented and starts his day fresh as a transformed member of society. And guess what! The neighbourhood couldn’t be more thankful. Rana Bhaiyya is no more a threat to society! Problem solved!
Are you feeling disgusted? Why? What’s so unnatural about the whole story? Do you feel the girl in question was used as bait? Do you think Rana Bhaiyya is an animal who deserves to die alone? But why? I mean c’mon! He is legally wedded to the girl and the Indian law provides him with every right to derive any kind of pleasure he wishes from the marriage- emotional, financial or sexual. If you don’t believe me, sample these legal provisions:
Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.
-Sec 375 of IPC
Marital Rape cannot be criminalised in India as marriages are sacred in this country.
-Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs
The Law Commission of India did not recommend criminalisation of marital rape.
Well, if you are still not convinced with the legal arguments, allow me to take the moral route and convince you by reiterating the sacred vows that most Indian brides exchange during their wedding:
4th vow of marriage:
I will shower you with joy, from head to toe. I WILL STRIVE TO PLEASE YOU IN EVERY WAY I CAN.
5th Vow of marriage:
Your happiness is my happiness, and your sorrow is my sorrow. I will trust and honor you, and will strive to fulfill ALL YOUR WISHES.
7th vow of marriage:
I will love you solely for the rest of my life, as you are my husband. I VOW TO REMAIN CHASTE.
So why is there such a hue and cry about Indian government not penalising marital rape? For ages now, we have been raised to believe that Indian marriages are made in heaven and that the wedded husband is equal to God. And you better not refuse God. What we are not told is that most often the core concept of Indian marriages is nothing but a glorified barter system where women trade their virginity and sexual services in return of financial care. And the spaced-out legal rulings are just leading this wonderful and superb institution of marriage to decay even more.
The problem of marital rape does not only concern the Rana Bhaiyyas of India but stems equally out of the mental conditioning that Indian parents impart to their kids, irrespective of their gender. It starts from the concept of mandatory sex on the first night and goes on throughout the life because hey, isn’t marriage a free pass to have sex?
So if it is so clear at a human level, why doesn’t the Indian government understand?
To take an action against something, we need to accept its existence in the first place. If marital rapes are to be stopped in India, our country has to stop living in denial and wake up to the fact that it can ACTUALLY HAPPEN ANYWHERE- in your neighbourhood, at your relatives’ place and however uncomfortable it might sound, at your own place.
But we won’t realise that! You know why? Because we are too patriarchal to accept marital rapes. The acceptance of this phenomenon simply blows away our comfortable lid and exposes the ugly underbelly of our society. This very same society holds women responsible for not obeying their husbands, blames them for forced abortions and turns a deaf ear to the screams next door, simply because pleasure and pain, will and force is weighed in India by our marital statuses. Such a society is incapable of understanding marital rape.
In the times when India is shamed all over the world for being a horrid place for women due to rampant rapes, at least marital rapes could be stopped considering that the attacker here is very well known. In fact, according to a study, the number of women sexually assaulted by their husbands is 40 times the number of women attacked by men they don’t know.
Yet, marital rape is legal in India. What’s even abhorring is that even the rape of a man or a transgender is punishable under the section 375 of IPC, so why does marriage take away all human rights from the women?
If out of the 200 countries in the world, more than 100 countries can penalise marital rapes then why can’t we safeguard the women of India? I am all for the more open and fair discussion of legal ramifications of a law which penalises marital rape, however not doing anything about it due to the fear of it being misused is equally inhumane.
No accepted marital norms or the possibility of legal loopholes can ever justify marital rape and Indian govt. better understand that soon. In fact, rape in any of its form should not be tolerated- not even if you have signed a marriage certificate with your rapist or share your bed with him and never because you call your rapist your HUSBAND.