[dropcaps round=”no”]T[/dropcaps]he recommendations by Pam Rajput Committee on status of woman might turn out to be the biggest disaster for our society. To begin with, let us talk about “marital rape”. The Ministry of Home Affairs has categorically denied any desire to include the issue into the Indian Penal Code during the recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament. The motive of the aforesaid committee comes under question. Is it really working for the betterment of the women of our society?
By declaring marital rape an offence, denial of sexual intercourse would turn into a prevalent practice by a certain section of the female population, which would eventually create social turmoil and turbulent equations in the family. Sexual Intercourse between partners of a married couple is not entirely about fulfilment of sexual lust; it also results in expansion of their family in some instances. A family cannot be expanded by writing blogs and articles on feminism as, at times, deliberate delay in planning for the family can cause problems to women in conceiving a baby after passing a certain age.
Women who don’t want to have sexual intercourse should not malign the sacred institution of marriage and better stay away from it. When it comes to deciding when to expand the family, a specific sex (read it as “the woman”) cannot always be right. Some feminists who have apprehensions of forceful intercourse due to the absence of a marital rape law must not conveniently forget that we already have provisions in our law for domestic violence against women.
Denial of sexual intercourse to men purposefully and repeatedly could manifest as a frequent abuse of such a draconian law that has been proposed by the committee. Sexual intercourse must be seen also as a right of a married individual. Repeated denials can lead the victim to a state of depression and further cause social and family Isolation.
What could be a remedy to such repeated denials? Will the law allow the victim to look for another partner? Will adultery, as it would be called according to the present statutes, not be termed as an act of perversion by the court at the time of seeking of divorce? Will he still be entitled to pay alimony if he is seeking divorce on this ground? The government must look into these issues before making any drastic shift into its stand.
In terms of practicality in law, can there be an eyewitness to an incident of marital rape? If no, it is the woman’s word against the man’s. And it can be nobody’s case that a woman cannot lie and a man always does.
Abuse of the law against domestic violence is rampant, but one still can get neighbours to testify in favour or against the litigant and, hence, it is acceptable. More so because real cases far outnumber fabricated ones. But an anti-marital rape law would be an invitation for abuse especially in the upwardly mobile section of society.
Another sensational recommendation by this chauvinistic committee involves entitlement of the separating female partner to alimony from her live-in partner. The law says it is nothing more than two adults of opposite genders staying under one roof with mutual consent. But it does not enjoy the privileges that a married couple gets, which is quite fair in my opinion. Then on what basis should a person who disapproves of the institution of marriage get such undue privileges? Is it not going to be squarely unfair to the man who probably adopted this way of living to defy society? This provision threatens to increase the threat on the institution of marriage from which it is going through already.
The government should take serious cognisance of the antisocial recommendations of the Pam Rajput Committee and dump it with immediate effect in order to prevent any social turbulence in the Indian way of life.