Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why should Society appear fool before and wise after the rape?

Why should Society appear fool before and

 wise after the rape?


By Amba Charan Vashishth

In its 2012 report the National Crime Records Bureau has said that "in 98 per cent of registered cases of rapes in the country, close relatives and acquaintances are the accused"[1]  The culprits mostly are friends, fiancés, neighbours and even live-in partners. Some allure them with promise of  getting a job, or marriage and what not. But, of late, our morals and sanctity of our relations seem to have nosedived so low that fathers, step-fathers, brothers, step-brothers, uncles and other close relations have also proved to be the sexual wolves preying on the innocence of their wards who otherwise felt safe with them. This situation is making we Indians bow our heads in shame. Yet we do not feel shy of continuing to boast of our being morally very high.

This situation only indicates that the crime of rape has assumed the proportion of a consummation of the criminal breach of trust that exists between a woman and her near and dear ones — an instance of the gardener proving to be its vandaliser. If a woman is not safe in her own home, in her relations' house, in her workplace, or in a public place in the company of her friends or acquaintances, it certainly is a crisis of confidence of an alarming magnitude. It is a wake-up call for the society which needs to startle itself into action to stem the rot.

The malady springs from the strong hold of the society on public life waning now. Its all pervading eye used to instill a sense of fear among those who could go astray. But today individual and the family are increasingly declaring themselves free from the indirect control of society. In an environment that has evolved since independence, people have the unlimited, unfettered freedom to commit a wrong and not the least duty to do a right. Sentencing of persons accused in Nirbhaya rape case last year has hardly deterred the demons from committing the same crime.

Today a major percentage of women do not just wish to appear, in public, the prettiest things but wish to go a bit further — to look sexy. In modern outlook, being beautiful is as bad as being ugly unless one appears to be sexy. By wearing clothes that reveal more and cover the least the anxiety seems to be to make persons of the opposite sex turn heads. For them this is an act of boldness and daring.

In restaurants, pubs, hotel restaurants, discos and night clubs, waitresses are there to cast a spell with their bewitching smiles enticing customers to loosen their purses to spend more and more. As they serve, they expose more energizing the inebriated customers' appetite for sexual pleasures and chivalry. From films people learn the tricks for seeking the pleasure of a rape which an actor described as "an accidental sex".

Out of the 98 percent sexual outrages committed by "close relations and acquaintances", more than 80 percent, on a rough estimate, take place in the privacy of homes, in hotels and elsewhere where females are enticed for whatever reason. Police cannot, normally, intrude at such places unless called on a complaint. If a policeman questions a man and woman sitting behind bushes in a park or garden, it is taken as an outrage — an unpardonable affront of "moral policing" and an infringement of the right of consenting couples. But after a few hours if this very meeting ends in a tragedy of a sexual outrage, it is the police that is accused of being guilty of failing to perform its duty to prevent such shameful crimes.

There have been cases when on receiving information that something wrong was going on in some premises, police have had to feel embarrassed at being counter-charged with outraging the couple's privacy when they claim themselves  to be consenting adults.

If an educational institution or a place of work enforces a dress code, we raise a hue and cry over curtailing the freedom of our body to express itself through its own language emitted by the dress we sport.

We don't mind women visiting all alone or in the company of their male friends, discotheques, pubs, dance and rave parties, cabarets, etc. where they make merry with wine . Participants there have less of inhibitions and more of fun filled with license. And everybody knows that wine is a great stimulant to sexual urges and escapades.

Another fad is going on a date with somebody. There are also cases where friendship that brews through social media has led some women to get into the honey trap of sexual exploitation.

A new fast emerging phenomenon is the indulgence of our teen age boys and girls to the craze for drinking. This has alarmed and unnerved even our otherwise modern people. Most of the crimes, like rapes, are committed when the person is pie-eyed.

This ambience of liberalism and lack of inhibition in families, society and the locality is conducive to sexual liberty which can at times be consensual and at others turn into an act of sexual onslaught, a rape.

Our fight against crime is two pronged: prevention and punishment.  Forestalling commission of a crime is in itself a genuine form of dispensing justice to the society and particularly those who would otherwise have been the victims. We generally turn wise and vigilant after the event and not before.

But the tragedy is that our present day generation doesn't believe in precaution and prevention.  It takes it as a curb on its freedom. It thinks it is the unchallengeable right of a woman to loiter all alone at the dead of night in a secluded corner of the city in any place looking her prettiest and sexiest ever. If something untoward happens, it is not she but the society and the administration which is to be blamed.

It was just a matter of caution that Goa Public Works Minister the other day said that "for their own safety women should not wear bikinis in beaches" and advised "girls in short skirts" to desist from  "visiting pubs" as, in his opinion, it is against Goa culture. He clarified that he is "not against wearing bikinis in private places." It was also not an official diktat threatening punishment for defiance. In democracy the minister was as much within his right to hold and express his opinion as his detractors had a right to oppose it. Yet, our liberal sections were aghast at his opinion.

It must, therefore, be understood that the abominable act of rape is first a social outrage and then a crime. It needs both prevention and cure. Just as the police investigative and judicial process needs to be strengthened for quick justice, so effective should our efforts at preventing the commission of a crime. If the society is able to exert itself in preventing the commission of this crime, much of the agony shall be a thing of the past.


  


  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

TO SAVE A CRIMINAL MAKE HIM A GOVERNOR

TO SAVE A CRIMINAL MAKE HIM A GOVERNOR 

By Amba Charan Vashishth

On July 10 last the Indian Express carried a news item with a queer heading: "Governor can't be tried in graft case: Sheila to HC". In other words, committing an act defined as a crime under the Prevention of Corruption Act is not a crime for His/Her Highness the Governor of a State.
As per media reports, the BJP leader Vijender Gupta had filed a complaint alleging that Dikshit administration in Delhi misused public funds to the tune of Rs 22.56 crore in an advertisement campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly polls. A special judge had on August 31 last year, ordered registration of an FIR against Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, the then Delhi Chief Minister and others for offences including criminal breach of trust (section 409 IPC), criminal misappropriation of public funds and criminal misconduct under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Thereafter, the then Dikshit government moved the high court against the trial court order which was stayed. 

 After Congress lost power in Delhi, the successor AAP government in February 2014 moved the high court seeking to take back the appeal filed by then Congress government headed by Mrs. Dikshit stating that she will have to defend herself as she is no more the CM and the government lacked the "locus standi" to fight for her. Consequently, Mrs. Dikshit moved the high court opposing the plea of the Kejriwal government and also sought her impleadment in the matter.

Thereafter, on separate complaints filed by Mr. Gupta and RTI activist Vivek Garg the high court on February 26 said that Dikshit will have to defend herself in the graft case.  Mrs. Sheila Dikshit sought quashing of the trial court order to lodge FIR against her in a graft case, contending in the Delhi high court that such proceedings cannot be continued against a governor. Advocate M Pracha, appearing for her contended that as she is Kerala governor as per Article 361 (2) of the Constitution "no criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President, or the governor of a state, in any court during his term of office". 
(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Governor-cant-be-tried-in-criminal-case-Sheila-to-HC/articleshow/38079092.cms)

The Hon'ble High Court will certainly come out with a considered judgement in the course of time. Maybe, the case ultimately lands up in the Supreme Court as Mrs. Dikshit has raised a very vital constitutional point. This also triggers a very important point for academic discussion and interest.
One cannot fail to note that in the instant case the "criminal proceedings whatsoever" stood already instituted against her much before she was nominated a governor.
Article 361(1) states that a governor "shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act done or purporting to be done by him in the exercise and performance of those powers and duties". In the instant case Mrs. Dikshit is not being made "answerable…..for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his (her) office" as governor. The alleged crime was committed when Mrs. Dikshit was a chief minister and not a governor. A court had ordered registration of a case against her which precedes her appointment as a governor.
When the Constitution was adopted the framers presumed that presidents and governors would be gentlemen of eminence, above board possessing high standards of ethics and morality. They could never think even for a while that persons with a history of crime would one day be appointed to these exalted constitutional posts. They could never anticipate that one day the provisions of the Constitution would be exploited as a shield to seek immunity from prosecution and punishment for a person who committed a crime before his/her appointment as governor.
While taking note of the provisions of Article 362, one should not simultaneously fail to make a distinction between the office of the President and that of the governor — the former an elective office and the latter, a purely nominative one as a political or administrative favour.

On the eve of the Election Commission having indicated its intention to announce the schedule of elections to Lok Sabha the next day, the Congress government of Dr. Manmohan Singh nominated/appointed Mrs. Sheila Dikshit as the governor of Kerala late on the 4th March evening. At the time of making this appointment the then Union government was very well aware of the fact that a court had ordered registration of a criminal case under anti-corruption law against her. Congress government action obviously raises questions of propriety and ethics on the appointment of such a person to the constitutional office of a governor. It is ironical that in a case similar in nature to that of Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, the Manmohan government would have refused to issue appointment letter to a petty clerk or an officer selected by the Union Public Service Commission through a legal process. Does it then not boil down to the fact that Mrs. Sheila Dikshit's appointment as a governor was motivated by the consideration of Congress government to protect her from being prosecuted for indulging in an act which under the provision of the Prevention of Corruption Act constituted a crime? 

Published the the weekly UDAY INDIA Aug.  2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Reading Today Sunday, the July 20, 2014

Reading Today
Sunday, the July 20, 2014


A war fought and won with an arm tied.
By Raj Chengappa

Another budget

After one hundred years

BJP facres a tricky choice in Delhi


New breed of writers take to digital self-publishing
I would meet Hafiz Saeed again: Vaidik
We either show ourselves up or let ourselves down
Karan Thapar
Is the Supreme Court Anti-Women?

Mr Modi, time to play fast and loos
By Vinod Mehta

Meeting terrorists is a journalist’s duty, not sedition

by Swaminatha S. Anklesaria Aiyar

'Journo' Vaidik blew the scoop, became the story
by Shobha De

(http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/shobhaadeblog/journo-vaidik-blew-the-scoop-became-the-story/)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

SUNDAY SENTIMENT
Rape is a crime against Society
Society must rise to the occasion

By Amba Charan Vashishth

In its 2012 report the National Crime Records Bureau has said that "in 98 per cent of registered cases of rapes in the country, close relatives and acquaintances are the accused"[1]  The culprits mostly are friends, fiancés, neighbours and even live-in partners. Some allure them with promise of  getting a job, or marriage and what not. But, of late, our morals and sanctity of our relations seem to have nosedived so low that fathers, step-fathers, brothers, step-brothers, uncles and other close relations have also proved to be the sexual wolves preying on the innocence of their wards who otherwise felt safe with them. This situation is making we Indians bow our heads in shame. Yet we do not feel shy of continuing to boast of our being morally very high.

This situation only indicates that the crime of rape has assumed the proportion of a consummation of the criminal breach of trust that exists between a woman and her near and dear ones — an instance of the gardener proving to be its vandaliser. If a woman is not safe in her own home, in her relations' house, in her workplace, or in a public place in the company of her friends or acquaintances, it certainly is a crisis of confidence of an alarming magnitude. It is a wake-up call for the society which needs to startle itself into action to stem the rot.

The malady springs from the strong hold of the society on public life waning now. Its all pervading eye used to instill a sense of fear among those who could go astray. But today individual and the family are increasingly declaring themselves free from the indirect control of society. In an environment that has evolved since independence, people have the unlimited, unfettered freedom to commit a wrong and not the least duty to do a right. Sentencing of persons accused in Nirbhaya rape case last year has hardly deterred the demons from committing the same crime. 

Today a major percentage of women do not just wish to appear, in public, the prettiest things but wish to go a bit further — to look sexy. In modern outlook, being beautiful is as bad as being ugly unless one appears to be sexy. By wearing clothes that reveal more and cover the least the anxiety seems to be to make persons of the opposite sex turn heads. For them this is an act of boldness and daring.

In restaurants, pubs, hotel restaurants, discos and night clubs, waitresses are there to cast a spell with their bewitching smiles enticing customers to loosen their purses to spend more and more. As they serve, they expose more energizing the inebriated customers' appetite for sexual pleasures and chivalry. From films people learn the tricks for seeking the pleasure of a rape which an actor described as "an accidental sex".

Out of the 98 percent sexual outrages committed by "close relations and acquaintances", more than 80 percent, on a rough estimate, take place in the privacy of homes, in hotels and elsewhere where females are enticed for whatever reason. Police cannot, normally, intrude at such places unless called on a complaint. If a policeman questions a man and woman sitting behind bushes in a park or garden, it is taken as an outrage — an unpardonable affront of "moral policing" and an infringement of the right of consenting couples. But after a few hours if this very meeting ends in a tragedy of a sexual outrage, it is the police that is accused of being guilty of failing to perform its duty to prevent such shameful crimes.
There have been cases when on receiving information that something wrong was going on in some premises, police have had to feel embarrassed at being counter-charged with outraging the couple's privacy when they claim themselves  to be consenting adults.

If an educational institution or a place of work enforces a dress code, we raise a hue and cry over curtailing the freedom of our body to express itself through its own language emitted by the dress we sport.

We don't mind women visiting all alone or in the company of their male friends, discotheques, pubs, dance and rave parties, cabarets, etc. where they make merry with wine . Participants there have less of inhibitions and more of fun filled with license. And everybody knows that wine is a great stimulant to sexual urges and escapades.
Another fad is going on a date with somebody. There are also cases where friendship that brews through social media has led some women to get into the honey trap of sexual exploitation.

A new fast emerging phenomenon is the indulgence of our teen age boys and girls to the craze for drinking. This has alarmed and unnerved even our otherwise modern people. Most of the crimes, like rapes, are committed when the person is pie-eyed.
This ambience of liberalism and lack of inhibition in families, society and the locality is conducive to sexual liberty which can at times be consensual and at others turn into an act of sexual onslaught, a rape.

Our fight against crime is two pronged: prevention and punishment.  Forestalling commission of a crime is in itself a genuine form of dispensing justice to the society and particularly those who would otherwise have been the victims. We generally turn wise and vigilant after the event and not before.

But the tragedy is that our present day generation doesn't believe in precaution and prevention.  It takes it as a curb on its freedom. It thinks it is the unchallengeable right of a woman to loiter all alone at the dead of night in a secluded corner of the city in any place looking her prettiest and sexiest ever. If something untoward happens, it is not she but the society and the administration which is to be blamed.

It was just a matter of caution that Goa Public Works Minister the other day said that "for their own safety women should not wear bikinis in beaches" and advised "girls in short skirts" to desist from  "visiting pubs" as, in his opinion, it is against Goa culture. He clarified that he is "not against wearing bikinis in private places." It was also not an official diktat threatening punishment for defiance. In democracy the minister was as much within his right to hold and express his opinion as his detractors had a right to oppose it. Yet, our liberal sections were aghast at his opinion.

It must, therefore, be understood that the abominable act of rape is first a social outrage and then a crime. It needs both prevention and cure. Just as the police investigative and judicial process needs to be strengthened for quick justice, so effective should our efforts at preventing the commission of a crime. If the society is able to exert itself in preventing the commission of this crime, much of the agony shall be a thing of the past.



[1] (http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-06-16/news/40009107_1_ncrb-report-victims-100-cases)