Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Imrana v/s Shariyat: Fighting anarchy

I believe that rape is the most heinous of crimes. Perhaps even worse than a murder as the victim does not even have to live to bear the pain.

A lady in the interior of Indian heartland was raped - and rather conclusively - by her father-in-law. For her, the family's 'honour' in the society had a paramount importance. Seeking justice she referred to the religious overlords whom she expected to show at least some degree of sympathy. May be as a respect for her faith in them.

It is just amazing to hear that not only have Shariyat been unable to provide any kind of respite to her, they have just made life tougher for her. A 'fatwa' has now been issued to her ordering her to accept her father-in-law as her husband and to discontinue living with her husband and children. Whatsmore, they have even figured out an obscure method to 're-unite' the family too involving marriage, divorce and remarriage of the couple . As of today, the matter has been taken to a higher - and perhaps, more sympathetic - court for a better justice.

Men have always treated women as an object of pleasure. Perhaps everyday, you get to hear about rapes by neighbours, in-laws, brothers and even fathers. One can only gasp and see the condition worsen. Worse still, is the apathy that we show towards crime against women. We, living in cities and hi-fi societies simply fail to acknowledge the severity of the crime, assuming ourselves to be totally insulated. These days, even the newpapers do not sell without a few of these 'masala' stories.

Imagine your reaction if one of your some dear ones was raped on road !! It happens exactly the same way for any of the 'victims'. On top of it is the distortion introduced by system of law and courts. One can only wonder what happen in the time to come. Can we ever make this world any safer in the time to come?


maverick said...

What is more important is what Jurists like Sorabjee and others say. Or those whose credibility is high, those whose secular credentials apart from knowledge of Islamic Law and their own compassion are beyond reproach.

I hope Subhashini Ali Sahgal fits the bill.

Punishing the Victim
Subhashini Ali Sahgal

Muzaffarnagar District of Uttar Pradesh has the reputation of being the crime center of Uttar Pradesh. Not only does it top the crime graph but it has a tradition of caste panchayats – of Jats, of dalits, of other Hindu castes and also of Muslims. And these caste panchayats have been passing the most horrific and barbaric edicts with impunity. As a result, there have been lynchings, forced marriages, vicious and violent attacks – mostly on women, dalits and poor people. Neither the district administration nor the state government has made the slightest effort to intervene and put an end to this endless tale of community-inflicted violence and injustice. With increased reliance being place on communal and caste mobilization for votes and power by the major major political parties, the situation has only worsened.

……………the Imrana case has once again demonstrated that religious courts and organizations cannot be given the right to implement their judgments and decisions; it has once again demonstrated that personal laws have to be reformed on the basis of gender justice and human rights and then codified; it has once again demonstrated how fundamentalists of one hue encourage and strengthen those of another – the alacrity with which the BJP has jumped to the ‘defence’ of Muslim women when it has always thwarted all attempts to reform laws in favour of Hindu women is a telling example of this.