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The Question Isn’t Who Is Going To Let Me; It’s Who Is Going To Stop Me

first_imgColumnsThe Question Isn’t Who Is Going To Let Me; It’s Who Is Going To Stop Me Mahalakshmi Pavani, Senior Advocate7 March 2021 8:34 PMShare This – xThe position of my women in the backdrop of the Indian social, political, economic and cultural framework has been fluctuating more or less towards progressive yet challenging developments. With the recent dazzling victory of Priya Ramani against being prosecuted for defamation by a man who exploited his position of power to dominate a naïve entrant, we may get the feeling that…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe position of my women in the backdrop of the Indian social, political, economic and cultural framework has been fluctuating more or less towards progressive yet challenging developments. With the recent dazzling victory of Priya Ramani against being prosecuted for defamation by a man who exploited his position of power to dominate a naïve entrant, we may get the feeling that with each passing year women in India are standing up to what they would negatively countenance. It is only a matter of pitiable irony that a woman not belonging to the crest of the urban mainstream (an unthinkably large number) cannot assert herself as an individual when her partner forces himself like an starved savage animal; to put it in other words a woman has no freedom of her body & cannot desist against her own husband from using brute force to satisfy his lust and this manly force applies across the board, uniformly notwithstanding caste, class, education, background, religious belief and lastly in utter disregard for an woman’s wishes. Most recently, no less than the Chief Justice of India remarked while hearing a case between a couple – “However, brutal the husband is, can the act of sexual intercourse be called rape?” It is a grim reminder that our country still needs much introspection and that persons in any place of power-right from a Panchayat or District Collector upwards to the P.M.O need to be amenable, admitting and brave enough to own up to holding a redundant view which needs a relook to keep up with a transformative society. This instance also compels one to recall the glittering words of sociologist & thinker Dean Stone who succinctly with great clarity described the ideal future of sociological jurisprudence as something ‘which can be taught and expounded so as to make it a methodological guide either to the student of law or to the judge. It warns the judge or the student of law that logic and history cannot and ought not to have the full sway when the dynamic judgment is to be rendered. It points out that in the choice of the particular device determining the result -social utility- the mores of the times, objectively determined, may properly turn the scale in favour of one against the other.’ If someone sketches only a rosy picture of women in India, I’m often infuriated by the simple reason of the identity of my interlocutor who is either an accomplished woman or a smug man. The truth of the matter is that although it is a daily battleground for the working woman, there has been little concerning the real rural woman that would bring a smile to the face. The last year has posed a perilous problem globally which has further endangered the position of the already struggling majority of women of India. Bleak visuals splashed across newspapers and social media which proved the en masse existence of crippling poverty in our country, far from espousing the cause of feminism and equality, the common educated urban who is habituated to question the prevailing complacencies was stumped in a trance of speechlessness when she felt the helplessness that the average Indian struggling in the big cities to build a respectable livelihood had to straddle back afoot their journeys to their hometowns. In this exodus, which was rather avoidable there was one image on the internet that stuck in my head was that of a woman with her clothes & utensils in one hand and holding the hand of her wailing child who did not want to walk further due to the heat and that woman although exhausted she carried the child and mollified it till it became silent- this scene to my mind was the most descriptive of a woman’s compassion even in a terrible situation where life itself seems at the cusp of extinction. Another happening that fortified my positive belief in the determination of the angry youth was the news of a 15 year-old girl Jyoti who rode for 7 years over 1200 kilometers with her father on the backseat to reach her native. In the previous year we also witnessed an open slaughtering of the character of a woman named Rhea Chakroborty who was outstripped of her dignity by a ruthless media who made abhorrent accusations on her complicity in the unnatural death of her former boyfriend and actor Sushant Singh Rajput- from performing black magic on him to spiking his medicines and food the Court of public opinion was muddled with everything but sense and logic. Forgetting every shred of journalistic ethic as coded by the Press Council of India, a woman’s reputation and her very existence was mocked, sullied and her character marauded. This very act of exaggeration and illogical speculation destroyed any possible future career that girl had- her family and friends also made to share the spectacle and every woman who supported Rhea against violation of her rights also cornered on television by painting them with the same hue as Rhea. This irresponsible reportage unfortunately hacked at the responsible works done in the field of equality and human liberties over a grueling period of time by perpetuating the stereotype that an educated, outgoing, unconventional, working, ambitious, woman is somewhat a threat to a successful man and is someone hawking at the riches and sponging off of the man. Contrasting this, journalist, Siddique Kappan who travelled to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh after the gory rape of a 19 year-old Dalit girl whose body was burnt in the dead of night by the police against the wishes and consent of her family, and he was detained under the National Security Act for allegedly possessing material & content detrimental to the security of the country. And to put it in simple terms, here a man who tried to bring out the truth about a skin- crawling attack on a woman resulting in her death and the unforgivable conduct of the police was silenced by being tossed in the lock-up under the gravest of charge. The youth of this country do offer a promising light at the end of the tunnel, in the last one year we have seen an undeterred crop of students who simply do not care for the formidability of the State & the far reaching excesses which inhere in it, be is a Safoora Zargar, the 28 year old student activist who was jailed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for discharging the role of a “key conspirator” in the CAA protests, she endured the larger part of her pregnancy period serving as an undertrial until she was granted bail by the Delhi High Court on humanitarian grounds; or be it Disha Ravi or Nodeep Kaur, both under the age of 25, both protesting against the new farm laws & booked under similar charges of sedition & creating disaffection amongst religious groups are recent examples belonging from diverse places in the country are symbols of exemplary courage for their continued resistance in what they believe to be the truthful and morally correct stance. They are definitely not the only ones who have spoken their mind out in favour of egalitarian forms of dialogue and action but they are the prominent ones leading the way for the youth to quit their state of dormancy and awake to resist if not challenge the realities of societal inequalities, the normative political correctness, the culture of conformity, the conservative dated notions of factions, the radicalization of ideologies, the decried practices of indigenous & non- indigenous communities and the shortsighted yet deeply fractured understandings of a majority of nameless, faceless, voiceless individuals who hope not for any great miracle to wish all this away but only hope to sustain with dignity in their lives. I would like to conclude by saying that this women’s day take up an oath to make one needy person’s life more positive and bring a smile in their lives, in any way you can- be it financially, professionally, educationally or just by listening to them and do the bare minimum of respecting their point of view & understand where their point of view comes from . The needy person you aide need not be of any specific gender or better they need not have the label any gender. We need more humanity and less clutter filled rambling we have got used to calling discourseViews are personalSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

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