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Capital punishment for rape is absurd?

Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Party’s Maharashtra unit President Abu Asim Azmi’s comments on women and rape are unacceptable because they are misinterpreted the most. Yadav bid a huge controversy for his rape remarks, all the news channels and social media was going gaga about it. Congress and BJP took no time and demanded immediate apologies from both the president of SP and also ordered to take back their words. Referring to the Shakti Mills rape case verdict, Mulayam said “Boys are boys. They commit mistakes but that does not mean they should be hanged;” he described rapes as “mistakes” committed by boys. Mulayam continued saying that “if returned to power, we will amend the new anti-rape law and also take action against women making false charges of rape if a relationship turns sour. Actually, Mulayam Singh did not say that rape is a “mistake” committed by boys. The gist of what he said is, “Girls cry ‘rape’ only after a relationship turns sour.” Boys and girls engage in consensual sex when they are in good terms. Once the relationship enters troubled waters, girls misuse legal provisions and accuse their boyfriends of rape. That is unfair. What was essentially a consensual act cannot be termed as rape. In this context, Mulayam said that boys too make mistakes – just like the girls who have consensual sex. Girls who do not mind having sex with her boyfriend who offers to marry her should not cry rape and cause trouble to boy.

I think, Mulayam is not a good orator and speaker and he cannot express his thought properly in front of his voters. We all know about electronic media, they just picked up one sentence and made it 24/7 coverage. Then the people who reacted to Mulayam’s comments didn’t even bother to check what Mulayam was saying, rather trusted the news coverage and questions asked by reporters. People randomly reacted to his speeches. In the Shakti mill case, the police are aware of the criminals. As the media made it a big issue, the Home Minister of Maharashtra and the police acted swiftly. If this is the case, how can the boys alone be blamed for this crime?

Rape is the forcing of sex on a woman. This is a very obscure concept for most Indians, who tend, as above, to understand rape as any kind of socially unacceptable heterosexual activity that “outrages a woman’s modesty or honour”, and who consequently find the concept of “marital rape” as oxymoronic as they find women’s right to sexual self-determination outrageous. We must see the rape law with global perception where rapes are not considered as a serious crime. Not only poor boys are committing such crime but Indian history says many rich and political leaders are exploiting the modesty of woman in everyday’s life. Awareness among the girls should be given from the school.

The existing rape law will not deter the crime against young women but it entices murders to them. Mulayam Singh may not be completely off the mark, if you make the punishment for a rape as equal to a Capital crime, then the first victim will be the woman. If the perpetuators do know that the punishment for his crimes is a life sentence or hanging then they will not leave any evidence of their deeds and may kill his victims for sure. Such pieces of hasty legislations amending the old established traditions in Indian Criminal Code, shall help create double- victims, first the female victim, and then secondly the perpetrator or the perpetrators. Heavy punishments for such crimes of passion do not always deter the criminals, they can create double-victims very easily. Unfortunately, this crime is not committed only by one person, and there is the other side of the story too. Interestingly, in such cases the real victim is the truth itself. Capital punishment for rape is absurd.

After Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comment that death penalty for rape is unfair, Maharashtra unit chief Abu Asim Azmi has said women, including rape victims, who have sex outside marriage should be hanged. Rape is punishable by hanging in Islam. But here, nothing happens to women, only to men. Even the woman is guilty. Girls complain when someone touches them, and even when someone doesn’t touch them. It becomes a problem. If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam.

Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi has earned widespread criticism for his controversial comments on rape, including condemnation at home from his son and daughter in law. Azmi was reportedly responding to a question on his party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comments at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh.
Looking at hullabaloo, Mulayam Singh issued a statement saying, he believed in harshest punishment for rapists, but innocent people must not be framed. “This is a matter of debate, a debate brings good results. Many people said that my comments were right. I am against rape. Rapist should be given the most severe punishment. Innocent people should not be hanged. Rape is being debated in half of the world. If I said this, what was wrong?”

Constitution needs to be amended in many such cases. What politicians are speaking is not important. If girls are victims of rape cases then boys are also falsely framed by woman. In rape, the person is accused first and then he has to prove his innocence. Many times, allegations are so strong and it creates headlines and issue lingers on with no concrete outcome.

Dr. Vaidehi
Dr. Vaidehi
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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