Rape or no rape?

India is a country where daily life is institutionalized by religion. Be it marriage, childbirth or puberty, every phase of life has a myriad of traditions attached to it. I am proud of my country’s culture and traditions; I do not condemn them. But if a human right is violated in the name of religion, the very existence of the institution comes to be questioned.

I wish to talk about marital rape. For those of you who do not know, marital rape is simply rape with one’s wife. Most Indians would be amused to read this. Sex within marriage is not rape, that is what we are conditioned to learn. But just because a woman is a man’s wife, does the husband have the right to force her to copulate and inflict violence upon her if she does not give in to his coercion? If this behaviour is done to any woman apart from one’s wife, it a crime, a rape. But what if this happens to one’s wife?

Interestingly, even the Constitution of our country does not criminalize marital rape because “Marriage is a sacred institution”. Is sanctity more important than the right to live? The institution itself would break down if the wife dies! Then what is the point of not criminalizing a violent act only because it is governed by religion? Are we placing religion above law or are we succumbing to age-old malpractices because we are not bold enough to SPEAK UP?

Last week, I started a petition against this on Change.org. The petition is not getting the number of signatures it should be getting. Maybe our generation is such that we will never talk about something unless and until that happens to a near one. As bloggers, I know you are all aware human beings. It does not matter which country you belong to. Human rights are beyond any boundaries of nationality; they represent humanity.

I humbly urge you to sign this petition that advocates the cause of criminalizing marital rape. Gender equality cannot be imposed until such practices are supported within our families. As Marx rightly points out, it is the religious superstructure that supports the economic base wherein it is the man who financially supports the family. A woman is dependent on her husband for bringing up her children- this economic dependence is one vital reason why women do not raise their voice against marital rape.

It won’t take you more than 30 seconds. Please sign this petition by clicking on the link- Criminalize marital rape

You too could share this link on the sites you actively use for social networking. It is time we do something for humanity. You could indirectly help save many lives. Also, I am not being biased. This petition will also fight for men who are victims of marital rape. What could happen to a wife could also happen to a husband.

I am grateful to my friends Simran and Akshata, who have helped me promote the cause especially by using Facebook as an effective medium for the same. Thanks a lot for the support!

We must not let the Muggles let us down.

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