Our blog friend Nick in his blog ‘nickhereandnow’ has a thought provoking post on “Rape Dilemma”. I urge my readers to read that post as well as all the comments and Nick’s responses to them before proceeding further.
These incidents of crying ‘rape’ when the man does not want to get married when the woman wants it, after having had a long consensual live-in relationship, is on the increase in India and such stories are common place. If you see the last sentence in the report, the police intend to treat the matter as an ‘atrocity’. The relevant act is actually (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. This act was enacted by the Indian parliament to give some protection to the backward castes and classes of India. Presumably, in this case, the woman is one of these and so, a draconian law can be applied to a so called offense just because the man concerned did not want to get married to the woman concerned.
In many other cases, the police simply treat such complaints as a rape and the man is harassed no end and goes through hell before he fights the cases or compromises with the woman with a hefty settlement and comes out of the ordeal, hopefully a much wiser man. In the meanwhile, real rapists who physically molest women and rape them go scot-free because the women either do not report the matter to the police or the police are unable to find the rapists!
Similarly, many men and their families have been harassed by women whose marriages have failed, lodging police complaints for dowry harassment, so much so, that there is a strong backlash now and the laws pertaining to these ‘crimes’ are likely to be revised after the Supreme Court has passed strictures on the mechanism not applying its mind to the complaints.
I wonder if the Indian democracy has gone overboard with its laws to protect women and whether such misuse of the laws will eventually fail to provide the very protection that was intended in the first place.