Critical Thinking

Introduction: have been an identity to reckon with,

Introduction: The concept of Gender neutrality is common now days.
In a society where people of all kinds live it is important to know about this concept.
It is based on the idea that discrimination in any field of life between two
sexes should be avoided. It is against the norms of a civilized society.

A
writer has beautifully quoted:

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                                     “Educate a
man and you educate an individual”.

                                      “Educate
a woman and you educate a family”.  

      When we talk of
status, we understand that it implies the Social and legal position of an   individual .Women in ancient India were held in high esteem. The position of
a woman in the Vedas and the Upanishad was that of a mother. In the Manusmriti,
woman was considered precious, being projected first by her father, then by her
brother and husband and finally by, her son. In the medieval period, the
practices of purdah system, dowry and Sati came into being. It is thought that
the right place for woman is in the home.

Women
in today’s world have become famous for multi tasking. It has become common for
working women to fit in doctor’s appointment, coordinate play dates and plan
birthday parties during working hours without compromising at all on her work.
At home too she focuses on dinner, home work and upcoming assessments with one
eye on pending emails and office calls. Studies have not only proved that women
are better than men at juggling more than one task. Their approach to multiple
problems is more methodical and logical. Their perception and meticulous
planning are a source of fascination to the men folks. Their vision has been a
boon to society. The role of women in the reconstruction of India is beyond
imagination.

          Status
in ancient times      

 India is a country where women were worshipped
as incarnation of Goddesses. The irony of the fate of Indian women is that of
their status which should have been an identity to reckon with, has become a
topic of debate.

As
time pass the status of women have become an issue to be discussed on several
platforms. There has been mushroom growth in the last few decades of
organizations struggling to get for women their dues. These organizations have
worked a lot. They have made great progress in this direction .It has helped in
the improvement of the status of women in the home, society, office and
country.

Women
in ancient India were held in high esteem. In the Vedas and the Upanishad
position of women was that of a mother. In the Manusmriti woman was considered
precious. She was protected   by her
father, her brother, husband and son. The status of woman has lowered with
passage of time. The society is dominated by muscle and money power. Since men
fought the wars and ran the enterprises, they consider themselves superior to
woman.1

In
the early Vedic age the girls were given all the facilities, even of education.
The marriage of widow was permitted. But in the later Vedic period, daughters
are regarded as a source of misery. The status of woman was deteriorated with
practice of polygamy. In the medieval period, the practices of purdah system,
dowry and Sati came into being. It is thought that the right place for woman is
in the home. Her main duty is to cook and do all other menial jobs. Thus women have
been deprived of their rightful place in society and exploitation has been
going on for centuries.

Status in present age

The
inhumane practice of Sati, where the
wife burn herself alive was fought against by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and thus this evil practice came to an end.
After the development of Science and Technology, female foeticide and infanticide is being practiced on a large
scale. As a result there are 927 females to 1000 males. Dowry has become a common practice now days. The birth of a girl
child is, therefore, considered inauspious.

The
list common crimes in the present time include Rape, sexual harassment, molestation, eve-teasing, forced prostitution.
The crimes against women are increasing at an alarming rate. Sexual harassment
at work place is also a common affair.

According to a study, released in 1997 by the Sasha Violence
Intervention Centre based on a survey done with 350 school girls in New Delhi, “63% of the girls had experienced child sexual abuse at the hands of family
members. Nearly one-third of the girls said the perpetrator had been a father,
grandfather or male friend of the family”.2

The
most common and the heinous crime is the crime of rape. It is increasing every
day. To satisfy his lust, the man ruins the dignity and self-respect of women.
He even does not think for one moment that the woman is his mother, his wife or
his sister or his daughter. If one does such crime with any of these relations
related with him how he would feel.

RAPE: THE MOST HEINOUS CRIME

“While a
murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and
defiles the soul of a helpless female.”

 Rape is the most violent crime .It is
committed against women. According to Section 3753
of the Indian Penal Code, Rape means an unlawful intercourse done by a man with
a woman without her valid consent.

 Recently rape was done with a 23 year old
Para-medical student in a moving bus on the streets of Delhi. This incident
shook not just our country but people all over the world. After this a lot of
amendments have been brought.

The incident filled every
Indian with wrath. Thousands of people poured into the streets to demand
justice for the young lady.

Causes: The foremost cause of increasing rape cases is due to   the lack of public safety. Today women are
not safe in their homes, how can they be safe outside.

·        
Globalization and
Westernization are recent in our society. These have caused significant
changes. The Indian Culture has changed. Late night parties and discos have
become the order of the day.

·        
Absence of female police officer is another
reason as females feel insecure telling about the tragedy to a male police
officer.

·        
The stigma which gets attached with the victim
is another major issue. Most of the cases don’t get reported.

·        
The victim is put under pressure to not tell it
as it would bring shame to the family.

Remedies: The need of today is to curb this violent crime.

 The spate of pornographic materials must be
strictly banned.

Death penalty should be
imposed.

·        
A woman’s squad is formed in every district.

·        
Fast track courts are established.

NIRBHAYA CASE: A CASE WHICH SHOOK THE WHOLE
SOCIETY

The
researcher feels that the path for truth and justice is difficult.

But they
are not difficult to achieve.

The gang
rape of the 23 year old shook everyone. It took place while she was travelling with her boyfriend in a bus. The
accused boated his boyfriend, boated her also and then six of them raped her.
They had caused a lot of injuries to her also. After that they threw her on the
road.

No one in our busy Delhi listened to her cries.
Everyone was busy in their own world.

This brought a lot of changes in our legal system
especially in rape laws.

New laws and implementation

The
Preamble of the Constitution4
itself ensures justice, liberty and equality and that there would be no
discrimination on any ground.

Article 15 of the Constitution
5ensures
prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sex.

In
India sec 375 of the Indian Penal Code
gives the provisions for punishment of rape.6 It
got amended with the Tiara case in
1980s. After the Nirbhaya case it
again got amended in 2013 and fast track courts have been set up. Also the Juvenile Justice Act has got amended.
But why is law taking so much time to punish the offenders. Also one of the
offenders who turned juvenile is now left free to roam in the city. Why are
there so many lapses?

Recently
on 24 October, 2016 an auto wale killed a woman by stabbing her 30 times.7

 Nature
of punishment: Recently
it was reported in newspaper that one of the offender who did this heinous
crime in Telangana, after serving his term of punishment of 10 years; on his
release again committed this heinous crime with a small girl and killed her.

The
researcher feels that if this is the behaviour of offenders, then the reformative theory which India is
following should not be followed. Instead punitive
theory should be followed.

Also
recently only mother and 13 year girl got raped mercilessly in NOIDA.  Some steps need to be taken to improve the
society.

It
is rightly said “One time offender, is always an offender.”

 Sita
and Draupadi are the two interesting
examples. Women have appeared on the national scene political leaders like Sarojini Naidu, Vijaylakshmi Pandit,
Mahadevi Verma, Proffessors, even Vice Chancelors and some got appointed as
Governors and judges of High Courts and even Supreme Court. Mrs. Indira Gandhi
was the first woman Prime Minister of India.Now the Delhi High Court has
also given women the status of Karta in
joint Hindu family.

But
with these things going on how is our country safe for women? How can they
prosper? Strict laws and their enforcement need to be done. Otherwise gloom and
darkness will prevail in our society.

Recently
one of the courts said that a rape convict will be treated as an adult and not
as a juvenile. This might be the change.

Another
lightning for women is the latest Apex
Court decision that women can be the karat of joint Hindu family.8

Someone
has beautifully quoted:

“Women are foundation of our
Society. Every foundation has to be laid”.       

“When women thrive, all of Society
benefits and succeeding generations are given a better start in life”.

Enacting of Domestic Violence Act

Seeing
the deteoriating conditions of women in our society, the law makers after the
CEDAW Conference enacted the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 on the same basis.

The
act provides that if any married women is abused by the husband or her in laws
then the women must approach the nearest police station where there is a cell
which will tell the women of her rights. If she wants to pursue it further they
will help her further and assist her in filing the complaint.

The
act was enacted to protect the women against the attrocities. There had been a
lot of dowry death cases. To prevent these it was enacted to punish the
offenders and deter those who may commit it in future.

Though
initially the act was a boon but in the present scenario it is just name sake.
The laws are not implemented properly. People need to be taught about the wrong
they are committing and apply the law properly.

A
mere piece of enactment is just a writing without its implementation.

Attrocities faced by men

Though
the law and everyone talks about protecting the women. But it is not just women
who are being abused by men. Even men are also at times being abused by women.

With
the coming of Domestic Violence Act women have got a tool in their hands  which they misuse against the men. This is
not correct . If a law has been enacted to protect a person it should not be
misused.

The
men are waiting for the day when International Men’s Day will also be
celebrated.

 

 

CONCLUSION:
Swami Vivekanand has rightly remarked, “It
is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of
women is improved”.

Many
major programmers like support to training cum employment program for women,
Mahila Kosh etc. have come in to place.

Today
modern woman is deft and self sufficient. She can be called as Super Woman. She
is ambitious. She is taking inspiration from empowered women like first Indian
woman PM Indira Gandhi, first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi and many more.

The
need of the hour is more radical women’s movements aimed at equality in
personal and family life as well.Also the mindset of the people needs to be
changed. The males should understand that the woman who is going out to work is
like their mother, sister, wife or daughter. Can they tolerate such kind of
heinous things be done with their mothers, sisters, daughters or wives? So they
should change their mindset and start respecting women.

An
old saying goes: “Jahan nariyon ki izzat
hoti hain, wahan devta baste hain.”

This
is not the India which Nehru and Gandhi and other freedom fighters dreamt of
and died for its independence.

All
need to come together and work for this change.

“The power of one is the power of many, the
power of change.”

1 Vol 1 ,H.V Sreenivas Murthy , The
History of India for Law Students, 11th edition

2 Report by Sakshi Violence
Intervention Centre

3 Indian Penal Code  ,1860

4 M.P Jain , Indian Constitutional
Law ,5th edn.,1998

5 M.P Jain , Indian Constitutional
Law, 5th edn.,1998

6 Indian Penal Code , 1860

7 As heard on FM Radio on 25
October , 2016

8
Mrs.
Sujata Sharma V Shri Manu Gupta, AIR 2015                                                     

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