In the early times, in practical life, women were considered to be the inferior ones. In India but in other countries, the value of a woman is merely limited to house making. They are considered and expected at the same time to be devoted only to families. Though women have excelled in many fields in recent times, there is still a long way to go.
India is one of those countries where women are not safe, or it can be very well said that India is just not the country for women anymore. Women’s rights are violated in the country to another level, be it their freedom to speak or work or even education. The legal system of India does not provide any speedy trials and justice for them.
Rape under IPC
The crimes against women have been increasing at a rapid rate. And justice for the same has no improvements. One such crime is RAPE. Rape is mentioned under Section 375 of the Code. Rape is a criminal offense that a man commits when he has sexual intercourse with women-
- without her consent
- against her will, or
- by forceful consent (example: blackmailing her by putting someone close to her at risk)
- by taking consent after giving her any stupefying substance or when she is intoxicated or is of an unsound mind and cannot make out the consequences of her actions.
- with or without any consent, if the girl is below the age of 16 years
There is an exception, as well. If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife, who is not below 15 years of age, is not rape, even if it satisfies all the clauses mentioned under Section 375. This gives rise to marital rape.
India is one of those countries where women are preached in the name of Durga, Parvati, and what not and at the same time are raped. Married women are not treated as a separate person from that of their husband.
According to Indian myths, married women are a husband’s property. The sole purpose of their existence is to look after their husband and fulfill all their wishes. They don’t get to say anything if the husband wants to do sexual intercourse and cannot file a case against their husbands as society is way too underdeveloped. The women will be held questionable to society also.
Indian legal system is very primitive. The victims of marital rape are not provided any protection under the Indian Legal System. Also, India has not yet illegalized marital rape in cases where the wife is above 15.
Punishment for Rape
Though justice to the rape victims is not duly served, there is still a punishment for rape under IPC. Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code mentions that anyone who commits the offense of rape will be imprisoned for not less than 7 years. Though in some cases, if the court feels too, it can reduce imprisonment from 7 years.
But the question arises that is this punishment sufficient? Is the justice duly served? The answer is a big NO. Rape has been so normalized in India that it has become a culture. Even the newborns are raped in India. Usually, when a girl is raped, society questions the girl, but I ask how a newborn is raped? Was she also ASKING FOR IT? NO. It’s the bitter truth that society does not want to accept that the problem is with their sons and daughters.
In many cases, the victims die within 2-3 days fighting all the odds to save their life. In the case of Nirbhaya, justice was served after 7 years. It took 7 years for the court to punish the accused men. Just imagine how many more Nirbhaya’s are there in the country whose case doesn’t even get the outrage it should.
Rape has been so normalized in India by the Indian society itself that the people who commit rape do not care what would be the outcome of their actions because they know how the system works. The Indian Legal System needs to be improved, and the hardest punishment needs to be served to the accused so that women in India do not fear anymore to get out of their homes and get to their work without any fear. They deserve to sleep without any tension at the end of the day and deserve justice without any delay. As a society, we need to make our sons more aware and educated and support our daughters. We, as a society, need to take a stand against the rape culture in India. Only then will India be a safe country for women.