The Scorpion and the Frog

Oil on canvas

In kindergarten I had heard this story about a scorpion and a frog, an Aesop fable. Aesop was a slave who lived in the 5th century BC who used to spread his wisdom by stories. This one particular story about a scorpion and frog goes something like:

A scorpion met a frog on a river bank and requested him to carry it across the river on his back. The frog refused stating that, how would he be sure that the scorpion would not sting him. The scorpion responded as they would be in the river, if he stung the frog, he would die too. The frog agreed and took the scorpion on his back and they started crossing the river.

In the middle of the river, the scorpion stung the frog. The frog got paralyzed due to the venom in the sting and started drowning. The frog just asked one question, “Why?”

To this the scorpion replied, “Because it is in my nature….” Read more of this post

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False Rape Charges on the Rise

Rape

A resent news article titled ‘False cases behind Delhi’s tag of rape capital: Court’, stated that a 75 year old man was accused of raping his maid servant was acquitted. As per the judgment, a frail old man of 75 years was accused of rape and had to suffer 6 months of jail time before being granted bail. The main reason for slapping the false rape was to merely extract money from the man.

Based on the lady’s complaint, the old man was sent for potency test wherein it was opined that there is nothing to suggest that he cannot perform sexual intercourse. Read more of this post

Because I am a Boy …

children's day

It is a strange topic relevant to the strange times we live in. It is said that boys are well cared for but that may be a myth. Since birth, as compared to their fairer counterparts, they are treated with an iron hand in the garb of making men out of them. In school, if found to be part of any mischief, the corporal punishment meted to them is way higher than their counterparts. Remember during school, it was only the boys who were made ‘murgas’ or ‘duck walks’ as part of punishment as opposed to the punishment of ‘standing in a corner’ for their fairer counterparts. Read more of this post

IrBM Arguments in the Media

Divorce Cakes a_007

Recently there has been a spate of discussions in the media on the upcoming Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage Law (IrBM). Some important highlights of the proposed bill are –

  1. Divorce can now be filed as a ‘No-fault Divorce’ stating that marriage has broken down irretrievably.
  2. Husbands do not have the right to oppose the divorce petition filed by their wives, whereas the wives can oppose the divorce petition filed by the husbands. Hence, the irretrievable break down of marriage can only be claimed by a wife and not the husband as husband’s petition can be challenged by the wife.
  3. All the property of the husband that he currently owns and his ancestral property (inherited or inheritable) will be divided between the husband and the wife.

Some arguments that have been promulgated for supporting this bill during media debates are –

1) Poverty is a gender issue and primarily in India women are poor: This is a baseless argument as the data shows just the opposite. Two most important features of poverty are malnutrition and substandard healthcare due to which the life expectancy reduces and deaths due to diseases increase respectively. Read more of this post

NSSO Employment Survey Analysis

I was reading the news article today which hinted that there is a Job Crisis in the rural areas for women and they have lost 9.1 mn jobs in 2 years.  Another link to the article can be found here. The number seemed astonishingly high. The data from the NSSO survey is:

2009-10

Labour Force Participation Rate

Presently Unemployed

Men

Women

Men

Women

Rural

548

208

11

5

Urban

556

128

17

9

2011-12

Labour Force Participation Rate

Presently Unemployed

Men

Women

Men

Women

Rural

547

181

12

5

Urban

560

134

18

9

Read more of this post

National Crime Records Bureau – Suicide Stats – 2012 (Part 2)

Sad clown

This is the part 2 of the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB’s) suicide statistics. The part 1 of the statistics are here. In this part we will try to explore if any causal effects are there to a rise in the male suicides.

In discussion with a few male rights activists, false criminal cases and gender biased laws were cited as a probable reason for despair in men. In this article we will analyze if the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 commonly referred to as the Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) has a causal relationship in increasing in suicides among men.

The DV Act was brought in force by the government on October 26, 2006 and it provides for protection of women from domestic violence in a marital home. This act also provides certain rights to women such as right to matrimonial home, right to receive protection orders and right to maintenance to name a few. Read more of this post

National Crime Records Bureau – 2012 Crime in India Analysis

Statue of Lady Justice in Frankfurt

The latest report on Crime in India – 2012 has been released by National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB). On a quick analysis we see that around 74% of all violent crimes are against the male gender. Men are 2.7 times more likely to be murdered and 4.4 times more likely to be seriously harmed than women in India.

Crime[i]

Men

Women

Murder (#)

25665

9457

%

73%

27%

Harm Not amounting to murder  (IPC 304/308) (#)

3362

761

%

82%

18%

IPC has certain special provisions for crimes against women. These being Rape (376), Dowry Death (304B), Cruelty (498A), Outraging Modesty (354) and Insult (509). As a percentage of incidents that were reported in 2012, roughly 48% of the complaints could be said to be frivolous (as the accused was acquitted by the Court or the complaints were found to be false at the investigation stage). This is a staggering number as such high number of frivolous complaints being registered and going into trial speaks volumes on the roots of misandry in our society.

Crime Against women[ii]

Incidences (#)

False Charges

Acquitted

Charged

 (#)

%[iii]

(#)

%[iv]

 (#)

%[v]

Rapes

24,923

1,833

7.4%

11,154

48.3%

3,563

15.4%

Dowry Deaths

8,233

545

6.6%

3,532

45.9%

1,684

21.9%

Sec. 498A

1,06,527

10,235

9.6%

39,138

40.6%

6,916

7.2%

Sec. 354 (Outraging Modesty)

45,351

2,618

5.8%

19,237

45.0%

6,082

14.2%

Sec. 509 (insult)

9,173

339

3.7%

4,390

49.7%

2,566

29.0%

If one analyzes the data above a whooping 55.7% of rape charges were frivolous. This is a very serious concern as the identity of the above 55.7% rape victims were protected who filed frivolous complaints and the accused identity was made public. One accusation from a woman makes the man a criminal, one accusation destroys his career and one accusation drains out his savings on legal recourses for defending himself. The woman gets a public prosecutor (ie. an attorney appointed by the state to fight the case on her behalf). There is no accountability whatsoever for filing a frivolous complaint by the woman primarily because of –

  • Her identity being protected, therefore filing a frivolous complaint has no public backlash. Whereas the accused’s life is destroyed due to her frivolous complaint.
  • As a public prosecutor is provided to the woman, there is no financial drain on her resources.
  • There are hardly any consequences in Indian law for filing a false rape case. (though a perjury case may be filed)

In all the other cases like Dowry Death, 498A, 354, 509, more than 50% of the cases were found to be frivolous. In 498A complaints, which is a non-bailable offence, the family of the husband is arrested once the complaint is registered. If a staggering 50% of such cases are seen to be frivolous, then the need of the hour is to scrap the provision based on Blackstone’s formulation, which states that “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”. In the above case more than 50% of the accused are innocent which causes undue hardship to them.

These frivolous cases are also a drain on the precious public resources and goes into the taxpayer’s account. The invaluable time of the Courts is wasted in disposing off these frivolous complaints. In the recent past, there has been a lot of hue and cry in the media stating that the cities of India are unsafe for women. An analysis of the rape cases show that in 98.2% cases[vi], the accused was known to the victim. Based on this data it is incorrect to state that Indian Streets are unsafe for women. This is yet another feminist and media hokum created to instill fear in the masses for reasons best known to them. Further, as compared to the developed countries like US, UK and Sweeden which have about 29, 29, and 64 rapes per 100,000 population, India is at about 2 (ie. atleast 15 times safer than developed nations).

The NCRB data is an eye opener and certain actions are a need of the hour such as strong provisions for filing frivolous complaints, detailed investigation of offences and scrapping 498A. Further, there is a need to save the precious court resources which are now used in disposing off these frivolous complaints.


[i] Table 3.3 and 3.4 of Crimes in India 2012, NCRB.

[ii] Table 5.2, 4.1 and 4.9 of Crimes in India 2012, NCRB.

[iii] As a percentage of incidences in 2012

[iv] As a percentage of (incidences in 2012 less false charges)

[v] As a percentage of (incidences in 2012 less false charges)

[vi] Table 5.2 and 5.4 of Crimes in India 2012, NCRB.

‘Frivolous’ implies either false charges found during investigation or acquittal of the accused by the Court.

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