Gender trouble


The cabinet decision to have only women judges trying in rape cases is a good example of fast backward. It assumes that only women can sympathise with women; that the poor record of our judiciary with reference to rape cases has a malice whose name is male judges! This is no change for the better, it is at best an escapist move. Indian Express has a good op-ed here on this issue.

The problem is more with the overall law and order system. Here I am afraid what is lacking is not officers with the right gender to do justice in rape cases but the desire to foster gender equality. The above article refers to a lower court verdict which is the height of prejudicial opinion masqerading as judicial verdict. Warning: It is too absurd, so beware, it requires a brave heart to finish reading the paragraph!

Bhanwari had been gangraped by five upper-caste men for attempting to stop a child marriage in her village. Acquitting the rapists, a sessions court had ruled: “Rape is usually committed by teenagers. The alleged rapists here are middle-aged and therefore, respectable citizens. Since the offenders were upper-caste men, the rape could not have taken place because Bhanwari was from a lower caste.”

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