OPINION

Monthly Archives: OCTOBER 2017


Defamation a ploy to gag media, SC must revisit stance on criminal aspect
30.10.17 - By Vipin Pubby*
Defamation a ploy to gag media, SC must revisit stance on criminal aspect



If at all, defamation may be treated as a civil offence, not a criminal one. Only that will end the practice of political bigwigs using it as a coercive tool to dissuade and even threaten the media.
 
The Editors Guild of India has expressed "deep disquiet over the continued misuse of the law that treats defamation as a criminal offence”. The Guild, which represents senior editors of the country, issued a release on Thursday to stress its concern over the misuse of defamation laws which are being used as "a coercive tool to dissuade and even threaten the media from carrying out its legitimate responsibilities”.
 
Although it did not name the latest victim of criminal defamation laws, it is obvious that the reference was to the defamation case filed against ‘The Wire’ for publishing a damning article against Jay Shah, son of the BJP chief, Amit Shah. The article had stated that the junior Shah’s company had made huge profits within a short timeframe but his lawyer had denied the allegations. The lawyer had claimed that the profits were made by legitimate means. After the publication of the article, junior Shah had filed a civil defamation case seeking Rs 100 crore in damages as well as a criminal defamation case.

The Guild said that it recognised the right of an aggrieved individual to approach a court of law to seek relief against defamation but that defamation should be treated as a civil offence. It said it disagreed with Supreme Court’s recent judgement that had upheld the criminality of defamation and requested it to review its decision.
 
The Supreme Court while upholding the constitutional validity of penal laws on defamation, had held that criminal defamation law doesn’t have any "chilling effect on freedom of speech”. It said that the "Right to free speech is not absolute. It does not mean freedom to hurt another’s reputation which is protected under Article 21 of the Constitution”.
 

It is well known that unscrupulous politicians and business houses use the provisions to gag the media and to tie it down with threats to file defamation cases. Some of the media houses wish to avoid contesting cases in courts and quietly bury the story. This is what is the intention behind sending notices or filing cases. Even in ‘The Wire’ case, the legal adviser of junior Shah has cautioned against publication of the story and had threatened a legal suit if it was done.
------------
The Guild and other media and social organisations are not demanding scrapping of defamation laws or any special protection. They have no issue with civil defamation but are rightly demanding abolition of criminal defamation which is more open to misuse and abuse.
------------
There are numerous instances in which criminal defamation cases claiming crores of rupees as damages have been instituted to silence the media. In one particular case the ‘damage’ was assessed at a whopping Rs 5000 crore. Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha and her government, for instance, had instituted over 100 defamation cases against journalists and social organisations in her state.
 
It often takes several years, hundreds of hearings and thousands of mandays before a final verdict comes out in defamation cases. Often the cases are deliberately delayed by the lawyers to suit their own or their client’s convenience. The conviction rate is low but the punishment is in the process.
 

The Guild and other media and social organisations are not demanding scrapping of defamation laws or any special protection. They have no issue with civil defamation but are rightly demanding abolition of criminal defamation which is more open to misuse and abuse.
 
Even in the Western democracies, from where current Indian legal system derives its foundations from, there is no provision for prosecution in defamation cases under criminal laws. The victim is entitled to get damages for loss of reputation if a case is decided in his or her favour. However since loss of reputation is not a bodily harm, such cases are not tried under criminal law.
 
There is a distinctive increase in the recent past in instances of government and private agencies, as well as individuals, filing criminal defamation cases. It is not a good augury for flourishing of democracy and a free media. Supreme Court must review its judgements on the issue. 
 
 
*(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career. This article was also published by lokmarg.com and is being published by Punjab Today under special arrangement with the author. - Ed)

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________
Most shared Punjab Today articles:


 HONESTY CERTIFICATE TO MAJITHIA TRIGGERS CRISIS IN TRIBUNE 


 THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

 

WAS IT MEANT FOR TRUMP? OR US?  – Bush, Obama said this on Diwali

CHALO, PATAAKE CHALAYEN – CM Amarinder Singh & Parkash Singh Badal Jee

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. SOON REACHING YOUR CITY. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? Deconstructing Modi's narrative

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF EXTENSION IN AGE OF RETIREMENT  What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50  Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS  Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH  Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

TO SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL: Speaking truth to power, and asking some tough questions

DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: Indian jawans killed everyone at this forward post of Pakistan

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

 _______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

 





[home] [1] 2  [next]1-5 of 7


Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 



Bush, Obama said this on Diwali. Was it meant for Trump? Or Us?
19.10.17 - By Pandit Nasruddin Chichawatni
Bush, Obama said this on Diwali. Was it meant for Trump? Or Us?



ON THE DAY of Diwali, two former presidents of the United States of America, who had not spoken in months, said stuff that many thought was actually aimed at rebuking President Donald Trump, but a number of Indians in western democracies said the message was just as appropriate for India's saffron rulers.

 

Former presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama spoke at separate events, and both warned that the United States was being torn apart by ancient hatreds that should have been consigned to history long ago.

 

Also Read: HAPPY DIWALI, CM AMARINDER SINGH & PARKASH SINGH BADAL JEE - CHALO, PATAAKE CHALAYEN


Both the former presidents called for addressing economic anxiety through common purpose.

 

Political pundits in the US said while neither named Trump, there was little doubt whom and what they had in mind. Many of the readers in India said Obama's and Bush's words can be well heeded by Modi and his cohort in India, and will do the saffron party a lot of good if it paid attention.

 

Bush, the last Republican to hold the White House before Trump, addressing a conference in New York to support democracy, said America first had to "recover our own identity” in the face of challenges to its most basic ideals. In contrast to Trump who lashes out at targets with relish, Bush defended immigration, denounced nationalism and bigotry and bemoaned what he called the "casual cruelty” of current public discourse.


Even a casual student of Indian political scene can annotate the comments with references to the current political voices coming from within the ruling BJP and many of the Sangh Parivar's outfits.

 

"We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism,” Bush said.

 

Sample this sentence in the very beginning of Bush's speech:


"The great democracies face new and serious threats — yet seem to be losing confidence in their own calling and competence. Economic, political and national security challenges proliferate, and they are made worse by the tendency to turn inward. The health of the democratic spirit itself is at issue. And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand."

 

Who says it couldn't have come from a saner mind in India, perturbed by the rising levels of intolerance in the country?

 

"What we can’t have is the same old politics of division that we have seen so many times before that dates back centuries,” Obama told a campaign rally on a day when India was celebrating Diwali, a festival that has traditionally seen communities coming together in the spirit of joie de vivre.

 

"Some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed. That has folks looking 50 years back. It’s the 21st century, not the 19th century. Come on!” Obama said, exactly when India was debating whether the ban on crackers was an attack on Hindus.

------------

Obama urged the people "to send a message to the country and a message to the world that we are rejecting the politics of division, we are rejecting a politics of fear, that we are embracing a politics that says everybody counts.”

------------

While analysts in the United States said the two former presidents speaking out so forcefully and eloquently amounted to a warning that some basic principles of democracy that both parties have long supported are in jeopardy, political pundits that Punjab Today spoke to said it was here that things were different in India.

 

"Even those who bash the entire saffron line from Narendra Modi to Yogi Adityanath to Sangeet Som fall back upon the old, divisive references to who killed Mahatma Gandhi and whether RSS took part in the freedom struggle. That amounts to denying the legitimate and often heroic role that people from both ends of the stream, BJP and Congress, and many others, have played in strengthening the cause of democracy in India," said a senior academic.

 

 Also Read & Watch Video - BRITISH PM THERESA MAY'S MESSAGE ON DIWALI & BANDI CHORR DIVAS


A reporter could not resist the temptation to ask Bush W. whether his message would be heard in the White House. The former president Bush smiled, nodded slightly and said, "I think it will.”

 

"Bigotry seems emboldened” and "our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication,” said Bush, adding, "We know that when we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed; it the failure of those charged with preserving and protecting democracy.”

 

"Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry and compromises the moral education of children,” Bush added.

 

Speaking in New Jersey, Obama urged the people "to send a message to the country and a message to the world that we are rejecting the politics of division, we are rejecting a politics of fear, that we are embracing a politics that says everybody counts.”

 

Obama had made it clear while leaving the White House that he will speak up if he saw the core values under attack.

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________
Most shared Punjab Today articles:

CHALO, PATAAKE CHALAYEN CM Amarinder Singh & Parkash Singh Badal Jee

BRITISH PM THERESA MAY'S MESSAGE ON DIWALI & BANDI CHORR DIVAS

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. SOON REACHING YOUR CITY. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? Deconstructing Modi's narrative

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF EXTENSION IN AGE OF RETIREMENT  What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50  Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS  Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH  Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

TO SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL: Speaking truth to power, and asking some tough questions

DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: Indian jawans killed everyone at this forward post of Pakistan

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

 _______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT



 


 

 




[home] [1] 2  [next]1-5 of 7


Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 



Election Commission - You Failed to Convince. Try Again.
15.10.17 - By Punjab Today Editorial Board
Election Commission - You Failed to Convince. Try Again.



Most Indian newspapers, including almost all English language newspapers, today carry a story that starts something like this: "Here is why EC did not announce dates for Gujarat assembly elections." All these news reports have dutifully reported the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A K Jyoti's reasoning that the delay was because the Election Commission was worried about the state's welfare.

 

Jyoti said "there is no justification to have a prolonged period of the imposition of model code of conduct as it could hamper development work," and quoted a 2001 precedent when the law ministry and the EC had reached an understanding not to allow a gap of more than 21 days between the announcement of polls and date of notification for elections.

 

Clearly, it is Jyoti's case that the delay was not to accrue any undue benefit to the BJP, as was being alleged by the opposition.

------------

Clearly, the CEC's explanation fell far short of being convincing, as the accompanying Punjab Today story shows. The EC must understand that it has become a key conduit for ensuring peaceful democratic transition.

------------

Just a day before Jyoti fell back on the 2001 precedent, saner voices had cautioned the EC to clear the air since its reputation was at stake.

 

The Indian Express, in its editorial a day before (on October 14), had pointed out this breaking of "established convention" and said the EC, "in making a routine decision appear controversial...does itself injustice."

 

"For the EC now to lay itself open to questions about the Gujarat poll delay...is enormously troubling for its several admirers...The EC must answer the questions raised by its decision not to announce the Gujarat polls alongwith Himachal’s more convincingly than it has done so far — because it has a very fine reputation to protect," it had said.

 

Clearly, the CEC's explanation fell far short of being convincing, as the accompanying Punjab Today story shows. The EC must understand that it has become a key conduit for ensuring peaceful democratic transition. Unlike its Pakistani counterpart, the Election Commission of Pakistan, which is now going about ordering the arrest of the country's top opposition leader on grounds of contempt, we can still question India's Election Commission. Unless it wants to break yet another tradition.

 -----------

 

 

 

 

Read related story 

This is why Election Commission did not announce Gujarat poll dates

 

------------

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________
Most shared Punjab Today articles:

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. SOON REACHING YOUR CITY. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? Deconstructing Modi's narrative

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF EXTENSION IN AGE OF RETIREMENT  What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50  Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS  Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH  Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

TO SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL: Speaking truth to power, and asking some tough questions

DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: Indian jawans killed everyone at this forward post of Pakistan

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

 _______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





[home] [1] 2  [next]1-5 of 7


Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 



INDIA SHAMES PAKISTAN, AGAIN
On a day India's Supreme Court stood up for girl child, Pak law makers let her down
12.10.17 - PT FOREIGN DESK
On a day India's Supreme Court stood up for girl child, Pak law makers let her down



India Shamed Pakistan on Wednesday. Once again. Without uttering a single bad word. This is how a better democracy works — by winning the day without hatred, without communalism, and being eternally progressive and liberal. Incidentally, October 11 was International Day of the Girl Child. Pakistani law makers seem particular selective about deciding when to shame themselves!

ON A DAY WHEN India's Supreme Court struck a blow for the rights of the girl child and ruled that sex with wife below 18 years would amount to rape, a Standing Committee of Pakistan's Senate rejected ‘The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2017’, calling it un-Islamic. The bill was aimed at increasing the minimum age for girls to marry from 16 to 18.
------------
Pakistan’s law makers went to Islamic religious scholars to ask if girls can be married before the age of 18 according to Islam. The ulema said yes, and the government should not increase the age for marrying. So the Senate rejected the bill. 
------------
As India's top court criminalised marital sex with wife under 18 years of age, and made it clear that the law will apply to all faiths, Pakistan's law makers went the other way.

Pakistan's Senate Standing Committee on Interior, which found the draft law to increase the minimum age for girls to marry from 16 to 18 years as contrary to Islamic injunctions, informed that the country's Muslim religious scholars have vetoed the bill.

"I have discussed it with religious scholars and they believe that girls can be married before the age of 18 according to Islam, so these kinds of bills cannot be passed,” Rehman Malik, chairman of the Senate committee, said.

Pakistani lawmakers often seek the opinion of the Council of Islamic Ideology on any piece of legislation that may draw the ire of powerful religious ulema. 

While activists fighting in India to introduce the concept of marital rape drew hope from Supreme Court's order on sex with child wife, feminists in Pakistan were left heart-broken with the stance of their Senators. 
 
The Delhi High Court is already grappling with the issue of criminalising marital rape. The Union government has adopted a stance that the concept of marital rape will destabilize the institution of marriage, a view opposed by many liberal circles. 

In India, while the minimum age for a girl to consent to sex is 18 under many pieces of legislation, such as the Prohibition of Prevention of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), the Juvenile Justice Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta read down this latest exception on Wednesday, Oct 11, 2017, that "sexual intercourse with a girl below 18 years of age is rape regardless of whether she is married or not.” 

"The exception carved out in the IPC creates an unnecessary and artificial distinction between a married girl child and an unmarried girl child and has no rational nexus with any unclear objective sought to be achieved. The artificial distinction is discriminatory and is definitely not in the interest of the girl child,” India's Supreme Court said.

Senator Sehar Kamran, who had moved the bill, had wanted time to convince fellow law makers and had argued how can the Pakistani citizens be allowed to marry at the age of 16 when they are not even issued a Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) by the country's National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), and cannot get a driving licence before the age of 18, and cannot vote.  

 
Girls as young as 10 are often married off in Pakistan despite the fact that the legal minimum age for getting married is 16, she said. 

Kamran had argued that in Pakistan, the leading cause of death for girls between the ages of 15 and 18 was pregnancy. As per the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the minimum age for marriage for girls should be 18. 

-----------
Girls as young as 10 are often married off in Pakistan. The legal minimum age for marriage is 16. Leading cause of death of girls between the ages of 15 and 18 is  pregnancy. But Pakistan’s ulemas are least bothered.
-----------
 
That the Pakistani senators' move to reject a progressive piece of legislation coincided exactly with the Indian Supreme Court's widely welcomed decision to protect the girl child underlined the liberal and democratic values of Indian society in a much more effective manner than what many anchors try to achieve in their nightly shriek-and-jump news shows, ostensibly saving the republic.
 

The Question of Health

While Pakistani Senators did not listen to the pleas of Senator Sehar Kamran of the Pakistan People's Party, the mover of the bill, that the leading cause of death for girls between the ages of 15 and 18 was pregnancy, the Indian Supreme Court judges stood up for the girl child, without any reference to any religious belief or affiliation, or practice. 

Justice Gupta, who wrote a separate judgment concurring with Justice Lokur, while reading down the "unconstitutional and offensive” part, said: "In the case of a minor girl child, good health would mean her right to develop as a healthy woman. This not only requires good physical health but also good mental health. The girl child must be encouraged to bloom into a healthy woman. The girl child must not be deprived of her right of choice. The girl child must not be deprived of her right to study further."

 
He further said, "In the modern age, when we talk of gender equality, the girl child must be given equal opportunity to develop like a male child. In fact, in my view, because of the patriarchal nature of our society, some extra benefit must be showered upon the girl child to ensure that she is not deprived of her right to life, which would include her right to grow and develop physically, mentally and economically as an independent self sufficient female adult.”

In contrast, Pakistani law makers who call themselves democratic, went to the religious ulema and came back with what is utterly regressive, pathetic, anti-women view that religion poses an obstruction in protecting the girl child of 16. That the Standing Committee of the Senate chose the International Day of the Girl Child to let her down betrays the utter apathy of the country’s lawmakers.

------------

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________
Most shared Punjab Today articles:

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. SOON REACHING YOUR CITY. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? Deconstructing Modi's narrative

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF EXTENSION IN AGE OF RETIREMENT  What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50  Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS  Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH  Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

TO SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL: Speaking truth to power, and asking some tough questions

DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: Indian jawans killed everyone at this forward post of Pakistan

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

 _______________________________________________________________


-------------

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT






[home] [1] 2  [next]1-5 of 7


Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 



IZZAT GAYEE KIS KI...
She slept with Langah. Don't sympathise with her.
08.10.17 - NEHA JINDAL & HARLEEN KAUR*
She slept with Langah. Don't sympathise with her.



A WOMAN COMPLAINED against a minister, claiming years of exploitation. Alongside her complaint, she submitted a video. Sucha Singh Langah is now in jail, his party cleansed itself by expelling Langah, and a religion protected its purity by excommunicating him.

A leading playwright of Punjab, Pali Bhupinder Singh, wrote on his facebook how our society must not have any sympathy for such women who strip for jobs, something he termed was neither a qualification nor a matter of duress.

The kind of backing such comments received in the social media betrays the rape culture which engulfs our mindset. 
 
Clearly, the argument is that only good women deserve protection. And the playwright and his supporters have the uncanny ability to detect bad woman when they see one. In this case, they have seen her.

They have even watched her in circumstances in which she was being exploited. And it is their understanding that in fact, the pendrive contained proof of how she was the one who was exploiting.

That she was someone who was depriving thousands of women of jobs, thousands of good women who climb atop water tanks, protesting for jobs.

Which playwright with such noble thoughts does not love a binary? A stripper, pitched against good women. Topical as a playwright, he thought it fit to drag two brave women from the contemporary headlines into the debate to back his understanding of a bad woman versus good women polarity.
---------
A powerful man who could control her fate in a completely exploitative relationship in which the woman was gasping for release. She took her chances, put her life on the line, made a video, mustered up courage, saw her window with the regime changing, went to the police and sought protection from law. She was intelligent enough not to seek help from such playwrights of the worid.
----------
Women have for long paid the price of these markers of good women versus bad woman, or susheel aurat banaam bazaroo aurat. You always fight for the sushil aurat, you demonise the bazaroo, the badnaam, the chinaal, the slut.

Women have spent generations as the pervasive climate of misogyny makes even so called liberals out to detect signs of immoral behaviour. And it is fairly easy to fall from the grace of these judges of morality. Kabhi ghoogat uttar giya, kabhi kisi naujawan mard se baat kar li, kabhi ghar se bhaag kar shadi kar li, and at times spent a night with someone. 

One gesture, one physical contact, one skirt an inch too short, one peep of a bra strap from underneath the blouse.

For those who jump on to the high pedestal of morality at the flash of the female flesh, a woman not shrieking from the rooftop about a minister forcing her to have sex was clearly a bad woman.
 
A woman for which not only has he no sympathy, not even empathy, but for which he thinks it appropriate to climb on to the rooftop to pontificate that no one should sympathise with her. She is not beeba. (He put beeba in quotes - a special treatment you know men reserve for who.)
 
As Nivedita Menon brings out in her brilliant work, ‘Seeing Like A Feminist', prostitute is the most easily available general term of insult for women. More than that, anytime we are unhappy with the state of affairs, our social leaders, political representatives, academics, poets give vent to their rage by depicting how our parliament, our politicians have become prostitutes. Now, those in journalism can be disparaged by calling them presstitudes, a term that has gotten a special backing from the regime.

Even by their own standards, such men consider a prostitute as a woman who has sex with many men outside the prescribed limits of society and social rules. 

In case of Sucha Singh Langah, we are talking about a woman who was not a prostitute. All she was doing, if we believe her and those telling the people not to sympathise with her, was that she was having sex with a man under conditions strictly controlled by patriarchy.

A powerful man who could control her fate in a completely exploitative relationship in which the woman was gasping for release. She took her chances, put her life on the line, made a video, mustered up courage, saw her window with the regime changing, went to the police and sought protection from law. She was intelligent enough not to seek help from such playwrights of the world.
----------
Women often find themselves arguing, of course in vain, that just because they mix with men, joke around, travel with men and have friendships does not make them whores. But Menon in her book asks if there is any comparable good/bad imagery for men?
----------
She did not shriek from the rooftop because she had seen enough drama in her life to know that the playwright was not listening.

The only time the playwright went to the rooftop was to tell people what a bad woman she was, and to beseech them not to have any sympathy with her.

Women often find themselves arguing, of course in vain, that just because they mix with men, joke around, travel with men and have friendships does not make them whores. But Menon in her book asks if there is any comparable good/bad imagery for men?

No wonder the feminist protest is turning it around. No more do they turn back and protest that 'we are not whores'. They turn around and say 'go to hell, I am a whore.' 

You hurl insults at them. They will turn around and convert these into badges of honour. Just as I am a presstitute. Now go, —* yourself. 
-----------
Women have spent generations as the pervasive climate of misogyny sends even so called liberals on a hunt for the immoral  - -  one gesture, one physical contact, one skirt an inch too short, one peep of a bra strap from underneath the blouse. And there she is: The Bad Woman.
-----------
The Pink Chaddhi campaign and Slut Walks are meant exactly for people who want to shame women just like those questioning the moral character of the woman who slept with Langah. Remember, it was not a choice she made. It was the only choice she had.

You want to lecture her that she should have exercised a better choice?

You did not exercise a better choice when you had to admonish her in your public comments. You certainly have no authority to act hoity-toity moral.

All that this woman is doing is to demand a legal right of protection from an exploiter.

In India, for women to reclaim their rights whatever their class, caste or community, amounts to attracting the allegation of being without shame.

The pervasiveness of such a misogynist culture gets a booster shot when it comes from men of letters and arts in high places. This is what directly legitimises incessant sexual harassment, and normalises it at least in case of women that men deem shameless.

Raping the slut becomes an honourable sexual practice. Almost on an equal footing with respecting women with deemed high morals. 

Pali Bhupinder just made respecting women fighting for jobs by climbing atop water tanks incumbent upon hating and shaming the woman in an exploitative relationship.

So all other sadhvis who were exploited by a baba, any baba, and did not speak out are all shameless women. Except for the two who fought back. Our respect for the two who fought back must not be intertwined with our propensity to term as whores and sluts who find themselves prisoners of circumstances forged exactly by this kind of patriarchy.

It is this kind of mindset that, instead of inculcating in the students a deep respect for the Manorama Mothers, would paint them as shameless women who thought nothing of stripping merely to protest against the rapes committed by security forces. One can well imagine the arguments that would have been made, citing examples of women protesting against sexual harassment with their heads duly covered with white dupattas. "Majaal hai je kise da dupatta vee sir to tilkiya hove!"

You can shame those women in Manipur, or you can tell your students that if you ever get a chance, you would bow your head before those women and ask to be blessed that you have a daughter who grows up to be so brave.

Your stand would come from the social position you take on rape. In the facebook chowk, you just betrayed your position.

This is the mindset that says rape is worse than death, being raped repeatedly is almost like being a participant in rape.

This is the mindset that says a woman who has been raped is like a corpse walking.

Just as they say there is no normal life possible for a woman who has been raped once, such facebook comments are basically saying a woman who has been in an exploitative relationship has no right to demand a normal life anymore. She has no right to seek protection from society, or from law. She has no right to be normal. 
----------
 All she was doing was  having sex with a man under conditions strictly controlled by patriarchy,  a powerful man who could control her fate in a completely exploitative relationship in which the woman was gasping for release. Exactly what the brave sadvis were forced into at one stage. She took her chances, put her life on the line, made a video, mustered up courage, saw her window with a change in the regime, went to the police and sought protection from law. 
----------
How is this attitude different from those who forever speak of Lakshman Rekha - either on the height of a skirt, or noodle straps, or low waist jeans, or deep cut bikinis? I give a variety of such examples because these guys have a very floating Lakshman Rekha.
 
This is the mindset that comes up with solutions where good men propose that the woman marry her rapist.
 
Bhanwari Devi was no great playwright, but she came up with a great dialogue: Izzat gayee kis ki, Bhateri Bhateri Ki, meaning it was not Bhanwari Devi who lost her honour, but the village that defended the rapists.

With his latest public position, he just joined the crowd slamming Bhanwari Devis. Izzat gayee kis ki...
 
Post-script: 

Cigarette in her bag? Be-Sharam!
 
IN A RECENT case, two judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court gave bail to three convicted rapists because they came to an "alternative" conclusion, owing to the victim's "promiscuous attitude." 
 
Apart from sundry other details of the rape survivor's personal life, the judges also referred to the fact that a pack of cigarettes was found in her possession. 

"She further admitted that she used to smoke cigarettes of 'Classic' make," a line in the order read.

This is pure and simple slut-shaming of a rape survivor. This is the ploy many men often use to portray that somehow, the victim was herself responsible for her plight. Us ke saath to yeh hona hee chahiye tha!

There's nothing glamorous about smoking. It is injurious to your health. If a judge finds out, it is injurious to your moral character. Much like a playwright who watches a video that a woman makes of herself with a tormentor, and decides all questions of consent, duress, patriarchy and morality, in a facebook post.

Hypocrisy is also injurious to health — the health of any society. Pakistan's leading comedian and actor Sohail Ahmed ‘Azizi’ of Hasb-e-haal, often resorts to a saying in Punjabi, not very literary, but full of colloquial wisdom: Aadmi hai ya drama!

 

 

 

*The authors, Neha Jindal & Harleen Kaur, are pursuing doctorate & M.Phil studies, in Panjab University & Punjabi University, respectively. Both highly recommend Nivedita Menon's work to those eager to detect traces of immorality in women.

 

 

 

 

------------

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________
Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh 

 MR President, please take back his gallantry medal – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

Sucha Singh Langah : Kamaal Jaari Hai... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

Abey Tu Bahar Nikal, Chowk Mein Aa   The 10-yard-radius protest

Patiala, via Panchkula. Soon Reaching Your City. Hail Democracy! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE  Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

Mr Home Minister, will you be visiting Farooq Ahmad Dar's house? Deconstructing Modi's narrative

The Ryan Debate: How India missed the great cctv angle?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

Political economy of extension in age of retirement  What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

The Gorakhpur Dead Speak to Punjab  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50  Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH  Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

TO SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL: Speaking truth to power, and asking some tough questions

DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: Indian jawans killed everyone at this forward post of Pakistan

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

 _______________________________________________________________


-------------

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT






[home] [1] 2  [next]1-5 of 7


Comment by: Atamjit

Wonderful article and an appreciable position that the authors have taken to understand the layers of patriarchy. I congratulate Neha and Harleen for this article. I am particularly impressed by the question that they are quoting from Menon about the good/bad men category.

But I also wish to add that if a particular person happens to be a playwright and you don't agree with his opinion; and in your view he has the same characteristics of misogyny that he seems to be condemning, it still doesn't deserve to be presented as 'Playwrights vs Women' phenomenon unless all the playwrights support his argument and also until all people belonging to the categories other than playwrights are no more sexists.

As a playwright I feel a bit displesed; but I do hope that it was not intentional and was the result of excitement that the argument and counter argument sometimes generate. Please take it only as a suggestion and there is all the reasons that you should keep on writing such wonderful articles.

Thanks

reply


Comment by: admin

Dear Dr Atamjit jee, it's gratifying to receive this feedback from someone of your stature. Indeed, while our critique was limited to one playwright who we named, we also wanted to underline the patriarchy that lies beneath even perceived notions of liberalism in our society. Were these mere loose comments made by someone in our neighbourhood, we would have credited such smut to the all pervasive patriarchal culture. These came from someone who positions himself on the forefront of liberal thought, performing arts and knowledge production. Further, he trudges pathways of a campus where young minds are being formed. So, his being a playwright was a fact that triggered part of our rage. 

Certainly, we owe much to the tribe of playwrights. One of us was in the auditorium watching Main Tan Ikk Sarangi Han a few years back. (One of the authors taught at what was then the Chandigarh Group of Colleges and remembers the director there, Dr Karminder Singh, strongly praising your play. He had watched it and recommended it to some of us. He is currently with the Thapar University.) We not only know your position on such issues but have also learnt a lot from the work of women and men of letters, such as yourself. Much thanks for your words of encouragement.
- Authors Neha J & Harleen K.

reply


Comment by: maxhealth

Hello ladies/gentlemen
Max Health India Searching ladies/men who are 100% healthy and want to sell kidney due to financial problem.
I am willing to pay $800,000 Usd for one kidney.
contact .
Dr Ryan Kumar whats app/ call: +919650114942 email us:maxhealthprocentre@gmail.com

reply


Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 







MOST VISITED
YOU MAY LIKE

TOPIC CLOUD

TAGS CLOUD

ARCHIVE



Copyright © 2016-2017







NEWS LETTER