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A Tradition Of Rape

The concept of “sex by consent” will always remain blurred as long as arranged marriages continue in India.

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Arranged Marriage

As rape is currently being discussed as a primary area of concern in India, it is a judicious time to step back and look at what is considered “sex by consent” in India. I think this is a very pertinent question to explore and discuss because sex by consent implies a certain power, control and choice by an individual – and rape divests the individual of all three.

So what is sex by consent in India? The majority of women, rather girls, are married “off” by their parents or families to boys they hardly know. Even in the more “progressive” cases where the boy and girl are allowed to get to know each other, the decision is taken not by the girl or boy. This, I think, has some very important implications.

First, that sex with a person who is almost a stranger is not uncommon and is implicitly accepted. It is not the person but the context that makes the person sex-worthy. I will not have sex with a stranger, but make him wear a connubial turban (or whatever local wedding gear), take the seven rounds around the sacred fire and sex between us is sanctioned! Therefore, when families, or even the police, encourage a girl to marry her rapist it has a cultural basis and endorsement – don’t view him as a rapist but your husband, and voila the defilement is deified, the ruin transformed into respect, and both the lives are sorted out.

Second – this is a point that intrigues me, sometimes humorously, but usually with sadness – what if the girl doesn’t want to have sex, or what if the boy doesn’t? But, there they are, from the very first celebrated “suhaag raat” (the nuptial night), both forced into consummation, eagerly awaited by both the families, with questions of pregnancy starting from almost the first week. There is very little space for the girl to say, “no…please, not tonight, not like this, not again”.

Third, if the girl is unhappy, doesn’t enjoy the sex they are having, or is being forced, who does she tell? Usually – no one. Her parents and family have invested a lot in this liaison. She would feel guilty to jeopardise that, as well as her family’s and her own “respect” in society. Her gentle hints, hesitant murmurs of concern, complaint, to her mother, aunt, in-laws will usually be soothed by, “It’ll be ok, have a child and it’ll be fine”. So, what would be considered rape in many societies is accepted as a “normal” course of filial events.

Unless there is a major shift away from this arranged marriage by the family, unless this very important social, religious and cultural tradition is challenged and overhauled, we cannot expect meaningful debates on rape in India. Women need first to reclaim their bodies and establish their power and choice over them. This is particularly important among the educated, economically independent women of India. They need to realise that there is a direct connection between women abdicating their power of consent for sex to their parents, and men perceiving women as powerless, at the mercy of the man – to do as he likes with her.

Urban, educated boys and girls “following tradition” as they call it proudly, may be protected from its worst consequence. But boys and girls in poorer, lesser educated spaces usually bear the brunt of this “tradition”, with boys being forced into this macho, aggressive role of “taker” and girls in the passive, suffering role of “givers”.

The situation in India is exacerbated by the conflict of the two ends of wealth and poverty, not because it’s changing at the top and remaining the same at the bottom but because it is not changing at the top in sufficiently significant ways. The matrimonial ads are testimonial to this. Highly educated boys and girls, men and women, with “modern outlooks but traditional values” are waiting for their parents to catch the right match.

Leading ladies, like Karisma Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit, will perform lewd dances on screen but then subscribe coyly to this grand Indian tradition of the arranged marriage. Being skimpily dressed is my choice, but having sex is not – that choice is my parents’.

Of course the obvious answer to this is a defiant, it’s our choice – I want a PhD from Harvard and also want my parents to choose a spouse for me. Then it should be clearly understood that it comes with consequences – of things staying status quo or worsening – of rapes continuing at the heart-breaking rate we are reading about every day in the newspapers. Because arranged marriages are about women relinquishing power and control over their bodies to someone else, and about men having to assume that power – to use or abuse.

Nirupama

 

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  • kank

    Mix truth with lies in a proportion of 1:1 – 1 drop of truth, 1 bucket of lies -results in articles like this. This article has been written as if Law & Order situation is perfect in India, only issue is our culture, tradition and anything not connected to law/order.

  • Gautam

    Hi Nirupama,

    Though I agree with you on the point that whom does a woman talk to if she doesn’t want sex. But it’s wrong to put everything on the arrange marriage. The role of woman in a marriage is the crux of the problem, her predefined role in society is the problem. Even the working women are portrayed as super mom , being able to manage both homework and office work, but why should she has to do everything? If a boy and girl both are equally qualified and are pursuing their careers , how does taking care of home is only the responsibly of the girl just because she is a girl.
    There is no alliterative to arrange marriages without any economic freedom.

  • Ravi

    Perhaps the author would like some one to translate the latest edition of Tamil weekly Tuklaq for her, published by Cho Ramaswamy. I quote some rape statistics for her; the numbers are for per 100,000 population – 28.8 in UK, 27.3 in US, 25.8 in New Zealand, 16.2 in France and so on. These are also as reported by UN. Of course rape is unacceptable. But in the non ideal world we live in, we try our best to minimise it through various means. Even though the figures quoted for India is 1.8, in absolute terms, the numbers will be high because of our high population. There are many other uncertainties like, how many get reported, how is rape defined, how many convictions and so on.
    We seem to have a fixation – all our problems stems from our traditions. It should be wiped out. This is not to argue or justify all that was done in the past. All these arguments are based on at best half baked research and often times on hearsay. Western scholars are not necessarily right in their interpretation of our traditions, systems and cultures. But we would like to swear by it.
    There was an article by some gentlemen in this forum where in he said he thought Rama was a bad husband because he banished Sita. He obviously missed the point that Rama did not have the slightest of doubt on Sita’s character. Yet he banished her only because a single citizen made a casual remark. It was in his position as a king that Rama took that drastic step, not in his role as husband. In the same tone we expect our present day leaders to be absolutely impartial or beyond all doubts. There is the case of a DGP who is allegedly shielding his rapist son. Strange isn’t it – we expect and condemn the same behaviour.
    So it is with this case. It is easy to state that the institution of arranged marriage is all bad because there is no need to substantiate it. If it is Indian and old it aught to be condemned is the line taken by most of English media. If not, you vanish into oblivion. There is hardly any research that goes into Indian tradition and systems – the methods, purposes and many else. Only those practices endorsed by the West is accepted in India – Yoga, for example.

    • Satyam Sharma

      The biggest problem in India today is that for the past century, we have been in a stranglehold of an “Establishment clique”, composed of leftist politicians and their leftist pseudo-liberal pseudo-intellectual friends in the media and so-called “intelligentsia”, who have perpetuated a kind of slave mentality among the entire Indian population. Today, India is a country of self-hating slaves who are ashamed of themselves and their own history (in spite of possessing the greatest civilizational heritage that would ideally be considered as a matter of pride in any other part of the world). Such a nation of such low self-esteem and absent self-respect will naturally ape and lick up to everything that is foreign, and can never rise up and succeed by itself.

    • Doesn’t Matter

      Small point. It wasn’t just a single citizen making a casual remark that led to Rama banishing Sita. It was suggested, and is accepted by commentators, that talk in the kingdom was becoming more wide-spread. Rama feared that it would become a huge distraction to governing and hence sent Sita away. It is entirely true that Rama didn’t doubt Sita.

      • Satyam Sharma

        There’s more — 1000s of years after the period of the Ramayana in India, a similar incident occurred in ancient Rome circa 50 BC (at the height of the Roman “civilization”, successor to the earlier Greek “civilization”, that are admired by these West-worshiping India-hating self-loathing left-lib slaves as the “fount of science and reason”).

        Gossip was rife in Rome that Julius Caesar’s first wife “went around” with other senators during his long absences on war expeditions and violent conquests. There was also the little matter of Caesar wanting to get rid of his first wife anyway, as he had set his eyes upon the famed beauty of Cleopatra of Egypt and wanted to marry the latter now. Obviously, there was absolutely no proof that his first wife ever committed adultery. But Julius Caesar not only abandons his wife, but also gets her beheaded (executed on the pretext that “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”), and promptly gets Cleopatra installed as his new (more beautiful) wife. Things were even worse in Europe; men of the Greek and Roman “civilizations” were well known for keeping 10s of concubines that included underage girls and even minor boys (look up “paedophilia in ancient Europe” or “pederasty” on Wikipedia).

        But when was the last time these very same India-haters let out even half-a-rant condemning and disparaging the disgusting, decadent and non-existent “culture” of the west? But in spite of being much superior in philosophical content, it is inevitably Sanatan Dharma (or other Indian-origin philosophies) and mythological characters like Ram who are always made the punching bags by these factually-ignorant and intellectually-challenged left-lib buffoons.

        • The Ordinary Indian Woman

          As an educated, aware, patriotic Indian girl, who is working in a very quintessentially ‘Indian’ environment as a teacher to young, adolescent boys, I am massively disturbed by the author’s views, as well as yours. I wouldn’t subscribe to arranged marriage myself, but refuse to believe it to be so demeaning to the woman as proclaimed by the author. However, I do acknowledge that the concept itself is often abused to stamp patriarchal supremacy over women, I’m sure you agree. Why your comments disturb me, as well as those of Aware Indian’s, is because I find you defending not only India, but defending the treatment of women by the men in India.
          Leaving aside all the facts and statistics, here’s a scenario I present to you:
          I walk in a western nation at 2am in the morning, inebriated, dressed-to-party..without worry, feeling safe, because I don’t see anyone leering at me like I’m a piece of chicken tikka.
          Cut to the capital of our nation at 2 pm in the afternoon. I’m coming back from work, crossing the road clad in my salwaar-suit, jacket, and a muffler, and a stranger in a vehicle can’t help himself, and shouts out,”chudhwaegi kya?”(Want to get fucked?).
          This sir, is a common occurrence in my life, every fucking day. Please provide statistics to make me feel better. Please tell me, that I’m an unfortunate ‘victim’ and other women have it better, as per the statistics. Please tell me, that the nation isn’t collectively involved in a genocide of female embryos, and that the west has more incidents of that.

          • Satyam Sharma

            1. Make me understand, how exactly is arranged marriage “patriarchal”?! And if it is indeed so, then considering the pressure of arranged marriage is equally upon our sons as on our daughters (and also that the pressure for arranged marriage comes equally from our fathers as from our mothers), then why would you not term it as “matriarchal” as well?!

            I genuinely don’t grok what is the link between “arranged marriage” and gender equality / crimes against women / “supremacy over women” at all, and the “arguments” presented in this article were quite weak, tenuous, facetious, and even prejudiced, honestly. Nowadays anyway the only “arranged” aspect about such marriages is only that the prospective partner is “introduced” by family/relatives. (In any case, scientifically, a well researched decision taken by a group of individuals would generally be better than a “trial and error” impulsive decision taken by a single 20-year old individual, would it not?) This article (titled “Arranging a rape” later edited to “A tradition of rape”) almost makes arranged marriage out to be some kind of “grand Indian male conspiracy to keep our womenfolk permanently enslaved” through some imaginary evil and devious traditions that encourage (even institutionalize) rape! Sorry, but that is pure nonsense!

            2. I cannot speak for others, but I am ONLY defending the wholly unwarranted attacks being made against Indian culture (which, incidentally, is the *real target* of such “hitjob articles” by the left-lib “establishment”). I am obviously and most definitely NOT defending the mistreatment of women by men (either in India or anywhere else, for that matter).

            3. Fact is, you are just as likely to be molested in India as in any western nation. I fully empathize with your account, and sure, may be the kind of crude “street harassment” (leering stares, comments, etc) faced by women in India is not prevalent in the west, but what I completely disagree with is this malicious attempt by politically-motivated vested interests to spin the whole debate and make it appear as if rape is some kind of India-centric India-endemic problem, and even worse, to blame Indian culture or traditions for it!

            4. Finally, I agree, even if rape / molestation / harassment / violent crime in general etc are all indeed lesser in India than in the west, but still it is definitely something to be solved. Even one single case is a case too many after all!

            But then the question to ask here is whether we’re focusing and debating on the right issues at all. Are our mainstream media (and so-called “intellectuals”) asking the right questions? From what I’ve been seeing for the past two weeks, our media and “intelligentsia” is completely driven by political agenda, and debasing the discussion by hyping up silly statements by senile politicians, or coming up with even sillier articles blaming Hindu heritage — Ram and Vivekanand, to name two usual punching bags, both recently condemned by our media geniuses — for sexism, gender inequality and crimes against women! And this article breaks all records by attempting to link something as unrelated and innocuous as “arranged marriage” with gender inequality and rape!

            Please go through my comments again. Point out one specific instance where I am defending the mistreatment of women or downplaying its severity. But also think for a moment, how our journalists have made this into a media circus, and how everybody is weighing in with his or her own expert opinion on what is the “root cause” of such incidents. Particularly “imaginative” ones among them (such as this article) come up with absolutely fantastical theories that are not based on hard fact or evidence at all!

            My point is that there is no need for such outlandish theorizing and analysis (especially when it is blatantly wrong). Let’s do the basics first, at least, before looking for bizarre and esoteric underlying reasons. The following three simple steps:

            1. Moral education and sensitization to gender equality in schools,

            2. Better policing on the streets to prevent such crimes as well as better forensic techniques to investigate such crimes, and,

            3. Swift justice delivery in our courts,

            will go a long way in helping matters. Before making new laws (or strengthening existing ones), at least first lets enforce the ones we already have properly? But the left-lib establishment (especially through irrelevant and rubbish articles like this one) is hijacking the entire discussion from these simple achievable law-and-order goals to their favourite pastime of Indian culture-bashing!

          • Doesn’t Matter

            Never mind everything else. With the occurrence of harrassment being frequent, what steps have you taken? Any police complaint?

          • Pallavi

            “I walk in a western nation at 2 am in the morning, inebriated, dressed-to-party..without worry, feeling safe, ”

            I live in USA, I will not dare go into certain neighborhoods even in the morning. In fact, many companies don’t want their offices and employees there so, they give out franchises in these neighborhoods. Shop keepers operate behind bullet-proof counters after dark. Some,. I will not dare go after dark.. Yes, there are many main roads, I can walk safely on but being alert, definitely not inebriated. Usually people don’t walk even on NYC main roads in such condition at odd hours, they take a cab.

            I do get your point that we in some countries don’t face so called eve-teasing and gawking. It is an issue in India and some other places. I do find S.Americans do the same in USA. But the portrayal of west as heaven vs India as hell is exaggeration. .

            Treatment of women in general is definitely better in USA, but mainly on the west and east coasts. The south is not the same. Women, non-whites and immigrants do face problems. The coasts have far more educated and ambitious people from diverse cultures. time is money. they sure don’t have time to sit and gawk at every woman passing by. Get these guys busy in the hope of making more money, they won’t give a damn who is wearing what. It is all about economics and education. People/men have same instincts everywhere. Acting on which instinct is more rewarded by the system is what differs. .

          • Rajat

            I mam, as a citizen of this country apologise to you. To all women of this country. I belong to that shameful tribe of Indian men. Shameless rather. I would never know how it feels. There is little hope. The onus of your protection lies on you. So much for our values.

          • Subhashini Aravamudhan

            you want some statistics to feel you better?? please refer to this link.. http://newindianexpress.com/magazine/article1453514.ece?pageNumber=2#commentsList.. I am sure you will feel much better

          • Different View

            Its clash of civilizations, Nudity in beaches,Family Nudity is common in Europe, In US same thing will be seen as a taboo, Its all relative, When people do something which is new to certain culture or civilization , they are looked upon the streets and are teased or whatever.
            Here I am not saying what is right or what is wrong , May be one day will come when all things will be common in India too. The life style we are living is not natural to our culture, we are following west’s practices,just copying every thing west does. We see these things in technology also , we have become copy cats . Its like copying a principle of how to live in summer in Europe and apply it here

          • Ram A

            how does your walking at 2pm in the afternoon relate to arranged marriage?
            and why did you go back to delhi when you are living in western nation….
            I am a bit skeptical about your 2pm comment. not saying it does not happen
            that is the sorry mental state of many men in the state capital.

        • Get your history right

          Pompeia, Caesar’s second wife, was divorced by him, not beheaded. The reason was not rumours about Pompeia’s fidelity but that as the wife often Pontifex Maximus she presided over a Bonna Dea celebration that was defiled by the presence of a man, Publius Clodious. This was around 61 BC.

          After that he married Piso’s daughter Calpurnia In 59 BC and she remained his wife till his assassination. Caesar met Cleopatra in 48 BC, never married her and certainly never beheaded a wife to be with her.

          As for Caesar’s first wife, Cornelia Cinnilla, there never was a whisper against her. Caesar chose to be proscribed himself and be put under death threat than divorce her as the then dictator of Rome Sulla wanted. She died during childbirth.

          • Satyam Sharma

            LOL, my comment surely seems to have got you surfing the Wikipedia, hmm? Good for you, the world would be a much better place if only the lib-lefties like yourself would stop being so ignorant and unintelligent, and educate themselves a little bit! Just go easy on the name dropping, post-facto copy-paste from Wikipedia doesn’t quite make you out to be Einstein, does it?

            OK, so (1) Pompeia (whom I am talking about) was the second wife and not the first, and (2) it was simple divorce/abandonment and not quite beheading/execution. There was INDEED a lot of gossip about Pompeia’s fidelity. Look up “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion” on Google, please. Just read that statement again and understand just the English of it, if that’s so difficult for you to grok. So not being a*** retentive about it, modulo the nitty-gritty, the ENTIRE BROADER POINT STANDS as is.

            (Half your comment about his other wives Calpurnia and Cornelia is utterly irrelevant.)

      • http://twitter.com/dbz_naruto Dragon

        a tradition of rape….
        what the hell all people are argue on this topic.

        rape :- what every said by us law and any country low. main thing is force to do sex .

        what the author said above … its little bit ok for think but not fully because you can point a figure on any tradition. in SOME COUNTRY people do sex after relation and got pregnant by their choice so its not called rape. because after that so many didn’t do marriage and live happily .

        and in some country after three or two child they get divorce …
        in SOME COUNTRY marriage is a bond for them, if they are unhappy with their relation they can get divorce etc. and above title is fully of illegal words and speech. which is pointing India .
        All though marriage is a bond which make people one and it’s a great love bond. not a sex bond. people do marriage not for sex. They do for a love life. and love is sex.
        Every one giving their though in writing, if you really want real answer then do love for god not for sex….

  • Jen

    The matter discussed here is partly why we have such rape incidents..if and when one is allowed to explore the answers and remedies for one’s bodily needs one doesnt need to take extreme measures inorder to experience and learn what is only a natural urge ..but our cultural and familial environments do not encourage this but funnily make it into a ceremonial journey and also expect you to have it all figured out for the day ..not before or after! The system worked as long as child marriage was acceptable where one was married off even before the urges strengthened!! I am not saying that i support child marraiges ..i am only saying the system had addressed the issues the best way possible for them! Now the sytem does not work any longer because nobody addresses the issuses children are frustrated with..we are still discussing making provisions for sex education in class room, we are still experimenting with the western dating system as a solution for frustrated kids, but all the while we are leaving hints all the time for children to behave themselves.. On the whole the system has failed and the public is witnessing outbursts of suppressed feelings or simply what normally happens on the wedding night or sometimes even before a wedding! But what happened in delhi is not just the result of cultural problems like in most cases..it looked like the work of people who were mentally ill.

  • Vaibhav Prakash

    Its just half truth… I think u need to re-analyze your facts and figures..
    Its filter ur facts and then show to world.. in all together different light.
    or else you can reach me at viki592@gmail.com.

  • Aware Indian

    Brilliantly put! My sentiments exactly! But I fear your logic and scientific reasoning is wasted on these thick-skulled left-lib cretins. You see, these “English” and “psychology” types probably never even took a half-decent entry-level course in math or logic; they probably think all it takes to make an “argument” is to just write out your blinkered opinion in grammatically correct English.

    Also notice how the author/editor has slyly put a photo of a typical Indian (traditional Hindu) wedding to accompany this ridiculous article. As if ALL typical Indian marriages are always arranged marriages (and therefore, as if ALL traditional Hindu marriages are essentially equivalent to parent-sanctioned “rape”, as per the idiotic logic of this article). For all we know, the groom and bride shown in that photo were actually having a love marriage, where only the wedding ceremony was solemnized in a traditional Hindu way.

    What, so now these self-loathing left-libs have a problem with Hindu culture and traditions as well? So if every Hindu in India converts to Christianity overnight (and the philosophically-superior and culturally-rich traditional Hindu weddings are replaced with those silly contractual functions in churches), then rapes will suddenly stop occurring in India and women will suddenly be respected as equals by all men?

  • VKM

    first gud piece of article after having more than one month discussion of this issue……

  • Anks

    I cannot get myself to believe your point 1. Can you give me reference from where you got that point that rapes are 10 times more common in USA and Europe than India?? I refuse to believe that exists. Oh maybe we are forgetting that unlike American and Europeans, Indian women dont even aknowledge violence against them, leave about speaking up against it.

    • Doesn’t Matter

      Answer is in Ravi’s comment. Here’s the UN statistics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics.

      Rapes per 100,000 of population is 27.3 in USA, 28.8 in UK and, wait for it, 1.8 in India.

      • Lakshmi S

        “Third, if the girl is unhappy, doesn’t enjoy the sex they are having, or is being forced, who does she tell? Usually – no one. Her parents and family have invested a lot in this liaison. She would feel guilty to jeopardise that, as well as her family’s and her own “respect” in society. Her gentle hints, hesitant murmurs of concern, complaint, to her mother, aunt, in-laws will usually be soothed by, “It’ll be ok, have a child and it’ll be fine”. So, what would be considered rape in many societies is accepted as a “normal” course of filial events.”

        How many women have the courage to go report a rape? How many of those cases are actively pursued in the first place? And how many those lead to actual prosecutions? Get your head out of the sand and look around you. Listen. Pay attention. You’ll see how this country treats its women like filth. You don’t need statistics to understand that.

        • Doesn’t Matter

          What is your point? That you expect everyone to subscribe to your prejudices, but that you’d provide no evidence to substantiate what you are saying. Sorry, that doesn’t work.

          This is a serious matter and it deserves to be dealt with seriously. Arbitrary condemnation with no thought behind it doesn’t help one bit. Just as an example, the rate of successful prosecution in rape cases in India seems to be much better than that of countries like the UK. Are you willing to deal with this fact or would you just refuse to believe it and prefer to blame the entire country?

      • Dibbs

        With your stupid cultural/religious chauvinism and silly anti-intellectualism is incapable of understanding the absence of reporting of rapes in India – so you stupidly take these stats to be the word of god. Secondly, neither you nor the other chauvinist who unleashed his moronic sentiments in the comments above engage with the actual argument that Sekhri makes – the holy vows are complete shit – precisely the holy baggage that prevents a newly-married woman from even accepting to herself that what may be happening to her is marital rape. Also, FYI, critiquing arranged marriage doesn’t mean supporting mass-conversion to Christianity (by the way the latter religion is not anti-Indian/anti-Hindu or something as you imply). As a woman I would much rather live in a society and legal system that lets me walk away from a bad or abusive marriage than one with nutjobs like you who brainwash me into staying in one in the name of holy (fallacious) tradition and goddam culture – what culture when your parents/in-laws can make you persist in a bad marriage citing the therapeutic effects of childbirth!!

    • Satyam Sharma

      “Doesn’t Matter” and “Ravi” below have already pointed out to the UN data that provides the statistics that rapes (per population) are about 15-20x times more frequent and prevalent in the USA/UK than in India.

      Your contention that “unlike Americans and Europeans, Indian women don’t even acknowledge violence” or report rapes, is also factually false. Data from the National Crime Bureau (for India stats), the American Medical Association (for USA stats) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (for UK stats) proves that the problem is “under reporting” is equally present in the USA/UK as well as in India. If only 5% of rapes in India get reported, then the number is similar (5-25%) for USA and UK as well. Net-net, the 20x times difference in incidence of rapes is much more than the small difference that may be accounted for due to under-reporting.

      As I have repeatedly mentioned in my comments, I am NOT defending the mistreatment of women in India (or elsewhere), NOR am I playing down the issue of gender inequality and crimes against women. I fully acknowledge, recognize and empathize that the problem exists and is severe enough. As I said below, this is not a contest of “my stats are better than yours”, because even one single case is a case too many.

      However, I vehemently oppose (and have proven incorrect through facts and analysis) the two twin assertions presented by these articles, that (a) rapes or crimes against women are an India-specific India-endemic problem only, and that (b) Indian culture and/or traditions (according to this article, bizzarely, even arranged marriage!) lie at the root of gender inequality and crimes against women in India. Both these assertions are ideologically-motivated agenda-driven prejudices, and are NOT supported by any evidence.

      As a society, we would do well to look at the real problems and simple, basic, achievable solutions, namely: (a) moral education and gender equality sensitization in our schools, (b) better policing and investigation techniques on our streets, and (c) swift justice delivery in the courts.

  • Anks

    You can hardly call Madhuri’s marriage arranged. There s nothing wrong if you fall for a guy who your parents happen to introduce, instead of a friend. Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmK-xKwMDFI

    • Satyam Sharma

      Good point! As per these left-lib imbeciles, it qualifies to be called a “love marriage” only if Madhuri had instead had a whirlwind (possibly abusive) relationship with someone like a Salman Khan (who is known for physically beating assaulting his then-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai even on the sets of her movies).

      Yep, the same Salman Khan who also illegally poached some endangered species in Rajasthan, abused and forced Aishwarya to go to Dubai to do shows for his underworld “Bhai”s, killed a few homeless people sleeping on the footpath while driving drunk, etc etc. And yet, the same Salman Khan is today lionized by the media and worshiped as a great humanitarian and philanthropist. Rajdeep Sardesai (who called Dawood Ibrahim a spotless “patriot”, and scotched all evidence linking him to Pakistani ISI-sponsored terrorism after the 1993 Bombay serial bomb blasts as a conspiracy by “nasty saffronites” in an April 2, 1993 editorial during his TOI days) calls the same Salman Khan to CNN-IBN’s award functions as chief guest.

      The agenda of the left-lib media and the pseudo-intelligentsia is clear: “Go easy on the Salman Khans and the Sanjay Dutts no matter what the evidence against them, irrespective of whether they are responsible for stereotyping of women or even crimes against them or not. Go easy on the Owaisis and the Nehrus in spite of their repeated treason against the nation. But come down hard to ridicule, demean and condemn Ram, Krishna or Hindu culture in general, on the slightest of pretexts at every opportunity.” Just yesterday, in an editorial, that leading light of leftist-Marxist thought in India, The Hindu, even blamed Swami Vivekanand (and, believe you me, his posture in a photograph) for India’s gender inequality and crime issues!

      Our politically-motivated journalists have made this entire episode into a never-ending media circus for the past month. Everybody and his uncle is weighing with absolutely rubbish opinions, and obfuscating or diverting the debate to absolutely irrelevant sidetracks like culture and traditions (this article being a prime example). But nobody is looking at the plain and simple obvious solutions: better policing or investigation techniques, and swift delivery of justice!

  • http://twitter.com/myths123 Mythili P

    Oh please!! This is a very big stretch from arranged marriage to rape. I understand that arranged marriage worked best in an environment where the husband and wife are both very young and society was a highly conformist traditional one. Arranged marriage doesn’t work anymore as people get married later and have more independent ideas before marriage. Arranged marriage may cause repression and frustration, it doesn’t cause rape. If not anything, it allows for people to have sex in the only way it is traditionally accepted.

    Today`s rape crisis is mostly a cultural backlash by the male order against increased women`s independence. The fact that our governments have failed to secure even basic law and order in our cities and villages has not helped. I see today`s developments as a sign of a women`s revolution, when women are not taking it lying down any more and and being punished for getting uppity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Samrat-Sengupta/726056431 Samrat Sengupta

    I do not understand why “Indians” have to “defend” their traditions as done in the comments. Arranged marriages bestows the power of sexual choice on men (seeing the photo etc.) while taking it away from women. In earlier days even if the grooms family would select the bride the groom had other options of enjoying sex outside marriage and often taking more than one partner as in kulin system in Bengal. The fixation of the age of marriage almost coincides with compulsory monogamy of men. Women’s family have always been thought of as subordinate and desperate to get their daughter married. Question of choice did never arise. The same situation and mentality percolates even today. The bride’s family often has to pay dowry to the groom for accepting their daughter. No question of women’s autonomy and freedom arises. The question of sexual satisfaction does not even feature in. Women are considered as baby making apparatus and free kindergarten schools. Therefore in India men thinks that it is their right to occupy and possess a woman, as an object of pleasure and use. They have never been used to consider the wishes, interest and likings of a woman – in bed and elsewhere. They have always seen women as a server, a sacrificial goat who gives up her pleasures for others. That is how they imagine their mothers and wives. The more insensitive and less educated and sophisticated among them usually take this right to women’s bodies and selves at another level. When a girl/woman refuses advances from a man he throws acid, commits rape and other sort of violences on the woman to show and assert his traditionally acquired power. In west the portrayal of women as sex-objects – as items meant for pleasing a man makes a man think his absolute power on women and also violation/possession of a woman as the ultimate show of his maleness. So rape happens. In India arranged marriages or for that matter any form of marriages privileges the subject position of man and denies subjecthood to a woman. That denial is taken for granted. I propose therefore to replace the systems in both west and India with complete sexual autonomy of women. Only they can decide if they must get married or sleep around or do whatever. The emphasis on choice of women must be increased so that people stop treating them as passive objects.

    • Doesn’t Matter

      Have you “arranged” a marriage recently? What you describe seems to be taken from the thesis of a particularly lazy scholar in a Women’s studies dept. Based on what I heard and experienced recently in arranging marriages, everything you have said is wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sabari.tamil Sabarinathan Arthanari

    In this article, “arranged marriage” is “A Tradition Of Rape” is misguiding and its true only if any one of the couple is not with their full consent. I think but in modern India mostly arranged marriages are with mutual understanding and couples are mentally prepared for “suhaag raat”

  • S Kumar

    Another hipster view as to what leads to rape. The author wants women to be independent, and rightly so, but thinks that women who do not subscribe to her view “like Karisma Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit” (who will easily qualify among some of the most educated/cosmopolitan women in the country) are not independent etc etc. Typical ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

    It’s a woman’s choice about what she wants to do. Be it arrange marriage, or performing ‘lewd’ dances, or not having sex or whatever.

    It might be your choice to not go through arrange marriage or any other such traditional practices, but it’s extremely hypocritical of the author to posit that women otherwise are the reason for rape etc. I know many women who are fiercely independent yet choose to adhere to traditional practices. In rural areas maybe women are forced into such things. But the solution is not tradition, the solution is giving women independence and power. If a woman chooses to do certain things out of her own wish, then nobody has a right pontificating.

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  • kushal447

    The statement-“It is not the person but the context that makes the person sex-worthy” has been very well put and i do agree that this is the case in today’s middle class too, let alone the rural india

  • Hmmm…

    The writer has a point – but it sounds as if written from top of the head – anyone can write this. Why not do an empirical research on this subject matter? Can be more interesting.

  • saurabh

    Let me propose this hypothesis to your “rape is more prevalent in the west” anecdote. The definition of rape the US (federal law) for example is as follows:

    (a) Rape.— Any person subject to this chapter who causes another person of any age to engage in a sexual act by—

    (1) using force against that other person;

    (2) causing grievous bodily harm to any person;

    (3) threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, grievous bodily harm, or kidnapping;

    (4) rendering another person unconscious; or

    (5) administering to another person by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or permission of that person, a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance and thereby substantially impairs the ability of that other person to appraise or control conduct.

    Further, this also includes marital rape within its definition.

    Even non-liberal neo-con geniuses such as yourselves will be able to see that this definition is much wider than the Indian definition of rape, which is still grappling with penile penetration of the vagina. Marital rape, which remains such a huge problem in India, please go in the field and work with organisations who counsel and help battered women, isn’t even recognized as a crime under law. Did someone mention women losing control over their own bodies?

    Further, reporting – in an ultra conservative country like our dear MOTHERLand rape is estimated to be reported in less than 5 percent (read the national crime bureau publications) of the actual number of rapes that actually occur. So to slap your back and compliment yourself on “we are less violent than these god less Americans” before you go buy your 2 liter coca cola bottle to enjoy with your Act 2 popcorn while watching cricket on your Samsung (which is Korean) TV is a not only a little disingenuous but very very delusional.

    Between 60-70 percent of all rape is committed by persons known to the woman, including relatives and family, this unlike your “10,000 times” exaggeration is statistical fact. This is as true in India as it is in the West. Pull your head out of wherever you’ve had it buried.

    The West has its problems, but to shine a light on those problems in response to the rape culture of India only displays incredible insecurity. You have failed to make a single substantive point about rape or the culture of rape in India all you have done is tried to shout down others by indulging in shallow west bashing – typical of an insecure mind. To dismiss dis-empowerment of women in the arranged marriage model with such contempt is disgraceful and reflects your inability to even consider anything but the status quo.

    Severely disappointing. I guess they are right when they say there is a difference between being educated and being literate.

    • Doesn’t Matter

      The reason why this is being debated is because we need to understand where to focus our efforts in order to reduce the instances of assault. It is not to trivialise the offense or unnecessarily defend Indian society. Preliminary analysis seems to indicate that the society being patriarchal has little to do with the instances of sexual assault. In fact, if anything, far more patriarchal societies like Japan have a much lower rate.

      In general, the data for all crime in India indicates that increasing the efficiency of police investigations and the widespread introduction of forensic techniques would go a long way in helping to increase prosecution of the crime. Hopefully, this would be a larger deterrent to the crime

      Legislative action figures quite low in the list – our laws are typically not enforced and there lies the problem. The call for the death penalty is particularly uninformed. It might give people a sense of achievement, but would make little difference. Our Supreme Court almost never enforces the death penalty even for horrific crimes of murder and is very unlikely to do so for most rape cases.

      If we don’t focus on changing police investigation techniques and instead make cosmetic changes to law, we would expend a lot of energy and would achieve little. Similarly, there is little evidence that a hysterical denunciation of Indian society would achieve much. There is not much to show a “rape culture” in India.

      Let us actions be focused in the areas where action is indicated rather than on those where our emotions lead us.

      As an example, let’s take one point – Marital rape. When the 1:15 difference in rapes between US/UK and India is mentioned, the difference in definition of marital rape was mentioned as if to imply that were the same laws to apply to the UK/USA and India, the difference in rape statistics would be reduced. Is that really the case? I can’t find exact statistics on marital rape in US/UK, but it seems to be quite low. Which means that even if they were to be omitted from the count for all countries, the difference in rape statistics would still be very large. If we were to spend a ton of effort on marital rape legislation, we would not make much of a difference to the number of rapes in India or the way that they are prosecuted. In a similar way, if we spend all our efforts in denouncing Indian society and attempt a wholesale reform, there’s nothing to indicate that it would make much difference.

      Let’s educate ourselves on the subject and attempt a meaningful dialogue. Discussion based entirely on prejudice is unlikely to lead anywhere.

    • saurabh

      1. My dear friend, you are stupider than I first believed if you think 375 IPC is identical to the definition under the American definition of rape. It is not. Please read the judgments of the Supreme Court in Sakshi v UoI, which was followed by the 172nd law commission report that recommended that the definition of “sexual assault” (which includes rape) be expanded to include the insertion by a man of his penis into the vagina (which includes the labia majora, the anus or urethra or mouth of any man, woman or child. Anal, oral and any other penetration is not covered under the the present 375 IPC.

      Further, the amendment also proposes to to include the insertion of any other body part or object into such orifices to constitute rape. If this was already covered in the present 375 IPC as you so eloquently propose, there shouldn’t have been any need for amendment. Point 1 therefore is that our law isn’t as wide as the law in the States and other western countries so far as the definition of “Rape” is concerned.

      Your point about anal sex is completely incorrect. Sodomy is not rape. Sodomy is only covered by unnatural offences in IPC 377, which is not punishable as rape.

      2.Marital rape – glad to see you alteast concede that the law requires reform here. Agreed. And please don’t put words in my mouth at no point of time am I suggesting that rape is not a problem in the US or that we have less or more rapes than the US (who made them a benchmark for orderliness anyway). What I am merely pointing out is that rape is a much much larger problem in India than its made out to be and that the “UN stats” that you, bright spark that you are, so cleverly Wikipedia and so robustly flogged as your most elegant “source” may be woefully inaccurate. That number of 1.8 is certainly much much larger and if you believe otherwise well I wish you the best with your deluded reality.

      3. Yes, if my ass is called the National Crime Records Bureau of India then yes, that’s where I pulled it out of. Its a GoI organ, please feel free to find records to prove me wrong.

      4. My point was merely to refute this statement – “Sexual molestation of girls even within the family by their own parents is 10,000 times more prevalent in the west than in India” – and to point out that sexual molestation by family and known persons doesn’t vary much across the world.

      5. I never said the US is not a violent society, and I agree with you that it is a far far more violent society than our own. Your presumptuousness doesn’t surprise me though. Distracting from facts and figures and indulging in name calling and pointless national chauvinism when you have nothing concrete to say.

      6. This is nice – “typical of a self-loathing self-esteem-lacking West-worshiping India-hating left-lib slave mind such as yours.” – may I use this as my new twitter bio?

      7. Sorry about the “educated/literate” barb I dropped in there that made you justify your education to me, a complete stranger. You clearly are a perfectly secure individual. My apologies again, you are far more “educated” than me, a PhD. Wow! Btw, you finished your PhD in India did you?

      8. Also after this – “(judging by the likes, almost everybody agrees with me and almost nobody with you)” – first, I guess nothing left for me to do but crawl into my hole and die *no body likes me :*(. You are the king of the newslaundry comment board and I bow to you great sir. One more *like* coming your way big guy! and second, you must be a world record holder to have earned your PhD at the age of 12. Can I have your autograph please?

      9. What are these “great social values”? treating our women like second class citizens and locking them up before sundown each day because the son’s of these great purveyors of “Social values” can’t keep it in their fucking pants? And before you get ultra defensive again, cause you’re an insecure tool, forget the west for the moment and focus on us in isolation – I’m sure you can accomplish it if you really focus all that PhD grey matter.

      • Satyam Sharma

        LOL, there you go again — comprehensively beaten in a factual, logical and objective debate, you go “blah blah bullshit bullshit blah blah” again as usual. I so pity the likes of intellectually-challenged brainless cretins like you …

        1. First off, kiddo, you sadly seem to have English language and reading comprehension issues. (Which is an irony, considering “English and psychology” types like you are expected to be good in English, at the very least. You are nowhere in logical and analytical skills anyway, LOL!) As I said, the law on rape is EXACTLY IDENTICAL in India and the US, except for the use of the term “sexual intercourse” instead of “sexual act”. The section goes on to mention “penetration” as sufficient, and does NOT restrict to penile-vaginal intercourse only. Now individual cases can indeed throw up “unsatisfactory” verdicts (especially if the judges choose to interpret the law narrowly for whatever reason), but that does NOT mean there is no law. Even OJ got acquitted for a murder he obviously committed. But sure, if the proposal is to replace “intercourse” with “act” then by all means I would support such a change.

        2. Let me also point you towards what I ACTUALLY WROTE (and not what you chose to read through your blinkered vision): “Now sure, I admit under-reporting is always a problem (probably more so in India than in the US)…”. Try again, boy, and this time make an effort understand what it means? The objective issue is not whether their is under-reporting or not (as I said, it definitely occurs), but whether the under-reporting is to a degree that the problem of rape must be discussed as if it is a problem endemic to India, and that too because of culture (a fantastical theory that idiots like you hilariously subscribe to).

        BTW, son, you could have saved yourself tons of embarrassment if you had just done a few elementary Google searches regarding under-reporting of rape worldwide. Consulting Google or Wikipedia may not make you a Ph.D. like me, but at least it will arm you with a few basic factoids so as to hold your own in an objective debate, LOL! Anyway, so the NCB in India says only 5% rapes get reported in India. Guess what the figures for the west are? As late as January 2007, a report of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in England says 75-95% of rapes go unreported in England as well. Ditto for the US, where again the vast majority of rape cases are never reported. So there! If the 1.8 figure of India is artificially low (due to under-reporting), which it is, then so are the 25-30 figures of US and Europe as well! Do you understand this point? (I feel like asking this, one can never be sure with a numbskull moron like you, not exactly known for your analytical ability skills.)

        3. Also, you brought “marital rape” into the picture in response to my earlier point where I PROVED (through HARD evidence) that rapes are about 15-20 times more common in the west than in India. As someone else has also replied to you, the your insinuation is that marital rapes alone account for the massive difference between the incidence of rapes in India and the US. That is quite clearly not the case. If you want to continue believing so, you are welcome to continue being Alice in Wonderland.

        4. Now I need you to concentrate hard. (To a mind well versed with math, this is a trivial point, but one can never be too sure with you.) Sure, sexual molestation by family or relatives, as a percentage of all sexual molestation does not vary by country. But, sexual molestation by family or relatives, as a percentage of population, DOES VARY by country. India does orders of magnitudes times better than the west in this metric. And this IS the metric that matters (to compare one country with another).

        5. The entire discussion was ALWAYS about the relative incidence of violent crime (especially against women) in India w.r.t. other countries. LOL, foolhardy imbeciles like you don’t even know the discussion before barging in with your half-baked half-assed nonsense? And if anybody’s been baiting and switching here, it’s clearly been you.

        6. Yep, please do, by all means! (Add “insecure tool”, for good measure, LOL!)

        7. Haha, why are you always continuously driving the whole debate into personal territory? It is YOU who is such an insecure baby … first you get totally owned in the substantive content of the debate, and then you take it (and make it) personal. Anyway, since you’re so interested in me, NO, I didn’t bring “Ph.D.” into the discussion for your pathetic “educated/literate barb”, LOL! I just wanted to tell you to take it easy with the “Samsung is a Korean company” kind of trivia shit that I knew from since when I was 3.

        8. LOL, I just love it how you’ve completely fallen to pieces, haha! Again, baby, don’t take it so personally! Are you frustrated / unhappy / sad that nobody agrees with you but with me instead? Haha, if anybody is responding to “barbs” here, then it is clearly YOU, to MINE! LOL! And YOU are so perfectly secure, right? BTW, you’re quite wrong in saying that I earned my Ph.D. at 12. Actually, I got it at 9. :-)))

        9. Ah, good to see you back on topic, FINALLY. Yes, we do have “great social values” (compared to the rest of the world). If you had only spent as much time what everybody is actually writing here, (instead of frothing at your mouth with your immature and childish “barbs”), you would’ve noticed the examples given to justify the assertion. Much less violent crime, much less crimes against women, much less crimes against senior citizens or children, stronger institutions of family and society (95% of India doesn’t throw their parents/grandparents to old age homes or abandons them altogether, for instance), etc etc etc.

        Finally, kiddo, whatever gave you the idea I ever got defensive? If anybody’s been doing that (apart from being an “insecure tool” who can’t keep his personal frustrations out of an objective debate), it is quite evidently YOU. :-) And sure, sonny, the problem definitely exists (and unlike you, who can’t stop digressing to irrelevant sidetracks or personal banter, I have even provided the few simple and obvious immediate steps). But the particular point of debate here WAS the relative incidence of these problems in India w.r.t. other countries (specifically the west). May be you’d have noticed that if only you had read what everybody is saying before jumping in with your half-knowledge (and quarter-intelligence). LOL!

  • Swish

    Nice.. But its a genetic disorder passed onto us from generations. Do you think people will let go of this thing so easily? This topics is just good for having a debate on and not for implementation in the real life…. Its just not that easy!

  • padmini

    Just one word to descrive this article. HILLARIOUS !!!

  • indian

    i strongly feel, u have digressed and made a very convincing attempt to link arranged marriages to the increasing number of rapes in our country! i agree to the fact that this is the most atrocious form of rape that is prevalent in our society, but your article comes across to me as one written by a person who is against arranged marriages, and hence vehemently portraying a picture linking the two !

  • sharppencil

    Thank you Ms. Sekhri for your article. Rape is a serious accusation in ANY culture. It happens globally everyday. Let’s take responsibility for it be we women or men. Rape is a symptom of more serious cultural problems within cultures and family groups. Discussion and education are extremely relevant.

  • Ashok Jahnavi Prasad

    This page is perilously close to becoming unbearably insufferable because it appears that certain correspondents have chosen to vent their spleen in the most unbecoming manner dispensing with the elementary courtesies and resorting to supercilious sneers and snivels which I am certain the administrators would regard as inimical. I must admit that I am beginning to find it tiresome to witness a perfectly legitimate opportunity for a civilized debate being thrown to the wind by a distasteful exercise of ascribing motives to all who may harbour honest disagreement and usage of some very very obnoxious terms which only serve to sully the entire atmosphere. It may be acceptable for one to regard himself/herself as a repository of all wisdom but it is most definitely NOT acceptable in a public forum like this to denigrate the other by usage of some really offensive profanity which perhaps unknown to those who indulge,only serve to demean them. In the process facts and reasoned arguments get completely ignored.It cheapens everyone! One may disagree with Nirupama’s assertions but that is absolutely no reason to denigrate her effort. Some bizarre associations have been alluded to which in the context are not only bewildering but totally superfluous! Let us all agree that rape is all about exercise of male power to subjugate a female-and is it anybody’s case that this does not happen the world over!Some countries have taken remedial measures more seriously than the others.And unfortunately India is not one of those, It would be bizarre to suggest that arranged marriages themselves can be held responsible for this human degradation but surely it is nobody’s case that the ultimate solution to the problem lies is feminine emancipation where a female is not deprived of any of the opportunities to realize her true potential. And if that means giving her a bigger choice in selection of her partner so be it-whether through arranged marriage or not. And it would again be pointless to deny that for generations women were groomed by their parents with only one aim-in the process they were denied even the most basic educational opportunities.As the process of emancipation develops,more and more would like to have a greater choice in charting their lives and the traditional arranged marriages as known by the generation before mine would be history-at least in the metropolitan settings. And to suggest that arranged marriages by themselves were responsible for minimal instances of divorces is hopelessly simplistic. Having worked in Ireland where church did not permit divorces until recently, the absence of divorce there had to do with social dictates rather than all marriages being hunky-dory.Exactly the same arguments were put forward over there -and anyone who has worked there would testify that marital violence was just as common there as anywhere else -the social norms did not allow this fact to surface.And as a professional I can state here in India at least in the mofussil town I live in-violence within the marriage is extremely common-and it is hardly ever reported. This of course is not rape but an instance of subjugation of females-rape is an extreme manifestation of this along the continuum.And female equality is a distant prospect as yet-even in a country as egalitarian as Sweden.US does have some very worrying traditions but accountability is engrained very deeply in the individual’s psyche and that is something we would all do well to emulate. No point harping over what India represented in the past-in the present I am yet to come across any female in the cross section I associate with who feels safe-and that is not only worrying but shameful. And I fail to grasp what that has to do with the antics of Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan! Sanjay Dutt by any reckoning is a dumb person whose arrogance lead him to a position where he indulged in decerebrate actions-but that does not make him a traitor -and by the way he has already been convicted.Plus it must also not be forgotten that his own father had openly stated that Sanjay had made a mistake for which he had to atone. I have personally witnessed Salman Khan’s arrogance one in Durban.It saddens me that he is not being hauled up to face his comeuppance. But why is it that people are making sure that all his films succeed at the box office. I personally DO NOT believe his obvious popularity should insulate him from the consequences- but hang on! Is that not the very argument that some people use to support their political masters when they succeed in elections! They tend to belive that election victory should be sufficient to ensure their guilt/innocence!Which is a very dangerous proposition indeed as we have seem people get elected all over the world which attests to their popularity and then do the most terrible things!Rajdeep was certainly not wise to have invited Salman-I have criticized CNN-IBN for inviting Amar Singh in a recent comment here-but again hang on! I do recall a certain CM in his swearing ceremony invite Raj Thackeray as a State Guest-a person known for his very toxic views who hit a new low today by implying that Bihar exports rape all over the country.I do not believe Gujaratis endorse that position and I have not heard the CM offering an explanation as to why he invited such an obnoxious person when it was not even demanded by protocol-he did not hold any official position and still does not! The truth is that all politicians and political formations have failed us on every ground and are in no position to take a moral position. But this is not even tangentially related to the issue in the debate!

    • Ravi

      Superbly written.

  • Lydia

    Satyam Sharma, your fallacious reasoning, obnoxious, myopic rigidity and hypocritically bizarre statistics amaze me, but since Saurabh has already made an excellent argument, I’d just like to add this article. Hopefully, it’s of some interest.

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21569031-horrible-attack-could-prove-turning-point-indias-women-rape-and-murder-delhi

    • Satyam Sharma

      LOL, so you can’t find one objective argument against the points I made and find it easier to just dismiss the whole thing by calling it “fallacious, obnoxious, myopic and bizarre”. As always, I would be point-wise and objective, however.

      Madam, my perfectly valid and correct analysis above is based on statistics sourced from: the United Nations (per-capita rape statistics of the world, shared by “Ravi” below), the National Crime Bureau of India (“5%” statistic regarding under-reporting of rape in India, shared by “Saurabh” himself above), the American Medical Association (statistics regarding under-reporting of rape in US), and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary report of January 2007 (statistics regarding under-reporting of rape in England).

      It is you who are being hypocritical, obnoxious, and irrational by dismissing the facts themselves, just because the facts don’t quite bear out your prejudices! As for Saurabh’s “excellent argument”, it has already been blown away through cold facts and logic. Saurabh was, quite simply, incorrect on all factual counts, as well as in his analysis, which is simply not supported by any evidence whatsoever. The Economist article, again, looks at the problem in India in isolation, and is therefore unsuitable for reference to settle a debate regarding the relative incidence of such crimes in various countries (WHICH WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF DISAGREEMENT HERE).

      Madam, the truth will not cease to be the truth just because you find it disagreeable. It is you who should better modify your prejudiced opinions to suit the truth, and NOT the other way around. Geddit? And I know the left-libs’ India-bashing agenda warms your heart, but at least find some point on which you are remotely factually correct to undertake the said Hindu-bashing, right? Because on this one, sadly, you were totally wrong.

      In conclusion: Yes, the problem of rape and violent crime against women exists more in the west than it does in India. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the FACTS bear this out. If ignorant Indophobes like yourself want to paint crimes against women as an India-specific problem, then sure, go ahead with your propaganda and be prepared to fall flat in front of someone who actually knows the facts (like what happened here). And finally, if you want to link the problem of rape and violent crime against women as having to do with Indian culture and traditions (such as, bizarrely, arranged marriage!) then you are welcome to live in your deluded and idiotic fantasies.

      And if you still persist with establishing the above link, then please also write a treatise on how “Christianity promotes gun culture and sexual molestation of minors by their own parents”. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but at least I will be convinced that you are only a mistaken fool, and not maliciously motivated against Indian traditions in general. LOL!

  • Arun

    The analysis doesn’t seem to be complete.

    a) The author claims that presence of arranged marriage leads to rape. In the west, love marriage are prevalent, why is rape more in number? Statistics here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics
    One can say that not all rapes are reported in India, agreed. What is the proof that all the rape cases in west are reported?

    b) Your last line : “Because arranged marriages are about women relinquishing power and control over their bodies to someone else, and about men having to assume that power – to use or abuse.” What makes you think that men(groom) have a higher say at the marriage. Arranged marriages are are normally decided by parents(man & WOMAN) of the boy/girl. Here both the boy & girl relinquish their power of choice and submit it to their parents. Use or abuse is a different case altogether, that happens in love marriages also. Go check some of the reason why the western marriages end in divorce, then you can compare and analyze which type of marriage lead to use/abuse.

    I regularly visit newslaundry & had high expectations from it. Most of the articles are well written. But this is the 2nd article in this website where I see a shallow analysis. :-(

    • Satyam Sharma

      The flawed hypothesis and fallacious reasoning of these commentators has been punctured, and the typical political ideology-driven India-bashing agenda behind such “hit job” articles has been exposed.

      1. Data compiled from the following 4 sources: the United Nations (per-capita rape statistics of the world, shared by “Ravi” below), the National Crime Bureau of India (“5%” statistic regarding under-reporting of rape in India, shared by “Saurabh” himself above), the American Medical Association (statistics regarding under-reporting of rape in US), and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary report of January 2007 (statistics regarding under-reporting of rape in England), conclusively proves that (a) rapes per-capita are 20x times more in the west than in India, and (b) the problem of under-reporting is roughly the same in ALL parts of the world (only 5-10% rapes are reported in India, only 5-20% rapes are reported in the US/England).

      2. Read my reply to “Ordinary Indian Woman”. The left-lib establishment wants to obfuscate the real issue (and the basic solutions) by conflating the issue with their usual Hindu-bashing agenda. The entire media and so-called intelligentsia are peddle weak, tenuous, facetious and prejudiced arguments to establish some imaginary link to show that it is Indian culture and traditions (even arranged marriage, bizarrely!) that are the root cause of rapes, and that crimes against women are somehow an India-specific India-endemic problem.

      And in all this needless cacophony, the plain and simple basic solutions with achievable goals (moral education in schools, better policing and investigation, and swift justice delivery) are completely forgotten, and everybody and his uncle from the left is weighing in with rubbish opinions with ideological agendas.

      • Arun

        I appreciate you last para. Moral education at school a vital key. Regarding the left-lib: As long as they have some valid point, based on intensive analysis backed by statistics, it can be considered/argued-back.

        By the way, I stopped watching the TV news by various anchors because of their one sided debates & not giving enough air time for the other side to voice their opinion.

        On a lighter note, if one does not want to be affected by high blood pressure at later in life, one should stop watching them.

      • Shehbaz Deol

        You are complete buffoon. The whole World knows that Indian culture is most EVIL and HORRIBLY MISOGYNISTIC culture on the face the Earth. It has been proven without a doubt. Canada, U.S.A., France, Germany, Australia and England are a THOUSAND TIMES NICER to their women. Women in the West are free, independent, highly educated and respected.

        No women in the West gets acid thrown in her face (such an evil thing almost never happens in a Western country except when Indian immigrant in Canada or U.S.A does it for fun). No women in the West is forced into a marriage (Arranged marriage in rural India is basically SLAVERY while arranged marriage in urban India is more like Parent-sponsored dating but still treats daughters like baby-making machines and blackmails young women emotionally).

        in a survey of G20 countries last June, India was ranked as the WORST country in the world in which to be a woman.

        Read the following story written by Amrit Dhillon:

        http://www.dailylife.com.au/federal-politics/life-in-the-worst-country-in-the-world-to-be-a-woman-20130128-2dg2o.html

  • Billy

    In America we have a tradition of enabling false rape accusers, like Crystal Mangum and Ashley Todd.

  • http://twitter.com/knackofflying Sonam Agrawal

    Do any comparative figures like no. of rapes per capita matter or not you are going to post just about anything that comes to your mind ?

  • Ankush

    The author assumes a few things that are factually incorrect –

    A. Women do not prefer an arranged marriage at all and always have a boyfriend who is ready to marry them
    B. Even in “progressive” arranged marriages, parents completely ignorethe opinion of their children about the prospective bride/groom and the match is always made nevertheless
    C. Consummation of the marriage always takes place on the wedding night, despite the wishes of the bride or the groom
    D. The bride is always scared of the consummation night and never has the guts to say no
    E. The bride is a complete loner, has no friends/siblings/cousins in whom she can confide her marital/sexual woes

    With these number of incorrect assumptions, I’m quite skeptical of the opinions expressed by the author.
    An arranged marriage these days is more of an arranged date, set up by parents and is not about women relinquishing power to me.
    A number of people these days give preference to their career over love, men as well as women, which hardly leaves them time to date and build relationships.
    In such a scenario, an arranged marriage is a sensible choice and setting up of one by parents offers both sides a chance to interact with the opposite party and get them to know well before making a decision.
    In the light of all the above points, I find the correlation between arranged marriages and rapes quite ludicrous. It would have been better if the author had considered a few facts and not allowed her personal views to colour the article in such an extensive and unfortunate manner.

  • Vikram Pyati

    I think it is a very flawed argument by the writer against arranged marriages. As per the article marital rape and/or domestic violence happens only in arranged marriage, which is far from true. The core of the problem, in my opinion, is the attitude of a man towards a woman. If a woman’s husband doesn’t treat her on equal terms and considers her below his ‘level’, then no matter whether it is an arranged or a love marriage, he will continue to treat her badly.

  • shree

    1. per your opinion, the Rape on married women by their husbands is not considered in this country as rape and you identify arrange marriage as the root cause for this.

    There are two points here – a. sex by consent and b. arranged/love marriages.

    How could you equate the sex without consent to arrange marriages only? it can happen in love marriages too.
    If once get married, a couple is authorized to have sex. But, if there is a force(non consent from one side) to have sex, there can be no external agency that could stop it. it should be from one of the two. Being a psychology teacher you should understand this i guess.

    Also, while pointing fingers to parents and traditional marriage system, you failed to recognize 2 things.
    1. there are enough girls//boys – though educated – in this society, who may not be the best judges while choosing their partners. They simply lack that skill of selection and need their family members’ help. So, how could you out rightly reject this system? Of course, our society is not water tight and it has allowed love marriages since long.
    2. You have not given the statistics of the countries where there is almost 0 arrange marriages but still the rates of rape is very high and hence, that will not justify your points.

    So, your article is based on some perception and emotion/feeling towards a system without being established on a sound logic or facts.

    2. Also, please tell me a way to report RAPE on men. that too on married men. If you have any kindness left on men, please give a solution to the problem on the other side of the coin too.

    3. Also, I see that there is a systematic EGO BOOSTING done by these kind of articles where traditional or old systems are targetted and parents or husbands are targetted there by indirectly bringing the new generation to their camp. But at the same time, these folks wont reject the traditional system of inheriting ancestral properties, getting compensation from husbands etc… at the worst, our society has changed to accept working wives with working husbands, but yet to grow to accept non working husbands with working wives :-).

  • Fly girl

    “Sex by consent” is the pertinent point here. Socio-economic backgrounds, education and choices play a very major role in arranged marriages. If Madurai Dixit wants to go in for an arranged marriage, that is her choice and her right. If it does not work out, she is empowered enough to get out of it. But that is not the case in the majority of arranged marriages. The author of the article has stated that ur ban Indian women are not so much the victims of arranged marriages. We are talking about women often times children whose marriages are arranged with absolutely no input, consent or choice. And this is a fact. And many of these arranged marriages have horrific endings. One need only pick up the paper to see the dowry deaths, ill treatments by in-laws, husbands, female infanticide. These women have not got any PhDs. They can’t just walk out if it doesn’t work. There is no where to go. Their families won’t take them back, lack of education and skill doesn’t allow them to go out and seek work, that is if they can ever get out in the first place.
    Mr satyam sharma’s comment “the arranged marriage model is single handedly responsible for our stable marriages, strong institution of the family and much better society (with much better social values) as against the average of 2 marriages and 1 divorce per lifetime of the average American and their dysfunctional families with zero social values” is so wrong in so many ways, I don’t know where to begin. I mean talk about sweeping statements! Another example from his prose “disgusting,decadent, and non existent culture of the west”. Sir, you must have extremely poor comprehension if bashing the west is your answer to this argument. The author has nowhere stated that we should ape the west. And this kind of venomous spewing of prejudice is certainly not helping any remotely intelligent thing you might have said. To look within ourselves and question our traditions does not automatically make us “west worshipping, India hating, self loathing, left lib slaves”. Also the answer does not lie in how degenerate the Greeks were (referring to your career-killing-wife-marrying cleopatra, etc). One cannot deny that all histories and cultures come with their own baggage. But we here are addressing an issue that is Indian tradition. And a lot of this chest thumping of our traditions, our culture, our heritage do not help us question things and try to make changes for the better. Just because something is a tradition, does not make it right. A perfect example would be the practice of sati.
    For any society, culture, people to evolve, we must first at least acknowledge the flaws that exist.

    • shivaswamy

      What is the solution and alternatives for arranged marriages? All intellectual humans should come out with their contribution to the debate. As long as all are human both men and women and trans-sexuals, they have the natural hunger for sex.How can it be channellised without hurting humanity?

  • Pallavi

    Arranged marriages take away the choice of both partners to the same extent. They both are forced in to suhag rat or not. You are assuming only women will have trouble with it. But, from the many arranged marriages I have come across(Mine is not), I found woman(my friends, cousins) to be equally excited about the suhag rat, I don’t remember any of them coming out traumatized because they were forced in to it. BTW, many were not consummated on that day. I do agree there are problems with this system as with many, modern or traditional. Woman do feel rushed into sex in dating too. men often expect it sooner than women are ready, and women many times especially if they have been dating for too long without much success go along to please the man. Is this rape too? No doubt, the system needs reform. But to say arranged marriages are rapes and they need to eradicated is my way or highway attitude. This will simply divide the society. Tradition sure can co-exist with modernity. They are not polar-opposites.

    As you pointed at the end, it is not arranged marriage or tradition that is the problem. It is lack of Education and poverty. Any system will fail in the midst of these. They will be exploited no matter what. Those are what need to be attacked and tackled.

    I think the link between culture and rape is as silly as the association made between mini-skirt and rape. What about date-rapes? How do you explain that. Marital rapes and domestic violence is high in USA. How do you explain. Even in USA, these are under-reported. Rapists are known to suffer from psychological problems,and are repeat offenders not seeking sex(they very well can go to hookers and get them to even role-play). Most men in arranged marriages do seek love and approval from their wives. They don’t get off forcing it every day. I can do hair splitting analysis of dating and how it leads to date rapes and why it should be banned. It’s just silly.

    Arranged marriage system has faults and needs reform. Rapes happen universally. Numbers differ based more on factors like opportunity, certainty of conviction and punishment, etc. These two issues are not connected. Indian media is really going crazy making very creative, unscientific connections just to write something new.

  • Pallavi

    Author(psychology teacher?) is getting confused between causality and association. Rape and arranged marriages may have associative correlation, but no proof of causal relation. One can establishing an associative relation between given variables with creative use of semantics and confusing logic. But proving causality needs intellect. Refraining from making false theories not backed by any studies needs wisdom.

  • http://twitter.com/azaysngh aks

    Although, a couple concerns have some merit, but reducing the marriage to “sex” seems to be theme here. Generalizing a the grey side and using to discard whole system can not possibly be the solution. Let me give you another starting point – “Survival of the Fittest”. The idea of parents choosing a spouse revolves around the basic law of nature. Parents’ attempt is to secure well-being of their offspring (“not sexual desires”) and see to it that they do the same. Yes if attempt is to attack, then throw me any theory and I assure you I am capable of challenging the whole set of premises brick by brick and rip that theory apart.

  • Varun

    I agree that many Indian women from rural or suburban parts of India are subjugated, and have to go through this turmoil and that people need to be educated to respect women’s freedom and rights. But I dont at all agree with your tirade against arranged marriage aka arranged rape as you intend to put it:

    “The matrimonial ads are testimonial to this. Highly educated boys and girls, men and women, with “modern outlooks but traditional values” are waiting for their parents to catch the right match. Unless there is a major shift away from this arranged marriage by the family, unless this very important social, religious and cultural tradition is challenged and overhauled, we cannot expect meaningful debates on rape in India”

    Here you suggest that anything “traditional” aka Indian means inviting women for post marriage sexual subjugation. Also, you are literally saying that arrange marriage concept and sex in arranged marriage is like an arranged rape for the bride and that arrange marriage end up in sexual subjugation of women. I think you are stretching things too far just for the sake to prove your point without any merit.

    Are you trying to say that women who go in for love marriage never go through forced non-consensual sex with their husband( aka ex boy friends ) ? When a highly educated, city dwelling couple go for an arrange marriage, the implied decision( to have “consensual sex”) is based on consent of not only the boy but also equally the girl. I mean if a couple agrees for an arrange marriage and never have sex, is that at all a marriage ?(Here I am not saying that this justifies a partner to force sex on other partner). Sex is rape only when its non-consensual and to my mind it has no correlation with whether marriage was arranged or love.

    I think you are asking the wrong questions here. The question you should be asking is to how to educate men and women about respecting women’s rights, privacy, freedom to say NO. How women should be trained and educated not to let themselves to sexual subjugation. What laws government should make to empower and support women financially, educationally, emotionally and with tough laws. These are the questions which are more important to address instead of getting into Modern vs Traditional argument.

  • Ponkh Stuff

    Karishma Kapur and Madhuri…really!!! Have you heard of the very modern concept of blind date? Yhea…well…we have been practicising it for ages!!! Just that blind date sounds way kewler than “arranged” marriage. Are modern day arranged marriage synonym to FORCED marriage. What a piece of crap you are writing. Even my grandmother’s arranged marriage was not “forced” one. They do meet before and after engagement period and many engagements break during this “committed” time.

    • Rex

      Except that you don’t marry your blind date regardless of whether you liked them or not. Which is a reality for the vast majority of Indians, who are neither urban nor middle class.

  • Vaaruni

    It feels like the author has a personal vendetta against arranged marriages and is taking out her frustration on the latest media hype. It is unfortunate that journalists have taken it upon themselves to associate rape to tradition where in essence it is to be associated to the moral state of men who are raised with the ideology that they are superior. Please do not let the actions of these men contort your image of Indian Tradition and Culture through articles like these. This a plea from an Indian.

    P.S.: I agree with Mr. Satyam Sharma – the need of the hour are Moral Education of Youngsters, Better Policing with Better rates of solving Crimes and then we can think about the Swift Justice.

  • ta

    the writer is stupid

  • abhi

    absolutely brilliant article..arranged marriage as a concept is regressive, meaningless and hollow. Wish it could be abolished at the earliest.

  • John McJohn

    ARRANGED MARRIAGES IN INDIA ( A COMBINATION OF HORSE TRADING AND CIRCUS)

    1.The Right Family –
    First, in most parts of India ( especially in South India) , the boy and the girl are not allowed to see or talk to each other , forget about getting to know each other . Most of the times the groom go to see the bride once with his Family . In some cases , the groom stays in the foreign land and his family decide on the so called right match. Here, match means not the person but the family. They actually search for the right family who are rich and of their caste, the bride or the groom don’t matter.

    They try to find such families among the rich relatives of relatives and so on, then they try matrimonial websites ( If you wanna see world’s largest furniture market , visit Indian Matrimonial websites) and they also try the local agents.

    2. The right Commodity –
    When they find the right family , the entire family ( with the groom if he is available and allowed) go to ” see ” the bride.

    What ” to see the bride ” means –

    They check for any flaw they can find in the girl. She has to talk and walk like a dog who has bitten his master. She can’t match eyes with the groom and his parents, she can’t talk louder then a whisper, she should cover her body completely, should be a good cook and so on ( these things are off course negotiable when they go to the business part of it). In some cases they actually ask the girl to sing or walk.

    She is made to feel like a furniture by her buyers . Every angle of her, every minute detail ,the body of a women posses would be checked by the groom’s parents.
    They literally rape her bare and ask her to be fully clothed for the rest of her life.

    3. The Sabji mandi ( Vegetable Market ) –
    The girl has been made a commodity but the worst part is that her father has to pay the price to her buyers. She is a commodity which has negative value ( by this you can judge her
    position in the Indian Society).
    The meeting is set and the bidding starts.They decide how much gold, siilver, clothes, furniture( other then the girl) the girl’s dad have to give,how much money he has to invest in the party, he has to feed 1,000 or 2,000 ( no its not a football match but a wedding),whether they want a Honda or a Hyuindai and the bidding goes on and on.
    Their is price set for everything from ” if the girl is not a science graduate ” to ” if the girl doesn’t have the right complexion ” or ” she can’t speak English properly ” .
    Besides their is a fixed price for the groom – Engineers and doctors cost more, arts graduate less and so on ..
    All this is called ” Paying Dowry ” .
    And their is a quite prevalent system in India for torturing and killing girls if her parents are unable to pay the expected dowry ( Most of the times, they ask for more after the wedding also ).
    According to govt. statistics, every hour, a girl is burnt and killed in India for dowry.
    ( YES … EVERY HOUR !!!! )

    4. The circus –
    Now, the parties ( their are 3 to 4 full fledged parties in Indian weddings which can accommodate an entire month ) have to start. They have to call every name they or their 7 generations know in this whole world with their family ( family in India means their 7 generations also). Aunties overburdened with make up and every piece of jewellery they have( mostly with their own dowry) wearing 50 kgs of saares ( type of Indian dress) romp the 20 km sq. of Pandal ( a large tent where the parties are organised) bitching about how much money the girl’s father has invested ( may be 70% his entire wealth for a wedding) while their husbands taste the 200 odd dishes prepared ( yeah they can actually reach this no.) and their children play in the lights that can light up an entire city for an hour and in the background, the music is playing loud enough to shut up the bride’s emotions while she is sitting with her husband on the pyre of her dreams.

    5. The bastards –
    While all this is not enough, some people crap about why it couldn’t have been better from the girl’s side ( sometimes they ask for more dowry). Things as small as why they don’t like a particular dish is used to insult the bride’s family and father who may have never traveled a second city in his life, never bought new clothes for a decade, killed his dreams every day so he couls have saved enough money whichever way he could that he can marry his daughter in the best possible way according to this MOST STUPID, WASTEFUL AND INHUMAN CUSTOM IN THIS WORLD CALLED INDIAN ARRANGED MARRIAGES.

    Every relative has to be gifted.. ….. this shit goes on and on and on .
    Thousands of farmers in India suicide every year just because they can’t pay the loans they take to marry their daughter(s), women are raped , their body as well as their soul and their respect, brides burnt for dowry all because of this system .

    I ABSOLUTELY don’t understand such customs in a poor country like India . We are not a billionaire yacht – land Idiots.

    6. Who to marry –
    One thing more, If you Americans think you are racists, wake up Kiddos, their is no one more racist in the World, then an average Indian. In this context, people can’t marry anyone outside his/her own caste, even if he/she is a better candidate, even if his family doesn’t ask for dowry, even if they are in Love.

    You are given a thousand reasons to hate a person of the other caste but you aren’t allowed to give even one to Love him/her.

    WHY CAN’T MARRIAGES BE AN AFFAIR THEY SHOULD BE – A ,MOMENTOUS AND EMOTIONAL BOND BETWEEN TWO LOVING SOULS , NOT A CIRCUS DEFINITELY .

    • PSabc

      Western marriages with abuse, divorce, traumatized children and broken, insecure families is a better solution?

  • AD

    It seems Author is showing the path as absolute. All societies have pops and cons. Why she does not understand that rape is not related to tradition or anything. It is just an instinct in human from the time of beginning of society culture of pre-historic age. Probably our society being strong enough, it is not happening wide spread. In the west it is just wide spread as someone has rightly pointed out the statistics here. Human relation is something one has to cultivate with some one and it is in most of the cases successful in our society. We should not bother about what western people are adopting in their culture. By copying things of western ethics in our culture we will ruin ourselves. We have several problems such as poverty, education, dissimilar income in family, rotten politics grabbing everything. We should see that we come out of all these.

  • Chinmay C

    I think the author is very sadistic person. I read her article where she was defending Tarun Tejal and branded him a victim. I think you are a victim Ms Sekhri of mental retardation

    • desi1

      Ha ha. Really? Care to share the link? Wouldn’t be the first hypocritical elite enlightening poor folks like us by doling out a copious doses of condescending advice/opinion.

  • dep

    typical western leftists rant promoting western style living of free sex. This leftist scum needs to be weeded out.

  • Karthik

    I have totally lost respect for newslaundry. Here is a country which came to a standstill when a girl was brutally raped in delhi because the people as a whole were outraged. And we have ‘intellectuals’ theorizing that we cant have meaningful debates because of arranged marriages? It is because of such intellectuals who are totally removed from the culture of the country they come from and thus produce such meaningless drivel that we cant have meaningful discussion. First connect with your society in a meaningful way instead of being western implants.

    • desi1

      I second that sentiment.

      Talking about NL, I don’t know if you have seen a picture doing rounds on social media that shows Tejpal, Madhu Trehan and viceroy William Dalrymple in bonhomie. Birds of the same flock I would say. The dadi-wala on NL is a member of AAP and a trustee in one of Nautanki Kejriwal’s NGO. Modi did the right thing by pulling out of the latest Madhu Trehan’s farce on NDTV.

  • Heera Chavan

    I think this writer still stays in 1950’s. Madam please change your mind.

  • arishsahani

    IF arranged marriage is Rape then LOVE marriage can be termed as open prostitution.

  • Ram A

    yeah I agree with the author one hundred percent. It’s a rape when the girl is not interested.
    arranged marriages are bad for the society. I want to have a free society where I can have sex with
    anyone I see each day. heck I don’t want to get married. as a male I don’t care what happens to the
    young girl after sex…she could get pregnant or get HIV or whatever…..well she too enjoyed so it’s not rape and best of all it’s not arranged and with mutual consent…..so no strings attached….I will move on to the next female that I encounter…if she does not like sex so be it…I will find someone who likes sex……I make million promises of love etc….it’s easy…..oh wait are you saying women don’t like sex at all ….then I’d be damned…….we need a free and open society ….I guess there will be peace on earth in a system like this….please write more articles like this to educate and liberate women to be more open and receptive…better yet train them to take the first initiative so it will save some effort for the men……perhaps they could use some sort of indicator that they like to have sex….come on Indian women need to liberate themselves and becomes more open to free sex. I am glad you are taking lead on this….keep up the good work…..
    now to get serious on the topic….it is true there is a dark side to arranged marriages as sometimes the
    girl might be forced into a marriage that she does not like. this happens for economic reasons in many cases. the Indian marriage system is evolving…the arranged marriage is not just arranged sex…it is an
    alliance of families….sex is one element…there is lot more in life and it depends on your value system…..( of course I don’t like the suhag raat setups ). The reason marriages are arranged is quite simple…..to ensure that the girl is marrying the right person who is economically, socially and emotionally stable…parents are supposed to filter the issues…and
    it happens in most families but in a society of a billion people there is always a chance of something wrong to happen and it does…….it’s all around you…. and a majority of problems occur due to economic reasons… ….I lived in US for over 25 years…..and I see that real fallouts of the free society you are talking…..issues ranging from teenage pregnancies, STDs, date rapes, high divorce rates..
    the list goes on…….

  • desi1

    Yet another deracinated western feminist trying to blindly apply western models on India without having ANY understanding of the Indian society. It is sepoys like these that unravel native societies.

    Do not be surprised if she gets invited to the top universities from the west and if NY times starts inviting articles from her.

  • Ram A

    I don’t understand how going away from arranged marriages will solve this libido issue in women.??
    and BTW many arranged marriages happen with the consent of both sides…..there will all be cases
    where a system is exploited for monetary gains or some other gains….it’s the people that makes it.
    The system as such is not designed to legitimize rape like you are alluding to…..marriage does not end with the suhag raat…..the journey begins with it….

  • Srini

    So the author thinks that her father raped her mother? Something with her grand parents etc. Where do these idiotic indians fall from, always accusing of everything Indian. They cannot change their skin, and they will always be Indian. But they hate it and want to pour scorn on everything Indian. I think if we do more research, then we will find out that she is somehow related to a foreign entity, (or a Christian institution, or a NGO) and is financially benefiting from writing contemptuous article about India, that divides India. Shockingly, if she is not getting benefited, then she is a self hating Indian, who worships Gora and their countries, and their lifestyle too much. Just get out of India, if you hate Indian customs and practices. Also, when are you going to write article about treatment of women in other countries, multiple marriages in muslim community all over the world, Nope. Doesn’t go with your agenda or world view… right?

  • Krishna

    I have lived abroad and am in San Francisco bay area now, and can categorically say that the rape cases are much higher in USA than in India. Also, the insecurities that women in general seem to face here seem to be much higher than in India. I am not justifying any act of rape anywhere, but to equate arranged marriages with rape is clearly the work of a warped mind. To try and borrow foreign concepts and try them out on indigenous populsation is a crime worse than rape – which the woman in this case is doing to her society. Please consider that whatever you write has consequences. I also deplore the editors for allowing this kind of journalism. Please be more selective, understand Indian culture better and work towards less hate mongered journalism.

  • Raj

    The author is trying to bow the seeds to break the traditional arranged marriages. Author must first learn that arranged marriages are there because of good number of reasons that included scientific reasons as well. Request the author to do a detailed research before publishing the articles for publication sake. Arranged marriages are a set of rules in some communities that look upon 7 generations from both sides not because of fashion/tradition, but because the future generations like sons, daughters, grand daughters, great grand sons will not face any genetic issues for which they will be the cause.
    Even the modern science accepts that the possibility of genetic defects occurring beyond 7 generations is almost nill.
    Our parents to some extent like 1 or 2 or 3 generations earlier may be responsible for the genetic problems what someone is facing today.
    We should not be the cause of the genetics problem our future generations should face.
    I know a married couple love them very much but when they have off-springs that suffer from genetics problems then they will realize that they had mistaken.
    Of-course today the so called scientists can only say that it is a genetics problem but have they given any guidelines not to occur?
    Our traditional arranged marriages are based on Yogis/rishis who discovered at ancient times and formed the process of marriages.
    Also, the author didn’t take into account the real sexual nature of male, female.
    To my limited understanding it is correct to start having sex at 16 years of age and complete the education by 16.
    The article may only show the limited knowledge with respect to marriage and its scope. The author is just worried about the sex part of the marriage while there are many aspects in the marriage that were completely missing which were critical.

  • rohit sood

    this bubblegum feminist went around in search of enlightenment hitch hiking on trucks in India if in doubt check with author. enough said!!!

  • Real Indian

    Such shallow understanding of marriage. Aping west does not make one educated. Have you ever thought of delving into broken families, heart-broken children in the type of relations you are so enamored of?

  • Badass Biker

    This author gets confused between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage. And because its forced, she calls it rape, another confusion with terminology.

    First of all, many countries have people practicing arranged marriage. If it is forced then why is it legal in developed countries? I can understand that in rural India, things are different and if you plus dowry, it is very unfair for the woman. But that is wrong!! Its against Indian law. I know that India is a pretty lawless country, that only means that you must make the public to be more aware of the laws in place.

    Secondly regarding rape. In the developed world, rape is known as sex without consent and the sex is some form of penetration. Indians seem to go one step further because of the recent incidents. Once again, just because crime levels are so pathetic in your country, you want to change the entire meaning of something and even include things like ‘sexual molestation’ or ‘sexual harassment’ in it. But that doesn’t necessarily make it right, in fact it makes it foolish because you’re compromising the definition of rape and the plight of true rape victims.

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