Let a Little Boy be Not Victim of Gender Biased Perception

September 11, 2017 – 12:40 pm

 

A 7 year old boy who was studying at Ryan International School, Gurugram (Gurgaon) was found dead with his throat slit in the school’s toilet. His father who works as quality officer in a private company dropped him to school at 7.55 AM. At 8.10 AM he received a call from the school authorities that he is found profusely bleeding in the toilet. The boy was taken to the hospital but was declared brought dead.

First of all every life is important and ones gender should not be used as a prism on how to see it. Typically it is the norm that on account of sexual crimes, the name of the victim is not disclosed. Here in this boy’s case his name has been disclosed and it all over in media. One website has even posted the boy’s picture. Typically mainstream media looks cases through a prism of gender and bias starts right there.

Police has contended that Ashok Kumar, a school bus conductor has tried to sexually abuse the boy and killed him. Ashok has been arrested and police said that he has given a statement that he was masturbating in the bathroom when the boy walked in. He killed the boy as he resisted his sexual advances. However, the boy’s father has contended that there should be more to it and demanded a CBI probe.

The women and Child Welfare minister, Maneka Gandhi said she supports all women non teaching staffs in schools. She said this is already included in the National Women’s Policy (draft) which is approved by a group of ministers headed by external affairs minister Sushma Swaaraj and awaiting cabinet approval. Is the minister saying that women are incapable of sexual abuse or murder? Recent research and news have shown that women also commit sexual abuse and crime. Then why the WCD minister is hell bent on removing all non teaching male staff from schools. Will this not affect their livelihood? All the men employed as non teaching staffs in schools have families what will happen to them? Did the minister made any provision of making alternative arrangement for livelihood of non teaching male staffs whom she proposed to remove from jobs? When a crime takes place it should be seen objectively and it should be pursued based on facts. Whoever has committed the crime should be brought to justice. But vilifying men and removing them from jobs will be a greater crime. The gender biased perception of government and society has created numerous hassles for men in particular.

By running gender biased agenda over the years the government has created precarious situation for men where by thousands of men commit suicide every year. There are no proper forum where men can report their problem. When WCD drafts policies on women do they consult men? When a policy on women affects men as well are they consulted properly and represented? Just by taking one sided views and creating policies will take the society only one way – which is down.

Indian Supreme Court: Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right

August 26, 2017 – 7:40 am

The Indian supreme court has given some extra ordinary judgments recently. On Thursday, 24th August, 2017 the highest court of India gave this landmark judgment that “Right to privacy is a fundamental right and it is intrinsic to right to life”. It was an unanimous judgement of the 9 judge constitutional bench. This judgement overruled two earlier judgments of the supreme court itself which said Right to privacy is not a fundamental right.

Now what led to this judgement. The present government of India is involving Aadhar ( a unique identity number to every person) in everything. They want Aadhar card to be linked with PAN card, phone number, bank account number etc. Government claims they want to use this in dispensing social welfare means and it will help in plugging holes. But will it not be risky to put a person’s all information at one source? The state may be looking at one source through which it will be able to retrieve all info for a person. But it is dangerous if the info gets in a wrong hand. In our country where the system is so slippery where bribery is the rule rather than exception one need to be cautious and preventive. This verdict should give that preventive check. The government is already talking about a data protection bill and the law minister said it should be ready in 3 – 4 months.  It can have reasonable restrictions as fundamental rights but those reasonable restrictions now has to pass the test of law or right to privacy itself.

One of the judge justice Chandrachud said right to privacy also means right to be left alone. This is profound.

The verdict has far reaching implications as it touches various spheres of an Individual’s life. The supreme court also mentioned few cases which will be impacted by this judgment:

Section 377:

Section 377 a law passed in the British era (1860) is still going in the constitution of India while the world has moved ahead. It was an angelic insertion which curtails the choice of consenting individuals and must go away. The state should have nothing to do with what consenting adults do in their bedroom. Criminalizing ones sexual orientation is definitely against the right to privacy, dignity and liberty, provided by the constitution of India. The court said the earlier judgement was flawed. Curative petitions are already pending in this regard and to be heard by a 5 judge bench of the supreme court. A P Shah who in 2009 gave the Delhi High Court judgment striking down section 377 said following this verdict there is very little room to defend it now.  It is non bailable and punishment calls for life imprisonment. The law is outdated, unreasonable and grossly misused. It should go.

 Aadhar:

Aadhar will stay but there will be guidelines for its usage.

There are many other things which will be touched with this judgement like decision to terminate pregnancy, decision to end life etc.  It will be interesting to see its impact as things evolve.

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