Thursday, February 9, 2012

“Gang raped” in the assembly


By the middle of this week, we the curious watchers of legal battle between Google and 20 more websites and the Indian courts got a “nice” surprise ...not from the Google, or from Facebook or even from the rest of those websites, neither from the courts and legal fraternity; but from three ministers in Karnataka state, which is known to have India’s first and most famous cyber crime police cell. When the assembly was being stormed by some very important debate, one of these ministers allegedly was  looking at a clipping which involved sex, abuse of woman, violence and probably violation of internet decency codes. The news reports suggested that it was the minister for cooperation who had the mobile phone device placed between his lap and the desk and started watching the clipping. He then started “flipping pictures of women” . The other two ministers joined him out of curiosity (see Who were the other two ministers? One was in charge of ecology, environment and ports; the other was none other than the minister in charge of women and child welfare. The ministers were immediately indicted and later they had voluntarily resigned from their posts. Even though they argued that they were seeing the clipping of a gang-rape incidence that was sent to the mobile phone device, their argument needs to be proved. But the issue that really moved me was, probably no human being can resist himself from viewing sex-related video images...but seeing these stuff in the assembly? No way... quite a long ago Bombay High court refused to provide a blanket ban on porn materials in the internet. I had even discussed about it in my earlier blogs. The high court rightly held that law cannot stop a person’s sexual rights (including right to be aroused by viewing such materials), if these materials are gained in the legal way and seen in private.  
Such materials could be gained in the legal way  as per the Indian laws, if they do not violate sections 66E, 67, 67A and B of the information Technology Act, 2008  specifically which prohibit voyeurism and publishing and transmitting of obscene, sexually explicit materials to anyone including children; and off course  sections 292, 293 of the Indian penal code, which prohibits sale of obscene books etc to anyone including children, 375, which discusses about rape, and 509  of the I.P.C,which is a popular provision used by the police for indicting  the perpetrator for creating nasty profiles in the social networking sites. Well, these are just a few provisions which prevent sexual exploitation, rather “slavery” of women and children, and also men (leaving aside provisions for rape and 509) online. But the law does not roll up its sleeve here. There are many other provisions which could be brought in to prevent the “world wide web” to transmit the humiliation. All were glaringly violated on this very day. First, the ministers saw the sex-clippings violating the core decorum of the assembly; second, if these were the pictures of gang rape incidence that were transmitted to them by someone else, as alleged by them, they did not immediately made a note to the assembly, which they should have, especially since the minister for women and child development was also involved; third, the clipping itself being shrouded in controversy, they may have also violated the legal provisions meant for internet sex-offences as I mentioned above. The ultimate result... a real gang rape of laws meant to prevent sexual exploitation of women online.
It is hoped that very soon the incidence will be probed and the real story behind the hush-hash viewing of the clippings by the ministers will be revealed; probably they will positively testify their own argument. But the underlying fact remains the same..... Audio-visual clips of naked or semi nude women writhing in pain gained from sexual intercourse,  transmitted through digital technology  to millions,  are the best entertaining materials even in a busy and important commitment like making ,breaking or deciding the fate of the laws in the parliament................. Shame......
** The author does not intend to hurt anybody’s political sentiments. This is an independent view of the author and the author has expressed her views in her own right towards exercising freedom of speech. If anybody feels hurt, the author apologises in advance.
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