Friday, January 20, 2012

Rape and Civil Society

The Ministry of Women and Child development has finally proposed an amendment to law in that the definition of rape be broadened in order to make the law more comprehensive and gender neutral. Dr. Ramesh Grandhi explores how civil society continues to sweep the real issues behind rape under the carpet.

Rape is a crime where more often than not the perpetrator goes scot free, if I were to hazard an educated guess I would say that even in these modern times rape victims prefer to suffer silently rather go through a media circus in trying to have the offender punished. The stigma attached to rape still exists and it is perhaps a sad comment on our society.

Rape of Europa - Painting by Rubens

It is slightly heartening to note that governments all of the world are waking up to this crime against humanity and making sure the definition of rape becomes even more inclusive, it is imperative that the definition should not allow wriggle room for the rapist. The 1998 International Criminal Tribunal defined Rape as “a physical invasion of a sexual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive”. This definition does seem to give enough latitude to prosecutors to bring down the force of law on rapists.

The US government recently announced that it was expanding its definition of rape to include men and also rapes of women other than by physical force. The Obama administration and especially Joe Biden, the Vice President, should be congratulated for this. I don’t really know whether the stats mentioned are true but according to them one in five women are rape victims, a fact that should make all human beings bow their heads in shame!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is our Culture a Colonized One?

The British packed their bags and left 64 years ago but they left behind the legacy of their language, which has become ubiquitous these days.  America’s star has been on the ascendant ever since the Second World War and with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites the Bald Eagle has ruled the roost in the cultural arena. Dr. Ramesh Grandhi shares his view on the cultural imperialism that we have been left with.

The inspiration for writing this piece came while reading an article that Hu Jintao the powerful Chinese President was keen to enshrine a culture drive away from Western cultural influence as the final defining moment of his decade-long tenure at China's helm. Hu says that China must strengthen its culture and defend the West’s assault against Chinese culture and ideology.

If anyone other than President Hu had articulated these views the West and the rest of the world would have ignored them, but I guess no one can afford to ignore possibly the most important man on the planet! Chinese affluence and military power have grown so remarkably under him, that China these days has a voice that is heard with respect in all the Capitals of the world.


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