Rights, Recognition and Rape

Despite the mass public outrage and protest over the recent brutal gang rape and tragic death in Delhi, rapes and attacks on women across the country remain unabated. As Flavia Agnes (“No Shortcuts on Rape: Make the Legal System Work”, EPW, 12 January 2013) has pointed out, there are no shortcuts as regards rape, and the legal system has to work in ways that are accountable to the women of this country. Impunity can no longer be tolerated. While suggesting some sweeping changes in the law, the Justice Verma Committee too has highlighted the urgent need for establishing the rule of law and good governance. Challenging the patriarchal framework that seeks “protection” of women, the committee’s report stands by and clearly rearticulates the constitutional vision of equality of all citizens of the country before law – rich and poor, men and women, and people of different castes and ethnicities. It seeks to address the roots of social inequality in the country, with gender equality being the particular case in point here.



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