Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Home Opinions My 'feeble' outrage and protest over Mahmood Farooqui's acquittal

My ‘feeble’ outrage and protest over Mahmood Farooqui’s acquittal

At a time when we in India are trying to get the courts to recognise the importance of consent and to acknowledge marital rape as a criminal offence, yesterday’s Delhi High Court verdict acquitting Peepli Live director Mahmood Farooqui giving benefit of doubt as the victim was familiar with him is a huge step backward in the movement.

In the 82 page judgement, the court said, “Instances of woman behaviour are not unknown that a feeble ‘no’ may mean a ‘yes’.”

The judgement further states that if the parties (the victim and the perpetrator) are known to each other, are ‘persons of letter and are intellectually/academically proficient, and if, in the past, there have been physical contacts’, it would be difficult to interpret whether the ‘feeble no’ is actually denial of consent. This is outrageous since whether or not the no is ‘feeble’, no means no.

The email which the victim wrote to Farooqui on 12th April, 2015, about her abuse, she has described her ordeal. One wonders how the honourable High Court judges found this a “feeble no”.

You were supposed to be my friend. Instead you manipulated me. You hurt me. I said no. I said no many times. You didn’t listen. You pinned my arms. You pulled my underwear down.

She further wrote,

I used to own my sexuality. You took that from me, you forced me to do something I did not want to do. I stopped struggling because I was scared. I wanted to get out. I did get out. So remember this, what you did that night wasn’t one night, what you did that night continues to affect me and my suffering, my pain. It’s on your hands, when I carry this forward in life. It is your sin that I carry forward. It is you sin that I have to overcome. You disgust me……

While I am not commenting on the judgement, as I believe it relies on facts more than anything else, the language used by the judge to talk about consent is worrying. In a country where as many as 90% of rapes are committed by person known to the victim, a ‘feeble no’ to a ‘person familiar to the victim’ gives the rapist a freehand at abusing.

Irrespective of the background or the familiarity between two people, no should be considered as an absolute no.

Earlier in 2016, Farooqui was convicted by a special fast track court for raping a 35 year old American woman. Advocate Vrinda Grover, who represented the American woman, claimed that in an email dated 30th March, 2015, Farooqui had admitted to the crime and even apologised for having committed the act without her consent and against her will.

Arguing for Farooqui, former Minister of Law and Justice and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, said, “even if the act was not with her consent, she actually communicated something which was taken as a consent by the appellant.”

He also argued that Farooqui was a “bipolar patient and under rehabilitation regimen”. This is not the first time Sibal’s arguments in court with respect to dignity of women made us physically cringe. If former law minister could have such regressive thoughts on triple talaq and consent, one can only wonder what he would argue on criminalising marital rape.

The regressive language used by the court makes the fight of criminalising marital rape just gets tougher. While marital rape has been criminalised in many countries have criminalised marital rape, including countries like Ghana and Nepal, India has a long way to go. However, sooner or later, the government will need to swallow the bitter pill and criminalise the same.

The words used in the judgement only add to the Bollywood stereotype that if the girl says no, she most likely means yes and wants you to woo her, following which the hero turns on his stalker mode. I’d like to add here that importance of consent is gender neutral. If a man says no, it should also be considered no. India, as a society, not only has to deal with abuses towards women and insensitivity with which they’re dealt with but also the fact that many are in denial that men also get raped. That a man, or even a woman, is equally capable of raping a man.

The way forward

Judiciary, lawyers and judges, get a little sensitised towards dealing with sexual harassment and sexual abuse cases.

Let us not limit “no means no” concept to movies like Pink and actually implement them in real life. If films are allegedly encouraging people to resort to stalking and violence to get the person of their desire, they should also educate them the importance of consent.

Make rape, including marital rape, a gender neutral offence.

Let us not sweep these issues under the carpet. The abolishment of instant triple talaq was a great step in empowering women from abuse. Let us also take a firm stand on issues like marital rape and acknowledge that no, feeble or otherwise, is no. Get public opinion, form legislations and make marital sexual abuse a criminal offence instead of combining it with Domestic Violence Act as “civil offence”.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Nirwa Mehtahttps://medium.com/@nirwamehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

Related Articles

Trending now

This time for Dussehra, feminists turn Laxman Rekha into a symbol of ‘patriarchy’: Here is why they are batshit crazy

The occasion is Dussehra and along expected lines, feminists are out in numbers in their attempt to prove that Ramayana, the tale of Maryada Purushottam Rama, reeks of misogyny.

‘What Mumbai Police is doing is wrong,’ I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar speaks up on the hounding of Republic TV and Arnab Goswami exclusively to...

Prakash Javadekar gave an interview to OpIndia Hindi Editor, Ajeet Bharti, where he answered questions on a host of issues.

How Indian ‘liberals’ decided to embrace Hindutva!

At his traditional Vijaya Dashami rally in Mumbai yesterday, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray put it clearly. One must take lessons in Hindutva from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Dainik Bhaskar uses NITian Anita Bharti’s image in an article about actress Preetika Chauhan’s arrest by NCB in drug case

Anita Bhati is a student of NIT Patna, who had recently started an online portal of 'TuOn', providing free coaching to students from 7th to 12th grade and those preparing for competitive exams

Editors Guild issues a shameful statement tacitly condoning witch-hunt against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami by Mumbai Police: Details

After almost two weeks of the witch-hunt launched by Mumbai Police against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami, the Editors Guild has finally issued a statement

The Ritika Jindal Syndrome: The desecration of the Temple in Himachal Pradesh shows the urgent necessity of reform in public administration

Ritika Jindal received huge praises for breaking an "age old parochial tradition". She also "taught lessons of equality to priests" apparently.

Recently Popular

Editors Guild issues a shameful statement tacitly condoning witch-hunt against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami by Mumbai Police: Details

After almost two weeks of the witch-hunt launched by Mumbai Police against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami, the Editors Guild has finally issued a statement

YouTuber Lakshay Chaudhary levels serious allegations of fraud against Gaurav Wasan of Swad Official whose video on ‘Baba ka Dhaba’ had gone viral

Gaurav Wasan of Swad Official had uploaded a video about the financial difficulties faced by the elderly couple of 'Baba ka Dhaba'.

Kerala: Photographer Dia John depicts Hindu deity as smoking weed, deletes picture after outrage

Kochi-based Mukkootil Bhagavathy temple had filed a complaint against Dia John for hurting Hindu religious sentiments

OpIndia and 8 others launch Indian’s largest digital news association, Indian Digital Media Association (IDMA): Read details

The press release announcing the launch of the Indian Digital Media Association (IDMA) in full.

Uddhav Thackeray addresses Dusshera Mela by throwing Hinduphobic ‘Gaumutra’ jibes at former ally BJP

The 'Gaumutra jibe' is often used by left-liberals and radical Islamists to demean Hindus, who disagree with their narrative.
- Advertisement -

YouTuber Lakshay Chaudhary levels serious allegations of fraud against Gaurav Wasan of Swad Official whose video on ‘Baba ka Dhaba’ had gone viral

Gaurav Wasan of Swad Official had uploaded a video about the financial difficulties faced by the elderly couple of 'Baba ka Dhaba'.

Pakistan: Foreign Office summons French ambassador over Charlie Hebdo cartoons

Foreign Office, Pakistan summoned the French envoy for the public display of Charlie Hebdo cartoons in French govt buildings.

Rajasthan: Dalit salesman burnt alive by liquor contractors after pouring petrol for demanding five months due salary

The victim used to work at a liquor shop and had not been paid salary for five months. His charred body was found inside a deep freezer in the gutted liquor shop.

Sameet Thakkar sent to police custody by Nagpur court till October 30, was arrested for making ‘Baby Penguin’ remark against Aaditya Thackeray

Two FIRs were registered against Sameet Thakkar for allegedly making objectionable remarks against Uddhav Thackeray and son.

BJP emerges victorious in Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council elections, wins 15 out of 26 seats

The BJP has won 15 of the 26 elected seats in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC).

This time for Dussehra, feminists turn Laxman Rekha into a symbol of ‘patriarchy’: Here is why they are batshit crazy

The occasion is Dussehra and along expected lines, feminists are out in numbers in their attempt to prove that Ramayana, the tale of Maryada Purushottam Rama, reeks of misogyny.

Republic TV and Maharashtra govt lock horns in Supreme Court: CJI asks both to submit affidavits in 2 weeks

Arnab Goswami and the Maharashtra government are at loggerheads since Republic Bharat questioned the silence of Sonia Gandhi in Palghar Sadhus' mob lynching case.

‘China’s world domination is imminent and Europe should wake up to this danger’: Former German spy chief cautions against Beijing

Gerhard Schindler, the former German spy chief, has asked European countries, particularly Germany, to reduce its "strategic dependence" on China

‘What Mumbai Police is doing is wrong,’ I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar speaks up on the hounding of Republic TV and Arnab Goswami exclusively to...

Prakash Javadekar gave an interview to OpIndia Hindi Editor, Ajeet Bharti, where he answered questions on a host of issues.

Chile to rewrite its Pinochet-era constitution, over 78% of Chileans vote ‘yes’ in the referendum

Over 78% Chileans have voted in favour of a new constitution, to be written by an 155-member elected body.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
469,070FollowersFollow
19,300SubscribersSubscribe