ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Arvind NarrainSubscribe to Arvind Narrain

Sexual Violence and the Death Penalty

The judgment in the 16 December Delhi rape case imposed the death penalty based upon the depravity of the offence and the demands of the “collective conscience of society”. On the other hand, in the Naroda Patiya judgment in the case of the rapes and murders of Muslims in this part of Gujarat, the court held that it cannot go down the route of giving the death penalty but preferred a graded system of life imprisonment based upon the degree of culpability of the different offenders. The latter is a new way of thinking about the logic of punishment. Justice Jyotsna Yagnik rejects the retributive logic and forces us to explore deeper questions about unthinkable violence, responsibility and punishment.

Violation of Bodily Integrity

The substantive law in India which conceptualises rape as "sexual intercourse without consent" is limited in its understanding of what a sex act is and sees rape as a crime of non-consensual sex only. However sexual assault is as much a crime of violation of bodily integrity and causing of grave physical harm as it is about sex. Its victims could be male, female or transgenders.

The Criminal Law ( Amendment) Bill 2012: Sexual Assault as a Gender Neutral Offence

The new Bill proposes to make sexual assault a gender neutral offence. This move and many other flaws makes a more rigourous discussion of the provisions of the Bill an imperitive before it is tabled in Parliament.

Somasekhara Commission Report: Inconsistencies and Contradictions

The report of the Justice B K Somasekhara Commission's inquiry into the attacks on 15 churches in Karnataka in 2008 is replete with inconsistencies. While it holds the Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Jagran Vedike responsible for most of the attacks and censures the district administrations, it exonerates the Sangh parivar and the state government. The commission did not examine even a single state authority or member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and called only the convenor of the Bajrang Dal. It also passes severe strictures against the victims of the attacks and seems to accept the Hindutva stand that conversions through inducements were responsible for the attacks.

Sexuality: A Realm of Politics

documents the violence which cultures Sexuality: A Realm impose on sexualities which are non-nor of Politics Sexuality, Gender and Rights: Exploring Theory and Practice in South and South-East Asia edited by Geetanjali Mishra, Radhika Chandiramani; Sage, New Delhi, 2005; pp 316, Rs 350 (hardcover) ARVIND NARRAIN Right from the recent arrests of four men in Lucknow merely on the assumption that they were gay, to the harassment of heterosexual lovers in Meerut to the Khushboo incident, sex and sexuality are increasingly at the centre of fierce political debates. Even though that is the reality, sexuality is generally not seen as a fit domain for theoretical and political analysis.

Relief and Rehabilitation: Ensuring Inclusion

The relief and rehabilitation packages framed for the tsunami affected in Tamil Nadu have brought to light instances of discrimination that deny dalits and adivasis their rightful. The policy of rehabilitation needs to be formulated anew. Such a policy must seek not only to provide succour but base itself on constitutional injunctions that advocate equality and rights to the marginalised.

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