Tag Archives: 2013

Promoting Superstition – Everything Official About It !

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Bhupendra Singh Chudasama, Education minister of Gujarat and his colleague Atmaram Paramar, who handles the Social Justice Ministry, were in the news sometime back- albeit for wrong reasons. A video went viral which showed them participating in a felicitation ceremony of exorcists in Botad. They were also seen watching how a couple of the exorcists were beating themselves with metal chains to live music near the stage.

Perhaps it did not matter to them that the Constitution frowns upon such activities and Article 51A (h) of the Indian constitution clearly says that it shall be a fundamental duty of all citizens “to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.” Neighbouring state Maharashtra has even enacted a law (The Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013) to rein in all such activities and it criminalises practices related to black magic, human sacrifices, use of magic remedies to cure ailments and other such acts which exploit people’s superstitions. And it was a culmination of a prolonged movement led by activists led by Dr Dabholkar – who even faced martyrdom for his activities. Continue reading Promoting Superstition – Everything Official About It !

Taking Stock of the new Anti Rape law: Madhu Mehra

This is a guest post by MADHU MEHRA: The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, more popularly called the Anti-rape Bill, is now law. The outrage following the homicidal gang rape in Delhi unleashed events that lent force to the longstanding demand by the women’s movement for comprehensive reform of laws relating to sexual assault. These demands were bolstered by the recommendations of the high level committee, headed by retired Justice Verma, that called for reform of criminal laws, police reforms, prevention and education interventions to effectively tackle impunity for sexual violence. With the new bill passed by the parliament, the law stands substantially changed. This article takes stock of the ways in which the new amendments re-framed sexual offences in the law, their significance and the challenges that remain. While being far from comprehensive, these changes substantially transform the way legal redress for sexual offences have been framed in the law. A few examples below contextulise the significance.

Continue reading Taking Stock of the new Anti Rape law: Madhu Mehra