Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

Indian Minister Says #MaritalRape Does Not Count

Thousands of Indians join the rally led by the priests in Allahabad in support of a 71 years old nun who was gang raped at her convent school in West Bengal's Nadia district. Image by Ritesh Shukla. Copyright Demotix (16/3/2015)

Thousands of Indians join the rally led by the priests in Allahabad in support of a 71-year-old nun who was gang raped at her convent school in West Bengal's Nadia district. Image by Ritesh Shukla. Copyright Demotix (16/3/2015)

Ever since India's Union Minister of State for Home Affairs made a statement in the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) saying that marital rape should not be criminalised, Indian media and social networks have been lit up with heated debates.

Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary made the argument on April 30 that marriages are considered as a sacred act in the nation, and thus sexual violence after marriage cannot be considered a crime.

The minister's statement comes as many are arguing for a specific law defending spouses that are victims of domestic sexual abuse.

Currently, as per Section 375 of the legal code, Indian courts do not consider marital rape a criminal offence unless the wife who is the victim of marital rape is younger than 15-years-old. In 1980 when rights activists challenged the law government officials maintained that the marriage contract presumes permanent sexual consent and that criminalizing marital rape would weaken family values in India.

Social media users blasted the minister's statement:

However, other Twitter users were more cautious, criticising advocates of the law and pointing to flaws in the legislation that could open the door to misuse:



Facebook user Jyoti Tiwari also argues  that the law should be unbiased and gender-blind in order to protect both spouses against sexual abuse:

Out of five wives every wife rapes her husband at some point at time (physical , financial , mental , emotional and of course legal ) ‪#‎hangtherapist‬ ‪#‎maritalrape‬ !

Commenting on the Delhi Gang Rape case that shocked India in December, a senior police official in Delhi stunned Indians by claiming that about 60% of rape cases are false alarms.

“We get at least 60 per cent cases which are false and motivated but we have to register them and sometimes we feel that because of such cases we are not able to work on the genuine cases as much as we would like.”


  • Basant Kumar

    Donot understand what is the point to prove? Marital Rape if passed, will lead to many laws to be declared null and void (example RCR). Secondly lets say wife files rape case against the husband, do we think that after 20 years of imprisonment, he will ever take back his wife. During imprisonment who will pay the mandatory maintenance to the wife – the husbands parents or siblings? If the husband is hanged then it will be the end of marital story. So the proposed laws by the feminists are infact systematic approach to break the Family system. It must be stopped.

    • Monster

      If your ‘family system’ includes a ‘right’ to take your wife against her will, it is your MARRIAGE SYSTEM which must be stopped!

  • Sardar KHAN

    No wonder there is wide spread selection in foetal gender in bunderstan(india).The female foetuses are aborted as soon as gender is detected.What a waste of human life?No wonder bunderstan is called Rapestan.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site