February 7, 2016

Singh v. Rama

Some years ago, a Nebraska Senator, Ernie Chambers, sued his Christian god, accusing that the "Defendant directly and proximately has caused, inter alia, fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, genocidal wars, birth defects, and the like", among other grave charges. I blogged on it then here: http://www.is-ought.org/2007/09/chambers-v-god.html.

Now, it is an Indian lawyer's turn. Chandan Kumar Singh of Bihar has sued his Hindu god, Rama, for mistreating his wife Sita. I quote, "It's well known that Ram asked Sita to prove that she was pure after he rescued her from the clutches of the demon king Ravana. He did not trust Sita," Mr Singh told the BBC.
I think Mr.Singh has a valid case of domestic violence. Section 498 A of the IPC reads,

Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty–Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation. For the purpose of this section, “cruelty” means (a) any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of woman ...

Driving Sita to jump into a fire to prove her faithfulness to Rama, IMO, is a rarest of rare case of spousal abuse, and frankly, 3 years of imprisonment is little more than a slap on Rama's wrist. The court's dismissal of the case is preposterous, to put it mildly. Paraphrasing Chambers, Rama is after all omnipresent and omniscient, and it should be easy for the court to summon him, and failing to appear, he should be held in contempt..

As an aside, I have always wondered about the fidelity of Rama to Sita. After all, Sita was confined in the open under a tree, and her abductor, Ravana, was constrained by a curse that'd incinerate him if he were to take any woman by force. Rama, on the other hand, had no such constraints. He was free for a whole year to seize opportunities that surely must have come his way. Why didn't Sita ask him to jump into the fire to prove his "purity"?

Double standards in Ram Rajya?
No comments :
Post a Comment

Leave a Comment