Sunday, 5 July 2015

My IAS interview

    Some details from Detailed Application Form submitted to UPSC
    Graduation- BTech from MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur in Computer science, completed in 2011
    Post Graduation- Mtech from IIT Kanpur  in Computer Science, completed in 2013
    Hobby- Blogging, Vipasana meditation
    Sports- Trekking and Badminton
    Optional - Geography
    Previous job experience- Worked as a software developer in US, worked as a guest faculty at MNIT Jaipur

    Board- David R. Syiemlieh, 29th June (Forenoon)
    (On light note) What happened to your foot(met a road accident a month ago)? 
    1. US - Wisconsin- famous industry, Detroit- famous industry? Why automobile industry is not flourishing there anymore?
    1. Why did u come back from US? what motivated you?
    1. Choice of cadre? Why not IFS? Why the interest is declining for IFS?
    1. Tribal provisions- constitutional and legislative ? Why Nagaland(5th and 6th schedule) is not there? How they are different?
    1. What are the different approaches for the development of  tribal? 

    1. Questions on blogging? Last blog post? Side effects of knowledge on human's mind (no question)
    1. Intercaste marriage, inequality? Caste hierarchy?
    1. What fascinates you in international affairs?
    1. What about USA women's president? Views? Why desirable? Are you a feminist? Political rights in USA?

    1. Geography application- why interdisciplinary? Mother of all the fields?
    1. Link with history? Which dictate what?
    1. What is spoils system? Why being used in US? Is it desirable in India?
    1. Permanent bureaucracy vs lateral entry?

    1. Different tribes in India, their distribution,  asked about one tribe in particular(gharaisya)?
    1. Tribal uprising during colonial times? Why no tribal uprising in Rajasthan?
    1. Which tribe helped Maharana pratap in Haldighati?
    1. Mining vs tribes? How to strike a balance?
    1. What job opportunities will u create for them? How will u bring them in mainstream? Use of technology?
    1. Criteria for declaring a tribe?
    1. What are the commonalities in all the tribes?

    1. Piezoelectric effect (couldn't answer)
    1. PARAM, recent supercomputer by India, its application? Which country has highest number of supercomputers ? Which country has fastest supercomputer? What speed ?
    1. NECERT's plan CLASS
    1. National waterways- name them
    1. Cyber security? Threats? How to handle them?
    1. why did you come back from US? Argued on the motivation to become an IAS (leaving high paying job)
    1. Why haven't you gone for teaching?

    1. MNIT jaipur (working as a guest faculty there), which subjects, which year?

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Side Effects of Knowledge on Human Mind

Ever wondered in life, ‘I shouldn’t have known this’? Well, if you haven’t,  you certainly will, at some point in your life.

As the title say, this article is about the side effects of gathering too much knowledge on an individual’s psychology and does not talk about the side effects arising from the misuse of knowledge (e. g. One can argue about invention of nuclear bombs).

I assume that we all agree on the very basic nature of knowledge that it is a driving force behind our actions and a tool we apply in different ways in our life to achieve our goals. To consider one aspect of knowledge on human behavior, let’s take a simple example:

Assume that you are attending a seminar on applications of physics in daily life phenomena, and a professor of physics and a student in commerce are sitting beside you. The speaker of the seminar is mistaken on certain critical aspects in the lecture. What do you reckon would be the response of the two guys sitting beside you on those mistakes made by the speaker? If I present the most common scenario, the professor would stand up and correct the speaker.

Now, add to it a common classroom scenario. Suppose, right before the seminar, you were having a discussion on similar topics with the professor and the commerce student. Now, would it be the commerce student or the professor who stands up and tells the speaker of the seminar about his mistakes. If I apply common experience here, it will still be the professor, not just because he was the first to catch the mistake; but also he had more confidence and more urge to correct that mistake.

Let’s take another example. Take the process of human growth starting from when we are children. A baby has very little gathered knowledge and has no business with the outside world. As we grow up, until around the age of 10, we are just gathering as much knowledge as fast as we can and accept everything around us to be the way the world has to be. As we grow, collect experiences and reach youth, we start learning from our and others’ experiences that there are many problems existing around us in the society. As we grow more and learn more, we reach a point where frustration starts creeping in, because we know things could be better around us, in our family, in our society.  This frustration, this sense of urgency continues until we reach a point of achievement (that we have solved or contributed towards solving some problem around us) or saturation (we agonize so much on our society’s conditions that finally we adjust, giving up trying to change it).  Now compare it to the mindset of a person who is born in the hills far from the hassles of a society, with knowledge just enough to survive.

Let’s take another example. It is related to psychology of slaves during the period of slavery in America in 17th and 18th centuries. There are numerous citations about how continuous slavery had changed the mindset of people who were born in slave families. Two such articles are The Mask of Obedience and The Psychological Effects of Slavery and Colonization on the Negro. The basic idea is that the slaves went into a phase of self-loathing and depression that they were good for nothing other than being slaves until there was a propagation of ideas of freedom by pioneers like Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. The article The Mask of Obedience also talks about the misery and depression among slaves. They had an idea of freedom and they did nothing to rise against their masters. What’s worse is that just the idea of freedom kept them in agony and still they didn’t gather the courage to fight for their freedom until they were led by abolitionists.  From the same article, I quote “Oppression driveth the wise man mad.”  meaning  “A person of intellect would go mad by such an oppression.”

What do all the above examples have in common?

The sense of Urgency

What the above examples have in common is a need for change, an urgency to make things right. It is as simple as that – unless you have an idea that something better exists, you are happy (or live with) what you have. Once you know, you can get something better, you start craving, agonizing yourself to achieve/ acquire that something.  If you are unable to achieve it, you keep yourself in a state of craving, a state of misery until you finally give up.

Knowledge is the driving force behind your senses towards a better life. In other word, knowledge shows you that something better exists; and if your are unable to harness your knowledge towards achieving it, you stay in a state of agony.
Essentially, the more knowledge you gather, the more comes the realization of what is wrong in the world and what needs to be corrected.  For many people, an excessive amount of knowledge becomes difficult to handle. People often forget that when we know something can be improved, we have two choices

1.    Let’s do something about it.
2.    Let it be the way it is and move on.

But, the important thing to note is that “Keep agonizing yourself and keep craving about it without taking any action” is not one of the choices.  However, people often choose it, and that is when knowledge becomes difficult to handle i.e. In the absence of action or the ability to let go.

Monday, 8 June 2015

The other Generation Gap

India is a predominantly young nation with the majority of population being under 25 years of age. This means that the majority of Indian population belongs to the newest generation. According to Wikipedia, the term generation means, “all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively.” However, in our society, the word generation has acquired different meanings. We will look into the concept of generation in a more general sense and how the idea of generation gap varies based on our perspective in the Indian context.

What’s your age?
It’s a pretty simple question to ask someone, which usually has one true answer: “The number of years, months and days that have passed since you were born.” However, a curious person might argue that: Since we live not just to die, but also to contribute to the society, interact with people and help in overall evolution of the society, why does the number of years that have passed since our birth determine which generation we belong to. We should be able to be called as belonging to a modern generation if we change with the changing society.
No matter how we argue about this, this observation holds a lot of substance, especially when the concept of generation is used to argue about if something is outdated or not.
Taking this idea as the basis, let’s define the concept of age (as has already been done by many intellectuals) in a more general sense i.e. a person can have different kinds of ages likeBiological, Mental, Cultural etc. Applying the conventional concept of age here, we can say that a person belongs to an older generation culturally if (s)he is not able to adapt to the new customs and ideologies in the society.

The other generation gap
Now that we have given a generalized notion of age (and generation of a person), we can draw some interesting conclusions.  This concept of age (and generations) gives the flexibility of categorizing someone as belonging to an older generation physically (biologically), but to the modern generation mentally or culturally, which was not possible with the conventional concept of age.

I will give an example where it becomes evident that the physical age is not a measure of the cultural age. The notion of status of women in Indian villages is still generations old i.e. they still have to sit on the floor in front of men, have to cover their face, not allowed to present their opinions etc. However, the scenario in Indian cities is radically different, especially in metropolitan cities. Why is it that Indian villages are stuck with a, maybe, 100s of years old notion of women as compared to urban India?

Why is this happening?
Its not too difficult to understand the cause behind different perspectives and behaviors exhibited by different human beings in similar circumstances because it is nothing special given the fact that all human beings are different and these different behaviors are signs of individuality.
However, the degree of difference is sometimes astonishing not just in the behaviors but also in thinking processes of people in the same biological generations.  The reason is the difference in the kinds of situations they have faced in their lives. Some of the factors that cause these radical differences are:
1.    Inequality: The skewed societal structure is responsible to a large part for this. When people are underprivileged, their goal in life is survival as compared to goals of intellectuality, money and impact, which are the luxury of privileged section only. Exposure to suppression for a long time harms the creative portion of the brain and trains it to treat every situation as imposed rather than opportunity. 

2.    Lack of connectivity: According to me, this is the most important reason for propagation of phenomena of cultural and mental generation gap. When people are pushed to the back seat of progress, they start getting left behind from the latest advances in technology and methods of communication. This leads to a divide where they interact mostly with like-minded people who have also been victims of this process. This further compounds the effect and leads to a huge gap between them and the progressive society.

3.    Competition: The competition is no longer always a good thing, because it has not just grown to a severe level but also has become ruthless. Competing survival interests cause people to forget about humanity for personal interests.

4.    Politics: Politics nowadays not only promotes inequality but also victimizes people with less powerful status in the society in return for monetary as well as power benefits.

The basic idea is that various factors, especially like lack of connectivity and privileges, is transforming our society in ways such that it is being divided into sections where some elite sections are reaching pinnacles of progress while others can’t even think what progress is. It is our responsibility not to look down upon them and say, “Its not our fault if they don’t want to learn” but to show them the paths we have taken by helping them climb the ladder of mental and cultural advancements.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Net Neutrality: The lifeline of the Internet

In this age of information i.e. where information is considered as the most important resource, Internet (or the Web) has emerged as a ubiquitous medium for getting access to all kinds of information. Because of the presence that the Internet (will be calling it the Net onwards in this article) has made in all sectors of life, it has become the primary medium for availing services to users remotely. As with any popular medium of information/services, Net also has its fare share of challenges and debates, the most popular right now being of Net neutrality. Let’s see why Net neutrality means, and why it is a hot topic of debate.

Net Neutrality
Over few decades of evolution that the Net has seen, it has maintained a very peculiar characteristic, as is the case with other public communication and information sharing mediums like telephone, radio etc. The characteristic is its Content and Service Neutralityi.e. the Net itself does not distinguish between the type of content and the service that is being delivered over it. The concept of Net is very loose here, because it essentially means the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as it is the ISPs that act as the access points for users of the Net.
As already mentioned, the concept of neutrality towards content is not something unique to the Net; it hold for almost all mediums of communication/information delivery. Contrast this property with electricity, which is distributed as a commodity rather than as a medium, and is service aware (Electricity bills change based on commercial vs. household connections, peak load basis, use of special devices like air conditioners etc.)

Why are talking about this?
We are talking about Net neutrality due to the ongoing debate on violation of Net neutrality. Out the various such instances, some have been very popular:
1.     The first major incident was in December 2014 when Airtel announced that it will levy extra charges for making voice calls from it’s network over internet (VoIP).
2.     In February 2015, Facebook launched in India with Reliance Communications which provides free access to a selected set of websites through an app. The commotion is about the criteria for selecting only these websites for free access, which is apparently biased and violates Net neutrality.
3.     In April 2015, Airtel came up with the Airtel Zero scheme, where it will provide free access to Internet to certain apps, if the app developer firm has already signed the Airtel zero contract.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been under constant criticism for not being able to take action against these incidents and has not been able to ensure Net neutrality.
There have been many such incidents that potentially violate Net neutrality. I use the term “potentially” here because the notion of Net neutrality has never been fully formalized and it is still ambiguous as to what constitutes Net neutrality. For example, Facebook claims that is an anthropologic initiative and thus does not violate Net neutrality. However, the experts’ opinions suggest something else. So, I will leave this interpretation to the reader, until a formal framework for Net neutrality comes into effect.

Is Net neutrality so critical?
In short, yes, it is. As aforementioned that Net has become the primary medium for exchange of information and facilitation of remote services, it holds utmost power in the sense that sentiment and information filtering on the Net can drastically change scenario of competition in the market and reduce quality of content and services. This will basically eliminate any new players from the cutthroat competition even before they make their online presence.
 Extrapolation of these impacts to a few years in the future paints a very horrific picture of the market where only an elite few (with deep pockets) will hold control of what reaches the end-users and basically manipulate their behavior at will.

Legal aspects
There are absolutely no laws for enforcing Net neutrality in India. TRAI has some guidelines for the Unified Access Service License, that promotes Net neutrality but don’t enforce it.  The IT Act 2000 also does not make any provisions regarding Net neutrality.

The way ahead…
The debate over Net neutrality is going to grow even more turbulent because of the importance of Internet and criticality of Net neutrality not just for large corporations but also for individual end users. Since, we have already established that access to unbiased information is critical for innovation and indiscriminate online presence is necessary for maintaining fair competition, Indian legal system needs to ensure that a formal legal framework is put into effect around the principles of Net neutrality.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Obsession for the first

"Jo Jeeta wohi Sikandar" is a phrase often used to justify the need for the best option and the quest of standing first in a competition.

Bollywood movie 3 idiots has captured this quest very well. The obsession of being first and the importance of running faster than others was demonstrated by Viru Sahsrabuddhe (aka Virus) using the example of "koyal" and "kowa" on the very first day.
Also, on the first day's lecture, he asks a question, "Who was the first person to set foot on the moon?" Most of the students knew the answer.
Then he made this question a little tough reframing as, "Who was the second person doing the same?" Not even a single student knew the answer.

That is the grace of first person that dims the followers.

The rankers in a competition other than the topper always  face the feeling of regret over could-have-been first. The margin between winner and the others becomes the curse figure for the latter.

Was the second person to Neil Armstrong less talented than him or is the runner up in any contest inferior to the winner?

I don’t think so. Each person has his own story with different circumstances. There can never be ideal level playing ground to compare any two persons. Then what is the problem?

The society we live in remembers someone only on the basis of what one has achieved, and not how much potential one possess.

Do they really have true power of making judgments, when they don't really have the experience of that journey?

I can share my own experience when the same people criticizing me over the two opposite decisions. When I was planning to go abroad for a job (P.S.- I was the first in my home to do so :P), I heard few people around me disparaging me over the decision by giving the arguments like,
"You are a girl, that would be a struggle for you to stay alone in a foreign land"
"You don't belong there, you should try a more convenient job"
"You might get spoiled in the US culture (smoking, drinking etc.)".
Fortunately, I decided to go. When I returned back after a few months, the same people were making judgments -
"how come you are back?, see I told you, you couldn't survive there"
"You shouldn't be back here when you were earning so well" etc.

If I have never been first in any competition, does that mean all my achievements should be belittled? If I am taking my work load chill, it doesn't mean I am fraud or if I am taking it too seriously, it also doesn't mean that I am less competent.

What right do people have to do so & pass unfair comments?
They are not God who can pass such judgments.
They didn’t run; I ran the race of my life with my mind and heart.
The least they can do is Congratulate & acknowledge my worth..
But, it does not matter what people say..
They cannot steal my achievement away..

In my next post jealousy I am going to put the other side of learning from all.

Instead of putting obstacles to others progress, we should better ourselves and should atleast avoid saying disparaging words if we cannot encourage them.

I don’t want to be the 1st woman to do this or that, but I want my targets to be wonderful enough for me.
I want to explore the power of "not yet" instead of focusing on right here, right now, and ahead of everyone.

We think- Log Kya Kahenge? Fact is- Log kahenge

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Big Data: Big Deal

In a world run by computers, and everything happening on the Internet, there is a giant, hidden and precious resource that is being generated every moment and every one of us is contributing to it. We know this resource by the name of information or data.  Big Data is one of the new hot terms in the jargon of Internet/Computer science literature.

What is Big Data?
In the field of computer science, every piece of information/media constitutes data. However, for data to be called Big Data, it needs to satisfy the soft criteria of 3 Vs i.e. Volume, Velocity and Variety:
1.     Volume: As the name Big Data suggests, data size should be very large, generally of the order of Petabytes.
2.     Velocity: The data is generated at a very high rate, generally of the order of Gigabytes per second.
3.     Variety: Big Data generally consists of large variety data, mostly unstructured.

Who is generating Big Data?
We are. To understand how we generate big data, we need to know what actually constitutes big data. In most cases, big data is user profile, user preferences and user activity data, where a user means someone who is using a particular service on the web or outside of web. Billions of people are generating plethora of information every second through their interactions with different services that they use. With the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), a world where the vast majority of gadgets, machines and humans are connected to the internet, big data provides a promising future in terms of decisions based on big data.

Why all the fuss?
Data has lately emerged not only as a resource, but also as a precious commodity over past few years. We can only guess how precious this is as a commodity, I would not be wrong to say that it rivals all big commodities in the market like oil, gold etc. and has the potential to beat all these commodities (combined) in terms of gross global value in near future. Some people might think this is too bold of a statement, but let me give some pointers to think about:
Where do you think ALMOST ALL OF THE REVENUE of tech giants like Google and Facebook comes from, when they are not charging anything from the end user? Why do you think the government of India is so keen on investing in UID scheme, smart cities etc., when such basic problems likes illiteracy, discrimination etc. remain unsolved by a great margin? In fact, why do you think most of the services on the Internet are free for the end user?

The Big Data revolution: data never lies
Like every other precious commodity of such a wide impact, Big Data also has the potential to transform the world. If we really look closely, many of our decisions and our behavior are already being governed by data.
As the popular saying goes “Data never lies”, data is already being used by policy makers in progressive governance and big organizations to implement changes, attract people, transform behaviors and eliminate competitions. It would not be an exaggeration if I say that intelligent analysis of data is the key to a successful administration and a cutting edge business strategy in this age of information. In other words, we are going through a Big Data revolution, where data is one of the primary drivers of change, both positive (as we have already seen) as well as negative (as we will see in the next section).

Well there is a darker side too…
As some of the curious readers would have already guessed that, like any other commodity having an ability of such a huge impact on people’s lives, Big Data also comes with a cost and a set of challenges that can not be ignored.
1.    Greed vs Privacy: Since big data is a huge source of revenue, it is very tempting to cross boundaries of user privacy when it comes to using their personal data for filling pockets. As precious it is a commodity, it can not only be used by large corporations who already have a huge source of big data, but also can be sold for insane prices to malicious clients.

2.    Data Colonialism: As it happens with a commodity of such an impact, people with power over it don’t want to let it go.
Large corporations like Google and Facebook already have a soft monopoly over Big Data, but it remains to be seen whether they will use it (or are already using it) to not only generate revenues but also crush competition. However, the scenario here is not as bad as it used to be with oil, since the sources of big data as a commodity are not limited (at least as long as net neutrality is maintained, which is also a big issue of debate nowadays). The more worrisome phenomena is the colonization of the analog universe by the digital. The term Data Colonialism was given by Sorabji in 2013 to describe a scenario where the West has been mining African nations for health data without the African benefiting in any way. This was the case with raw materials extraction from colonies in 18th century- extraction of value.

3.    Transforming behavior: We have already entered the era where advertisements are powered by artificial intelligence which makes use of past user behavior to show advertisements that are more likely to impact user behavior towards a certain product, person, organization, campaign etc. That said, with the power that Big Data provides to large corporations and governments, it potentially provides a powerful tool to modify human behavior on a large scale for their benefits.

The problem of privacy violations can be solved to a large extent by imposing regulations regarding user privacy and performing audits whether those laws are adhered to. However, it is a big challenge since data often crosses national boundaries and there are technological limitations to imposing a law to such an effect.
Data colonialism is a very real possibility but not much can be done other than providing support to competing businesses to maintain an environment of open competition so that such situations do not arise. Although, use of data to transform human behavior for personal gains seems ethically wrong, but law cannot be used to counteract such a practice especially when it is done with user consent. All we can do is to make people aware of the potential risks and let them decide their courses of action.

In short…

In short, Big Data is a very precious commodity and a powerful tool to drive positive changes and lead to a world that runs on intelligent decisions rather than whims and fancies of people. However, this power comes with it’s own set of risks which we need to be aware of as the primary producers of this resource and be vigilant about how this data is being used.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Marital rape: trivialization vs criminalization - Part II

Why should it be banned?
Marital rape is considered as the violation of Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 14 of the Indian constitution which guarantees the equal protection of laws to all persons. By depriving married women of an effective penal remedy against forced sexual intercourse, it violates their right to privacy and bodily integrity, aspects of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21, by differentiating them from unmarried women.
Marital privacy – which justifies laws such as the marital rape exception is a fundamental denial of society’s commitment to treating all persons with equal concern and respect.
After making high pitch for the government flagship Beti Bachao beti padao, we want our 'Beti' to not have a right on her own body.
If marital rape has been committed, wife is a rape survivor and she has same rights like any other rape survivor.
Don’t women have a right to live  a dignified life even after marriage? I think, this is not true in the current setup. If it was that, then government would have continued the schemes like Sukanya Samraddhi even after marriage. Parents too would have shared the responsibility of a girl child even after marriage like they do for boys. Does marriage provides the license to rape? Hopefully, No. Sexual violence within circle of trust is more painful and the absence of a law to safeguard the same is a human right violation and unjust towards women.

What are the flaws with the legal system?
Our legal system doesn’t provide any concrete protection to the victims of marital rape. Under Hindu marriage act, 1955 one of the "conjugal duties" of the wife is to provide sexual satisfaction to her husband, a very archaic thought congruent to the thoughts of a patriarchal society. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) considers forced sex in marriages as a crime only when the wife is below 15 or the couple is legally separated. Thus, marital rape is not a criminal offense under the IPC. Marital rape victims have to take recourse to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005(PWDVA).The PWDVA, which came into force in 2006, outlaws marital rape. However, it offers only a civil remedy for the offence.
It is not the case that these irrational acts have not been up for revision. Law Commission's report(2000) and Justice Verma panel's(2013) recommended to do away with the exemption granted to marital rape in the laws. Unfortunately, these were not accepted by the government and the marital rape continues to be unrecognized by law. Parliamentary committee opposed the Verma commission proposal saying that entire family system will be brought under great stress if the Marital Rape is brought under the law.

But it is prone to misuse?
Proponents of marital rape exemption argue that if legalized, this law is prone to misuse as is the case with The Dowry act. I do agree with the same because it is really difficult to prove the charges of marital rape. It is worse when we rely on the methods like two finger test for proving charges of rape in general.
Here, I would say that every law is prone to misuse, let it be a dowry act or an anti defection law, yet we have to accept that the misuse is at the part of investigation.
Moreover, don’t we have acts like Prevention of Atrocities Act(SC & ST), 1989 and similar laws against discrimination? Aren't they prone to misuse? Because here also you have to rely on the statement of the victim prima facia. It can also be used to harass someone. Just because of this lame skepticism, we should not try to evade from our responsibility.

Why isn't law ahead of prejudices?
In a recent case of marital rape, a 27 years old woman herself went up and approached court for marital rape. The court made a superficial assessment and concluded by saying that we wont serve any individual case and asked the victim to come up with a PIL, thus denying to serve the plea. Isn't this absurd that a person cannot stand for himself/herself? I used to think that this is the most conventional thing that a person can seek justice for himself/herself. Similarly, political parties have divisive opinions. Few of them want consensus building in society as a pre-requisite to come with a law. As if society was ready for the revolutionary acts like Untouchability Act, Transgender Act, Child labor Act or affirmative action for vulnerable sections.

What is the international scenario?
Many countries have made it a crime for a husband to force his wife to have sex in recent years. Malaysia changed its laws to that effect in 2007; Turkey in 2005; and Bolivia in 2013. The United States began criminalizing marital rape in 1970s and most European countries in the 1990s. The United Nations has also recommended India to criminalize marital rape. Though we try to emulate US in many areas to prove ourselves as progressive, doesn’t this law provide the opportunity for the same?

Implementation Challenges in criminalizing marital rape
The major challenge is to prove the crime, what shall be the evidence? How will the investigation proceed? Charges of marital rape can be put up just to take revenge and settle scores. There is an enormous amount of social stigma attached to the marital rape. However, the picture is not that bleak as it seems. It is not the going to be the case that just after criminalizing, there will be plethora of cases. As we can see there is nearly 10% conviction rate in normal rapes and dowry cases. Marital rape is a very grey area, so its fate stands tough time. In present times, it may be very difficult to enforce too. But shouldn't the laws and their implementation envision a equitable future and a utopian society.

Is reconciliation not the only solution?
I agree and advocate for couple counselling in cases of differences and argumentative fights. But it cannot be the last resort. There has to be some mechanism on top of it for very abusive relationships.

Isn't the act of considering women as the victim all the time feminist and skewed?
True, it is. Cases of sexual assault against the transgender community are not currently prosecuted as rape under Section 375, which only recognizes women as victims. Here I would like to refer Justice Verma Committee recommendation to amend the section to make it gender neutral with respect to the victim. Because it can be anyone, a man, a woman or a transgender.

What if a man has no sex for a year, can he force his wife? Isn't it about the fairness to men also? What remedy does he has?
For this question, I would say this is a valid ground to have a divorce, so go for it, but why to impose your will on someone else. Respect comes before love and much before sex. If someone is not able to earn that respect, then one should have no right to love other person.

What is it that I am up against?
I am not the extreme leftist person who wants a revolutionary change in laws and want to prosecute half of the country in one go. What I am against of, are the blatant statements made by our lawmakers and even institutions of high respect.
Though the enforcement may be a challenge, but the arguments like, the society not being ready to accept, or crying foul of our backwardness doesn’t hold any water. Atleast they should not set the wrong precedent of trivializing the marital rape. It has actually legalized marital rape(make it permissible and even encourage by vindicating marital rape) in negative sense rather than in positive sense (to prevent it). It is well accepted truth, that many rapes are going on in bedroom then why we are still in denial mode considering marital rape as an exception?
Marital rape clearly reveals our gross double standard on sexual violence.

Way forward
I understand, this issue is sensitive. It took around 30 years for US to come to the present law which got started only with heinous nature of marital rapes. Can't we try to implement it in such a phased manner? Atleast in the cases where it is clearly visible, where a woman has undergone tremendous injury, it should be made punishable as a criminal offence.
Before 2012, it was an odd act to even talk about rape, but it was the solidarity of the nation that came along with Nirbhaya, and today majority of people can condemn the act by taking its name literally. I hope marital rape will also get the same recognition.
We need a social reform because legal reform not sufficient, dowry is still embedded in our society after 10 years of its existence. It is the progressive social consciousness which is need of the hour.
Sexual consent is the right of every woman, married or unmarried, as much as of men, and nonconsensual sex should be treated exactly the same, irrespective of the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim.
It is the inner khap panchayat in us all.

[Meanwhile do watch movie Aakashvani to get a practical picture of marital rape in our society.]

(Don’t) Waste the Thunder, Recycle

6:30 PM, I pressed the doorbell of my flat. As I was waiting for my brother to open the door, my eyes fell on a dozen cold drink bottles ...