In Delhi, the capital of India, not a day passes when a rape is not reported. There is no doubt that the act of rape is mostly against a woman. But there could be a chance where rape can be against the male as well. I remember seeing a movie at a film festival at Delhi, nearly two decades back, named ‘Men can’t be Raped’. Perhaps to an extent it may be true, but then it cannot be an impossibility.
The Indian law as enacted by parliament is certainly biased in favor of the fairer sex. Until this moment, a readingof the Indian penal code states that only a male can commit rape. This law which is a reprint of the earlier British code has not been changed.
The Indian law assumes that a male is the active participant in a sexual act of rape. Though this ethos is not without foundation, at least 2% of the cases this may not hold true. The law assumes that in a sexual encounter, the female is the passive partner. As per Indian law, full penetration is not a requisite for the act to be punished. Even a partial entry is enough to convict a man of rape, though he maynot have consummated the act to its entirety.
Various sections of the Indian penal code do give some interpretations of the act of rape. But all in all, the crime is considered grave to warrant a rigorous imprisonment as well as a hefty fine. The crime is not condoned by Indian courts and, in a number of cases, the lower courts have sentenced the perpetuators to Death in rare cases of gang rape followed by murder.
The law is certainly needed as crimes of rape and murder are on the increase. But at the same time, some groups are advocating a similar law for the women who may perpetuate this crime. They base their argument on the fact that in many cases, female members of a group may have solicited the crime or provoked the male. But nothing is as yet clear on this.
As things stand in most countries of the world including the USA and the UK, the charge of rape is always against the male. Not many people will lay any value to the reverse of this, as the general belief persists that a male cannot be raped.