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Posts tagged ‘attempt to rape’

The PIECE of CLOTH!


Which piece of cloth? as it is preceded by the definite article! The garment which was shown by Potiphar’s wife to Potiphar, as a symbol for Joseph having attempted to outrage the modesty of Potiphar’s wife.

The same garment which was actually the proof of Joseph having fled from his youthful lust (that is, if you believe what is mentioned in Genesis Ch.39 ) became a PROOF of the allegation of Joseph’s attempted, shall we call it RAPE? There is no such thing as “attempt of rape”, at least to the best of my knowledge in the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Either it should have been committed for it to be called thus or it isn’t! Rest of all unwelcome tactile sexual advances could be called only an “outrage” of the modesty of a woman. Another fault is that the “outrage the modesty of a woman” presupposes universal modesty in woman – am i sure? Nay.

So the case was decided in favour of the complainant, who had a proof in the garment of Joseph in her hands. THE BIBLE says: POTIPHAR’S WRATH WAS KINDLED!  Even assuming that Potiphar had asked for an explanation from Joseph, let us ask ourselves IF JOSEPH COULD HAVE NARRATED THE TRUTH? Had he, then that would have shown his master as an ‘ATTEMPTED CUCKOLD’ and in the eyes of the master and his mistress he would have instead of explaining his innocence would have to ACCUSE his mistress as History’s FIRST ATTEMPTER OF RAPING A MALE, well how can a woman rape a male without him having an erection? So let us call Potiphar’s wife’s offence as ATTEMPT TO DOCK A MALE. That would have had direr consequences – Potiphar would have wanted to “silence” him of the secrets of his wife, who probably had descended to the level of a slave, because of the constant assault on her senses arising out of proximity.

In any case, Potiphar jailed Joseph and ensured that Joseph was sequestered from the wanton ways of his wife. At verse 16 it says: AND SHE LAID UP HIS GARMENT BY HER, UNTIL HIS LORD CAME HOME! King James Version English is amazing! LAID UP instead of ‘kept’ or ‘hid’ the garment – Potiphar’s wife seems to have quite exhilarated about having been at least with the shards of Joseph for a while, instead of having been disgusted with a slave’s garment! Further, it is HIS LORD and not HER HUSBAND or HER LORD!

Thus the piece of cloth served as a proof in her hands not as a remnant of the failed attempt of a faithless wife, but to exonerate herself  and to also wreak vengeance ‘on a sow which refused to respect the pearls offered to it in private’. 

The problem is that this is an episode narrated in the Bible and as a Christian I have to believe in everything said in the Bible, but when we reconstruct the same episode scene by scene like a script writer of an historical episode, there are different weightages to be apportioned to each piece of evidence, otherwise we would be placing emphasis on where it is not due. But who is to decide on the correctness of ascription of weightage? So that is where LIBERTY comes in and God in his wisdom has given the balance to weigh according to the moral fibre of the man who weighs. 

So if we go scene by scene would we have decided in favour of Potiphar’s wife, had we been Potiphar?

Even if Joseph had told the whole truth, as only 3 persons knew the TRUTH, one was Joseph, second Potiphar’s wife and as always, God. Now God cannot be a witness, except when he chooses to be one, in insignificant human disputes! And in this case, the winner who had written this part, was on Joseph’s side, but at that point, it was a wife’s word against a slave’s word. To compound, Potiphar had to rise to defend his honour in which , if Potiphar were to have believed Joseph’s version, that would have been a hara-kiri on his manhood. Naturally Potiphar went with his wife!

PITY, was what was evoked in our hearts, and like as in Job’s case, had the end not compensated for the calamities in the middle, it would have never found a place in the scriptures as a superb morale booster to the endurance in sufferings of the present. 

It all boils down to whether the ‘piece of cloth’ serves that day’s POLITICAL PURPOSE. TRUTH dawns much later. Have we taken sides yet? Better not, we have heard only one side of the story – Moses’ recounting of a history which was at least 400 years old. As some wisely say: ANYTHING COULD HAVE HAPPENED. 

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Rathore’s Smile/smirk!


Rathore, the  President’s medalist retired Director General of Police of Haryana and convicted molester of  Ruchika, was shown getting out of the trial courts, after the delivery of sentence of 6 months of imprisonment, in most of the TV channels.

As a DGP he must have been aware of section 375 of the Indian Penal Code  which defines rape and mentions: “sixthly- with or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age”. Ruchika was 14 years old when she was “MOLESTED”.

The crux of the issue is that for any offence in the IPC, unless ATTEMPT is made punishable in a charging section, there is no provision to charge a person for “ATTEMPT”. For example s. 307 is the charging section for Attempt to murder, s.309 is the charging section for Attempt to suicide, whereas there is no section “ATTEMPT TO RAPE”, therefore the police and the courts go with section 354, which is titled,”Assault or criminal force to woman with an intent to outrage her modesty”. The maximum punishment prescribed upon conviction is 2 years. Andhra Pradesh by an amendment to this section 354 of IPC, prescribed a minimum punishment of 5 years and a maximum of 7 years. No other state had recognized this lacuna and therefore that SMILE  on the face of Rathore.

If Mr.Rathore had been convicted under section 354 IPC within the state of Andhra Pradesh, he would have received a higher sentence.

One might wonder if Mr.Rathore would have had a smirk on his face if he had been sentenced for 7 years instead of the 6 months awarded to him.

I remember a Thamizh poem written after the assassination of Mrs.Indira Gandhi thus, “IMAI IDHITHTHU KANN KURUDAAGIYADHU”, which when translated into English would mean, “The eyelids struck like lightning and blinded the eyes!” The very eyelids which were to protect the eyes from lightning, struck like lightning and blinded the eyes. How apt, in the context that the very same guards who were to protect the person of Mrs.G, assassinated her! Mr.Rathore’s ATTEMPT TO RAPE, is nothing short of what the assassins did. He being a police officer, should have protected Ruchika, instead he had molested her. Like the prescription of higher sentence to Prison Superintendents and Medical staff in  hospitals for the offence of RAPE, any police officer when convicted of RAPE, should be inflicted with higher /exemplary punishment.

Hope Ruchika’s family gets Justice, despite the lacuna in our IPC.


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