Tag: Women

Supreme Court’s judgment on adultery – Choosing individuality over commitment

Hon’ble Supreme Court of India repealed the Section 497 (adultery law) of IPC. The bench of judges declared that it is not a criminal offense if a partner commits adultery but is a private affair. However, the matter is highly contested. Besides the argument of criminalization, the question arises about who should decide whether it is a criminal offense or private matter. Since we live in a society and make common laws to govern ourselves, I think it is the people themselves and the representatives of people who get to decide on such matters. As Justice Katju (ex-SC judge) observed that the legislature should decide whether it is a crime, not the Supreme Court. Supreme Court may check the validity of it or decide the law as wise or unwise. I think the SC can also check the constitutionality of the law. Too much of judicial activism is not good for a democracy either. The legislature should decide with much debate and discourse whether it is a crime keeping in mind the interest of the society. Simply saying it as a private matter does not reflect its implication on the society. Is the Indian public ready to address the matter of marriage and adultery in private in a constructive manner? They claim, it liberalizes women. But how? Where the majority of women are not economically empowered enough to divorce their adulterous partner, how will they deal with it privately? They will silently tolerate their partner’s behavior and live miserable lives. Men will justify adultery. Moreover, in a society like ours when men find their partners with other men they will take law into their own hands. It does not address the issue. Instead of making the law equal for both men and women, it has been scraped (It still remains a question though).

Besides the law and decriminalization, I have an issue with the way the Hon’ble judges have described the matter. They seem to be somewhat normalizing adultery in the society and to an extent glorifying it in the name of ‘sexual autonomy’. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud backed the sexual autonomy of women within marriage. He said, “Partners in marriage should have respect for each other’s sexual autonomy”. It suggests that he outrightly refusing to accept the exclusiveness of sex within a marriage. If a partner needs ‘sexual autonomy’ to have sex outside the marriage then why marry at first place? Why get into a committed relationship? It is a straight reproval of the institution of marriage and its sanctity.

The judges said “A woman has sexual autonomy within marriage. Marriage does not mean ceding autonomy of one to the other. Ability to make sexual choices is essential to human liberty. Even within private zones, an individual should be allowed her choice”.

In the name of Autonomy, choosing individuality over commitment is no way forward. I am against the law that is bias towards one gender but the way the Hon’ble judges are speaking about the issue is not going to help Indian society that celebrates family values and individual virtues. Commitment is important for a healthy family and healthy families are prerequisites for a healthy society. Where will the world head without virtues like commitment, love, integrity and honesty?  Freedom without obligations is not possible where more than two individuals have to live since one person’s exercise of absolute freedom will stand in the ways of the other. In the name of freedom and liberty, can we do anything we want to? Is not restraint better than just doing whatever your instinct tells you to do? Imagine if everyone keeps doing whatever they want to do in the name of individual autonomy.

The feminist propaganda of ‘my body my choice’ ‘my life my choice’ will take us nowhere. There is a reason why human beings live in a society. Everything is ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘me’, ‘I’ is the reason for many troubles. Don’t we have responsibility and commitment towards our spouse, parents, family and the community we live in? Is everything about ourselves? My life my choice? What about your choices that stand in the ways of others to exercise theirs’? Hon’ble Justice Mishra said “Husband is not the master,” but can’t the husband or the wife expect fidelity from each other? Can’t parents expect their children to take care of them? Can’t society expect us to act responsibly? My life my choice? Where it ends? Where is the boundary? Are we going to remove all the fences/boundaries in the name of individual liberty?

“Whenever you remove any fence, always pause long enough to ask yourself, ‘Why was it put there in the first place?” G.K. Chesterton

A Thousand splendid suns – A Review

“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,

Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”

– Persian poet Saib-e-Tabrizi, 17th Century

51jkAgidvAL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The book ‘A Thousand splendid suns’ is another masterpiece of Khaled Hosseini. Some say it is better than ‘The kite Runner’ but I would say both are equally great and cannot be compared.

‘A thousand splendid suns’ describes lives during the cold war and post-cold war, specifically how the intrusion of Taliban had affected lives in Afghanistan. It covers lives during three decades of war in Afghanistan.

The writing is so deep & real that it can give readers an opportunity to experience Afghanistan of that time. There is pain, remorse, fear, hostility, betrayal, joy, love, sacrifice, courage and some more beautiful emotions that can make you cry and admire as well.

I won’t give you an overview of the story but can tell you that ‘A thousand splendid suns’ describes the lives of two women from their childhood to adulthood forced to live almost without any rights. In the midst of suffering they have proved that life is worth living and showed in the midst of hatred, love never abandons anyone. They shone through the dark clouds of hatred because they were the ‘thousand splendid suns’. Like ‘The kite runner’, once again the writer has illustrated pure friendship and ultimate sacrifices.

Khaled Hosseini has described the two wonderful women as “splendid suns”. Women’s strength and their significance in a society have been described skilfully through this brilliant art. It will make you believe that Women are one of God’s most wonderful creations. It has touched my soul and will touch yours.

The story telling ability of Khaled Hosseini is simply remarkable. The way he has portrayed characters and incidents will keep you occupied.

It is a masterpiece and a must read…Before reading these two books I had never thought that I would want to visit Afghanistan in my life.

God Bless…

Community Based Recipe Demonstration…

Harvest of finger millet did not end the millet promotion activity for this year. People of our villages have long forgotten most of their own indigenous recipes. As we are promoting finger millet as a drought resistant and highly nutritious crop, we needed to make sure that Finger Millet getting into their mainstream food. We had already developed a recipe book for the community but most of the women could not follow the instructions given in the booklet as they could not read. Hence, we decided to do community based demonstration of millet recipes.

Yesterday, for the first time we demonstrated finger millet recipe in one of the hamlets of Champi village.  16 women participated in the programme and showed great interest to learn some of the recipes. It was a great time for us in helping them to cook and learn and it was also an opportunity for us to strengthen relationships with the community. This was the first demo in village and we would be doing it in all the 30 villages in coming months.

There are some of the photographs of the event, have a look….Thanks…


Arrangement before the demonstration
Mr. Jogendra setting the fire
Preparing Dalia (porridge)
A woman sharing the prepared food with participants


Finger Millet Puri was the last item we demonstrated
A woman distributing puri among participants

God Bless…

World Environment Day 2014

Like many we also observed World Environment Day 2014. Along with the host country Barbados, the whole world celebrated the day all over the place. We also didn’t stay inside our homes on this Global Day for action. We organized a rally with our village community. Women, Children and men from 15 different villages participated in the programme. It was fun, informative, communicative, full of passion and a great experience.

We had a rally of about 5 KMs followed by a programme where we had invited the Block Development Officer as our chief guest. There were around 230 people present in the programme. We managed to show the participants, some videos on Global warming, followed by a small presentation. The response was very encouraging. Villagers pledged to protect their forest, stop using plastic bags, use organic fertilizers and plant trees this year onwards. If supported, they would be a part of all the work happening towards Environment conservation. Even though they are least responsible for the Global Warming they showed great enthusiasm to fight this… Together we can, they said….

Some of the photographs of the programme….

Preparation for WED – Everybody so focused
Fun during the preparation
Starting of Rally
Active Participation of Women
On the Way – Women leading the rally
Entering Satbarwa Market Place
Lamp Lighting
Video Presentation
Sharing by participants
The event covered by the local newspaper


Not you or me responsible for Global Warming but we all. So we all have to fight this….Come join and save the planet, our glorious home…. Together we can…..

Thank You

God Bless…..


Let’s Inspire Change now……


Written by – Rachel Raj

Women everywhere have come a long way and worldwide, IWD is observed to celebrate women their courage, perseverance, resistance. However there is still much to be done and a long way to go.  This International Women’s Day brings us the theme “Inspire Change” by the UN. But Change by whom??  Women, men, everybody, by whom??

How does one inspire change? And what is the change we want to see. I want a society which is built on equity and justice, where mutual respect and love exists. But this seems like a far away dream. As Mahatma Gandhi rightly put it “Be the change you want to see”. Change is slow but it’s constant and starts with individuals. It starts with me and you and this is the change we need to inspire. We, yes, we women need to be the change we want to see. It starts right in our homes.

I was blessed to grow up in a home where there was no discrimination, we respected each other and I was constantly reminded that I was beautiful and that there were more important things in life than just looks. I believed it fully, until I got out of home and met other people who didn’t think the same. I met other girls who had been told that they were not good enough, slim enough and in India- fair enough, not by strangers but by their own mothers, sisters and friends. This destroyed confidence, and self image. I wish mothers led their children to believe otherwise.

I now look around me, here in the villages so far away where women are untouched by days such as IWDs. Here where there are more important issues as maternal deaths and poverty and women get tortured for bringing girls in to the world. Can they inspire change? How would they inspire. But then a closer look at the community, I realize there are champions here as well, I have met mothers who have taken care of their children with intellectual disability all their lives, who have survived their drunk husbands and who continue to live beyond their daily problems and inspire people like me to move on.

Here’s to women everywhere, You are beautiful and strong. Learn to respect yourself and teach it to your girls and boys. It starts with us. Let’s inspire change today…….

Thank You

Rachel Raj

Continue reading “Let’s Inspire Change now……”