Roman Saini is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
Women's Position in Indian Society: Landmark SC Verdicts in 2017-18 Lesson- 4 By Dr. Roman Saini
Religious & Social Exclusion of Women In Sabarimala case, the logic behind the ban was argued that presence of women deviated men from celibacy . In real terms, according to judges, this has been placing the burden of a men's celibacy on women thus, stigmatising women and stereotyping them . * Hence, in civic as in social life, women have been subjected to prejudice, In religious life, exclusionary traditional customs assert a claim to * These forms of discrimination are not mutually exclusive. stereotypes and social exclusion. legitimacy which owes its origin to patriarchal structures.
The intersection of identities in social and religious life produces "a unique form of discrimination" that denies women an equal citizenship under the Constitution . Recognizing these forms of intersectional discrimination is the first step towards extending constitutional protection against discrimination attached to intersecting identities. Religion cannot become a cover to exclude and to deny the right of every woman to find fulfillment of life. . In his speech before the Constituent Assembly on 25 November 1949, Dr B R Ambedkar sought answers to these questions: 'How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life?' .
Legal Exclusion of Womer Pertinent to the enquiry in adultery case, is that the provision allows . The consent or connivance of the husband precludes prosecution and . As a relic of Victorian morality, this control over the sexual agency of the . Fidelity of the woman, and the husband's control over it, is seen as only the husband to initiate a prosecution for adultery subjugate the sexual agency of his wife spouse, views the wife as the property of the husband. maintaining the 'property' interest of a husband in his wife who has neither her choice nor any legal rights
In this view, a woman is confounded with things and no right to sue for the same offence. . It is also worthy to note that when an offence is committed by both of them, one is liable for the criminal offence but the other is absolved on the basis of societal presumption fixed for women. Ordinarily, the criminal law proceeds on gender neutrality but in this provision, the said concept is absent. That apart, it is to be seen when there is conferment of any affirmative right on women, it is to the peril of the husband in all circumstances. . . .
SC's words for "Equal & Just" Indian Society The founding faith upon which the Constitution is based is the belief that it is in the dignity of each individual that the "pursuit of happiness" is founded. . It represents a break from a history, marked by the "indignation and discrimination" attached to certain identities and serves as "a bridge" to a vision of a "just and equal citizenship". Individual dignity can be achieved only in a regime which recognises liberty as inhering in each individual as a "natural right". Human dignity postulates an equality between persons. Equality necessarily is an equality between sexes and genders. e . 93 .
In fact, equality between citizens is a powerful safeguard to preservea common universe of liberties between citizens, including in matters of religion. . . Apart that, dignity of the individual is the unwavering premise of the . Autonomy nourishes dignity by allowing each individual to make critical . A liberal Constitution such as ours recognizes a wide range of rights to . Accordingly, without freedom, the individual would be bereft of her/her fundamental rights. choices for the exercise of liberty inhere in each individual. individuality.
So, the equality between sexes and equal protection of gender is necessary condition to transform our Indian society The freedom to believe, to be a person of faith and to be a human being in prayer has to be fulfilled in the context of a society which does not discriminate between its citizens. . Their equality in all matters of status and opportunity gives true meaning to the liberty of belief, faith and worship. . Therefore, where a conflict arises, the quest for human "dignity, liberty and equality" must prevail. These are matters on which the Constitution has willed that its values must reign supreme then it will be successful to construct an equal and just society. . .
Time for Social Transformation Since from independence, our Constitution as "a fundamental document of governance" has sought "to achieve a transformation of society". . . As the basic unit of the Constitution, "the individual" is the focal point through which the ideals of the Constitution are realized and society can be transformed. Existing structures of social discrimination must be evaluated through the prism of constitutional morality. The effect and endeavour is to produce a society marked by compassion for every individual. . .
The civility of a civilization earns warmth and respect when it respects more the individuality of a woman. The said concept gets a further accent when a woman is treated with the real spirit of equality with a man. Any system treating a woman with "indignity, inequity and inequality or discrimination" invites the wrath of the Constitution Any provision that might have, few decades back, got the approval may have to meet its legend with the passage of time and growing constitutional precepts and progressive perception Therefore, it can not be assume that all the provisions have sanctity to be true forever * . . .
In giving meaning to these values and in finding solutions to the intractable problems of the present, it is well to remind ourselves the real purpose of our constitution It is to bring about a constitutional transformation that makes our country a nice place to live for all. In a constitutional transformation, the means are as significant as are our ends The means ensure that the process is guided by values- "Justice, Equality, Liberty and Fraternity". . . . The ends, or the transformation, underlie the vision of the Constitution "Socio-politico-economically-spiritually developed Equal and Just Indian Society".