A film aroused a nation when a legendary actor made an appeal in it to perceive the significance of the word, “NO”. That’s what Cynthia said to her husband, Alan, before he sexually abused her.
Alan raped her because he knew there wouldn’t be any consequences; for he lives in a country whose penal code makes an exception for husbands in its 375th Section, dealing with Rape. It’s the reinforcement of a devolution that takes us back to the 1600s where a certain Chief Justice of England very brashly laid down, “The husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract, the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband, which she cannot retract.”
Hence, marriage immunizes husbands and legalizes rape.
Cynthia’s counsel reproduced that scene in court today,
““NO” is not just a word. It’s a sentence on its own. It doesn’t require to have logic, an explanation or interpretation. “NO” could only mean “NO”. My client said “NO”, your honour! And this man must realize that “NO” means “NO”. Whether the lady saying it is known or unknown to you, a friend, a girlfriend, a sex worker or even your own wife! “NO” means “NO”. And when someone says so, you stop!”
If a woman says “NO”, how could the judiciary and the legislature possibly remain silent?!
Until the verdict,
This is Solomon Naidu.
Reporting from Courtroom No. 5
Of The Bombay High Court.
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