Viewer Discretion Required: The Reality of ‘New’ media

Importance of Viewer Discretion to cope up with prevailing media bias

You switch on the news channel and see a person shouting at the highest of his lungs trying his best to make you think that the establishment is ‘always’ right. You flip the channel and are welcomed by a man who barely resembles Imran Khan, mimicking the Pakistani PM. Yet one more channel flip and comes a person on your TV screen, taking sarcastic digs at the screaming anchor while propagating his agenda.

News media in today’s context holds a particularly complex place. While there is no denying that in a democratic country, journalism and news act as power balancers and checkers. The commercialisation of news that has come up to be the truth as a consequence of competition and TRP races, has caused sensationalisation of stories. So something like PM visiting his mother is given more coverage than a crucial subject. Not just this but the increasing competition has also led to journalism counting on political parties for funds, thus biased news presentation.

Social Media: The New News Source
Social Media: The New News Source

For a short time, social media sites were considered the perfect successor. Since social media didn’t believe TRP’s, it had been assumed that bias wouldn’t seep in there. But social media comes with its perils. In some other context, the ‘personalised content’ trait of Social Media would be appreciated but within the context of stories, personalised content causes you to sleep in a bubble. You’ll be shown the content, you engage the foremost with. So if you follow leftist accounts, your opinion will progress from what’s shown as facts on those accounts. Which entirely kills the motive of stories within the first place. News should only present events as they’re happening. What to form of it should dwell in the hands of the audience, which, unfortunately, isn’t the case, right now. Social Media has also caused a faster spread of lies. Independent journalism, that became a fad with youngsters like Dhruv Rathee and Pratik Sinha could have brought change but even then the importance of viewer discretion can’t be neglected.

Need of the hour is that the ‘spectator’ becomes the ‘questioner’.

Ravish Kumar, Journalist, NDTV

The circumstances that we live in mandates every citizen to actively pursue true news. To become what they call, “active citizens”. To understand everything about everything and keep an open mind with well-formed opinions. As a citizen of a democratic country like India, it’s our responsibility to not just receive news but actively engage with it. We can not stop watching the news altogether since it’s only when we hear differing opinions that we get to introspect and see if we truly believe in what we are saying. The trick is to seek out a balance between the consumption of news and it’s analysis.

Marital Rape – A Taboo deemed as a Duty and Cloaked in the name of Culture

Written By – Ishita Singh

Marriage between a man and a woman in India implies that both have agreed to sexual intercourse. The concept of Marital rape elucidates as an act of sexual intercourse without one spouse’s consent. It also considers as a form of Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse and a Heinous Crime.

Forced sexual intercourse between couple perceives as a Criminal Offence in almost every country. But India has not yet criminalized marital rape.

In absence of a law on Marital rape, there is no exact data on number of cases of marital law . According to a research, 1 in 3 men admit to raping their wives. A woman is raped by her husband every three second. This number has slightly increased during the lockdown.

The definition of Rape codified in Section 375 of The Indian Penal Code (IPC),1860,

It includes all forms of sexual assault involving non-consensual intercourse with a woman with the help of six descriptions. The exceptions is “Sexual Intercourse by a man with his own wife, IS NOT A RAPE”. This law amended in 2013 but no action was taken against framing a law on Marital Rape.

It also violates Article 14 and Article 21 which promises Right to Equality and Right to Life and Personal Liberty of the Indian Constitution.

Marital Rape also converts as a form of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence victims can take refuge under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. It defines sexual abuse as ‘Any conduct of sexual nature that abuses, humiliates, degrades or violates the dignity of the woman’. It considers marital rape not as a form of rape but as a form of sexual abuse.

Rape by Husband Is Not A Rape?

Most of the people believe if a law on marital rape amend women will misuse it. But all are assumptions only.

In the landmark case of Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan, The Supreme Court extended this right of privacy in working environments also. Similarly, we can translate that there is a right of privacy to get into a sexual relationship even in married couples.

We are living in 21st Century. The era of legal reforms and revolutions. it is of requisite importance to take steps against marital rape. That would be a possible step towards advancing the way of actual development.

Despite being a developing country, such an improvement is far from the real world. There are some differences between rape and marital rape. Though they are both heinous crimes which could scar the victim, Indian judiciary are not ready to take action against marital rape.

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Language of Humanity:-LONG FORGOTTEN.

Written by:- Vaishnavi Bhandari

Dear Maa,

” This might and may not reach your doorstep, just like I never returned from that tragic day of 18th September 2013.

Maa, we live in a world that has forgotten to speak the language of humanity, the language of kindness. All this society knows now is the language of monstrosity and language of inhumanity. Our nation used to be a place where men raised wars when somebody tried to put their filthy hands on their honor, but presently some men are less of men than we could have ever thought them to be, in my case it was my own uncle. Poverty smogged in his head so much that he believed selling me for money would bring him a fortune and the life he has always desired. Maybe, he is having the time of his life too. But was I worth just being used as a deal? Maa, you once told me that the right man will bring me Gajras for my long hair, and even though he might not have money to fulfill my desires he’ll have jars full of love inside himself and that would be enough for me, but now, my hair is just used for grabbing and at 3 am in the night I hear noises of shattered expectations and whiskey bottles. Remember, when I broke your favorite glass and you just picked me up from the place so that I won’t get hurt? The sweet language of love in which you assured me that it was fine and accepted my apologies? Things have taken a little twist now,

I am made to dance on broken glasses and after they’re done filling their throats with whiskey and rum,

To scratch me and consume me, they thereupon come.

Maa, you once told me I will grow to be a beautiful woman with green bangles jigging on my hands, but instead of buying me bangles, men tie me in handcuffs or use their wrists do clutch mine as tightly as they can, the only color which stays on my hands is crimson blood red.

Maa, you once said that my skin is as soft as rose petals and matches the fragrance of berries, you advised me to take care of it, I tried to maa, I really did, but I remember the curtains in my room, so thin,

worn through, scratched, slapped, groaned just like my skin.

 Maa, you once said No means No and men should understand it,

But when I said the two-letter word,

My face was cupped and stabbed on the wall.

I was told to mind my language, I was a prostitute after all.

I tried to take all of it but I was tarnished with the title of ‘Prostitute’ and was broken every bit

I tried running away

but there was never a single way

I was made to do unthinkable things

Were they really human beings?

Maa, you always knew my love for poetries but I never thought my last one would be describing my plight. Sorry maa, I quit.”

Kashi ended the letter and overdosed on the drugs she was being given regularly.

This was an abstract letter, but what about the ones who have actually been in this situation? The circumstance we would never wish even for our enemies?

We live in a world that has ratified man’s absolute control over another. The unjustified trade and enslavement of human beings in this century reflect the state of affairs which confirms that the greatest ethical challenge facing the globe today is the lack of understanding of the language of humanity, kindness, and mercy.

Sex/human trafficking involves the use of human deception to exploit the vulnerable through forceful stripping of their dignity and self-worth. It also portrays a contrasting resemblance if unevenness among equals with regard to the right of every individual over her/his life, as trafficked victims are compelled to sell their freedom and are subject to coercive domination. 

This phenomenon manifests in the form of sex trafficking, women and children are merely reduced to the status of satisfying sexual commodity. Victims are subjected to constant abuse in order to force them to submit. They’re led in the pit of darkness where even cops conspire with traffickers in return for free sexual favors. Sometimes parents themselves sell their girls, school-age minor girls are forced to now in front of wealthy older men so that their parents can have all the privileges.

The most brutal form of sex trafficking is when people start speaking the language of exploitation. Where sadists feed on the popular belief that having sex with a virgin would cure them of sexually transmitted diseases. Little girls are raped and plagued until they are physically damaged and deprived of the natural light and satisfaction of motherhood. Male sex slavery and prostitution also exists. The ones who spoke the language of religion are huge fans of the Devdasi system, where young girls are trafficked and married off to a ‘temple deity.’ They are forced to provide their services to preachers.

Humanity is an act of compassion, concern, sympathy. It is worship, religion, behavior that spreads joy but most importantly is a language, a language which the dumb can speak, the deaf can hear and the blind can see. However, the one’s without any disabilities neglect to learn this language. Language is not just a collection of words in an unabridged dictionary but the individual and social passion of human beings. A number of languages emerged, died after some time along with them died the language of humanity too. In this society, seven billion or more people who are breathing the existing corruption, inequality, exploitation, harassment, and prejudice are striving to be free. It is time we learn this language because without them the culture of our nation blows up along with the people who live in it.

Article 21 and the violation of Fundamental Rights – A Brief Review

India is an independent democratic country. According to the Indian Constitution, every life has its fundamental rights. But the country’s current scenario says something else.

Some interruptions of the Indian constitution were always present since the beginning which might trouble the flow of our normal life and the irony is the nowadays violation is pretended to be normal.

Then what does a layman do if their fundamental rights are violated?

What will be the government’s step if the Constitution is disobeyed?

How far can it be said that the rules have been violated?

A bunch of questions are there and the answers have to be found for the sake of countrymen’s well being.

What is Article 21?

“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.”

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution has two rights:

  1. Right to life.
  2. Right to personal liberty.

Right to livelihood:

The right to life or livelihood is simply defined as a part of the Indian constitution which means one has its right to live in the country.

Right to privacy:

It was developed through a series of decisions over the past six decades.

Finally, on 24th August 2017, the Supreme Court declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution.

Right to shelter:

The Supreme Court declared that the right to life means the development in a civilized society. For an animal, it is the only protection of the body and in the case of humans, it is to grow in every aspect.

Right to medical care and health:

In Article 21 it was held by Supreme Court that, the right to health is a part of the fundamental right provided under the Indian Constitution.

It incorporates the provisions undertaking the quality of physical and mental health as well.

Right to education:

It comes directly from the right to livelihood. Being educated or literate is the basic right of all human beings.

Right to a healthy environment:

To grow in every possible way, a healthy environment is a basic requirement. That is why the right to a healthy environment also comes under the fundamental right.

Article 21

What are the fundamental rights:

Seven fundamental rights were originally documented by the Constitution.

  • Right to freedom.
  • Right against exploitation.
  • Right to freedom of religion.
  • Cultures and educational rights.
  • Right to property.
  • Right to Constitutional remedies.
  • Right to education.
Fundamental Rights

Current scenario and the violation of fundamental rights:

There is a popular term, rules are meant to broken and that is sometimes laughable if a school going boy does as it does not harm our society. But what if it affects the community?

Sexual harassment is a drastic violation of the fundamental rights that disobey the provision of Article 21 in the Indian Constitution.

It is also known that immediate action must be taken in favour of the victim, whose fundamental rights have been violated.

Despite knowing the consequences, the various forms of sexual assault such as molestation, rape has been taken place repetitively in the heart of the country.

These incidents always raise questions on the right to life or security.

Parents are always thinking about our well being and nothing is problematic regarding that. But the problem arises when they pressurize their child to fulfill their ambitions without listening to the children’s passion.

The rate of suicide in India is increasing day by day and most of them are students. Peer pressure is a critical thing that can even snatch so many young lives.

Do they have no right to lead their life with their own choice? Here somehow, the right to life has been violated pathetically.

Being educated is not a luxury rather a basic need to survive in life. Unfortunately, more than 10 million children are working as laborers in various fields.

Poverty in the country has become an obstacle in the way of education.

The saddest part is there are so many rural areas in our countries where a girl child is treated as the burden of her parents and they forced the girl to marry even before she becomes an adult.

These were the few cases of violating the fundamental rights and the list is never-ending.

This has been happening for a long period.

The third world country is developing in every field. It would be a magnificent step if the government takes such strict actions regarding the violation of fundamental rights.

-By Saswati Chattopadhyay.