This is my mind

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I have moved from here Long time back. Don't think anybody visits this page but still just in case they do. I now maintain a single blog on wordpress where i mostly put everything...from heart or mind.


Please do visit me there.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Nationl Meet on Child Labour and Right to Education

New Delhi, 26 Aug: A gamut of representatives of civil society organizations and networks drafted a resolution of demands today at the concluding session of the two-day ‘National Meet on Abolition of Child Labour and on Right to Education’.

Taking the process forward the group would meet the Power Minister S.K. Shinde and hand over the memorandum. It will also be sent to all the Members of Parliament, the Chief Ministers, and the Prime Minister,

On the second day of the National Meet, grassroots workers, social activists and academicians from 15 states of the country not only shared their experiences on the prevailing status of Child Labour and children’s education in their respective states but also evolved a common set of action plan for the next three months – till the beginning of the next Parliament Session.

Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Agarwal, Advocate, Supreme Court reminded those present that it is a very critical issue that has its own political ramifications. Hence the civil society has to make a concerted effort in mobilizing and pressuring the Government so that the policy makers understand the gravity of the issue. He further added that mass movement in Delhi has already been initiated with the organizing of camps for the children who were denied admission in MCD schools.

Reinforcing the need of a discussion on the issue in the Parliament, Rajan Mohanty, National Convener of Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL) emphasized that there is an urgent requirement to make sustainable efforts at Parliamentary Advocacy on this issue and at the same time strengthen the national campaign by including grassroots voices.
The five-point resolution, which was prepared under the guidelines of M.V. Foundation, Social Jurist and CACL demands, the Parliament of India must ensure that the Act on free and compulsory education is properly implemented at national level. It also opposes Central Government decision to enact a law on the basis of the ‘Model Bill’ at the state level. The resolution further demands that the Parliament recognizes 250 million children in 6-14 yeas age group and of 160 million children in 0-6 years age group as citizen of the country and takes up full responsibility of them.
Yet another demand is that Parliament should pass a law to put blanket ban on all forms of Child Labour.
Finally the resolution urges the Parliament to ensure that principles of equity and justice is reflected in every clause that is introduced for protection of children’s Right to Education in accordance with the Kothari Commission recommendations of the Common School System.
Pointing out the urgency of the need to build a mass movement around the issue, Enakshi Ganguly of Haq, Centre for Child Right said, “It is very unfortunate even after 20 years of drafting of the Bill we are stuck on the same arguments. We need to stop and think whether there is something lacking in our strategy that such a critical issue has not assumed the character of a National Movement”

Reinforcing the need of a discussion on the issue in the Parliament, Rajan Mohanty, National Convener of Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL) emphasized that there is an urgent requirement to make sustainable efforts at Parliamentary Advocacy on this issue and at the same time strengthen the national campaign by including grassroots voices.

Shramana Majumder 9818095049, 011-41600905 or Suraj Kumar at 9810085910
Source Social Jurist
My comments

I happned to attend the above mentioned national level meeting. I was listening to the Civil society representatives quite carefully........a question that was being repetatively asked was "why the need for a common school system, absolute abolition of child labour and complete access to right to education have not taken the shape of a national movement." Why it is so that a larege section of the society are actually not interested in taking up the cause.

It is a great inspiration to see the amount of mass campaigning being done for Right to Information, we need such large level of campaign for education as well. We need to involve all groups of people in it. It is commonly understood that lack of education is a problem only faced by rural India which is a myth. Delhi alone has around 6-7 lacs of children out of school. True India doesn't lives in the City but the cities have a lot of migration which is why its important that steps are taken to ensure 100% education for children in the cities.

To my understanding its very important to involve the upper middle class urban youth in the campaign. People from this genre have a lot of resources, inclination but lack in direction. They can be oriented by the people behind the cause to become more proactive. The youth should be able to take positive action wherever they see a child of 6-14 not going to school and engaged in child labour.

Further, as being pointed by almost all participants in the meeting the thumbrule adopted by MV foundation, non opposition, we should follow that. We should seek support from all parties, entities, groups. To give an example social jurist along with CACL can have a representation in the upcoming Hutch Delhi Marathon. The event attracts a lot of attention we would be able to attract (a) media attention and (b) Middle and upper middle class' attention to the cause through it.

To attract mass attention we must adhere to technology, internet, online discussion forums, online communities through Yahoo or Google groups. We must learn from Anna Hazare and others involved in RTI Campaign.

Education is the back bone of development we cannot compromise on it on any ground. No body should be allowed to contend that children have to work because otherwise there is no one to earn bread. Given a situation where the child is the only bread earner in a family the state has to provide the bread to the family and to the child...whatever it takes for the state to clear the child's road to School. This being a fundamental right no other argument can stand. It's time this message is spread like fire amongst each and every tax payer in this country. After all we pay an education cess to ensure education for all children. It is then the responsibility of the state to clear all obstacles.

Another point that came up in the meeting was that information and data, its collection and distribution amongst all levels of activists is extremely important for activism and campaign. A grass root level worker from Assam said its very difficult for them to attain information as to what decision is being taken in Center, what strategies and action plan are being adopted by bigger and more active NGOs.

The campaign is surely taking shape but a lot needs to be done and More and more volunteers are needed for it.

Please Join Social Jurist as a volunteer and contribute.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Grow up people

People sometimes act so cowardly and Hypocritacilly. I have written testimonials for some people I know. Wanted to have this guy's feedback on what I had to write about him. He read it and got so panic stricken, left offliners for me, comments on the blog itself and then spoke over the phone asking me to do the needful editing. The reason for panic...only the words

the rest of his time is spent in drinking and shopping.

I haven't written drinking what...haven't mentioned anything like he drinks a lot and is a drunkard. Just the mention of drinks is defamatory for him. He is an IITian and an MBA has spent 3 years in abroad (Ameriaca, Singapore etc) holding top notch corporate position and yet by those words I have put him at the risk of loosing his reputation in the eyes of society and family. This is what he had to say (Yahoo Messenger Offliners)

SP: dont forget internet is an open book! u have to be careful about what u
write else people can make 1+1 = 4!

SP: oye madam ... yeh kya kya likh rakha hai aapne logon ke baare mein! no
one here drinks like a fish or shops like an alcoholic! all we do is have a
party or 2 in a month! KIndly edit as not only my friends/bros/sis are net savvy
but also this sends a wrong message across!

A wrong message??? coz I said drinks? Reputation of what? Since when did drinking become such a taboo.

Who are you fooling man. Don't the people around you already know that you drink. And a friendly testimony in which of many things there is a passing reference to your drinking habits would be taken so seriously by your friends and family. Strange.

Grow up People of India. Open your eyes to things which are of much more significance than mere reputation, tradition, culture, morality, sanctity, decent indecent...there's much more to the human existence. Log kya sochenge...kab tak hum is sawal mein uljhe rahenge...can I not find one person who isn't burdened with this question. How can we close our eyes to things which are too evident to proclaim that they doesn't exist. Probably your Net-savy sisters also drink and if they do, that shouldn't be an issue with your parents.

This way my another friend is sensible though in many way he is a typical male chauvinist. He is a Bihari pandit. For studies, like all bihari sons he has been in Delhi. Here he has picked up drinking and eating Non Veg. He has told his dad that he has started non veg and he has aproved. His dad is a renowned Astrologer himself having clients from all over the world and yet he aproved. But he haven't told them that he smokes and drinks too...that's because they haven't asked him and he says the day a context comes he would be honest about it. he has no fear and makes no deliberate attempt to be discreet about it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

This post is in reaction to Paavani's post. First I started writing in her comments section, then I thought of writing on the DBM mailing list. Finally I thought it would be safest to post it here. However I couldn't post it to blogger (for some reason i couldn't publish) so posted on the mailing list. And once again all hell broke loose.

I wonder why is it so difficult to express

First of all Paavani I applaud your bravery on this post.. though I am not sure if you are yourself aware or not but you have raised some extremely sensitive issues...

"So the question is when there is a popularity of such event, people love to be
part of bloggers meet even though internally they feel its more like a socializing meet. And you expect to meet new friends and on getting chances, you mingle up"

a) What is the substance of this commune...where are we going with all these meets?

AFAIK the bloggers when were united in this forum... the purpose was to just try out something new, the culture of net users was very different back then and as TF puts it in the BBC program "meeting people you have only known through web wasn't very common" untill this happen. The first meet am sure must have happened under exitement and little bit of apprehension but then they actually liked it and continued with it...

Off late I have begin to wonder after 2+ years and a series of significant meets isn't it time for something more substantial and constructive

"Why did they never become one? And what were the issues that rose up for
registration and most important what about those bloggers’ opinion who
joined both the groups? Is there any difference"

b) Why two seperate groups under same nomenclature and the politics amongst them?

Who better can talk about this but me..... you gotta ask the oldies of both the groups to understand who better but me... But I am falling short of courage these days so would refrain. Just one thing, blogging politics haven't begun in India yet in the true sense but its not too far... Your post have instance of it though is a little scattered.

One small eg. The XIIth Meet was called in a very short notice and we had 22 member participating... with big shots like Dan coming along...... now there surely is a politics behind it and one needs to understand that...

BTW what registration are you talking bout? Don't tell me the other group have done some kinda registration....

c) Why some members who quit some time back have joined again? Did they join only for the XIIth meet or have they joined the group again? Do they have a notion as to what is the purpose of this group since they are the oldest and also the founding members. What is their present take on the existence of two groups? Are they a part of the other groups?

d) And finally honestly how was the XIIth Meet? Could all those who attended give an honest opinion of the meet?

Personally if I was a first timer in this meet I wouldn't have been interested in coming for another one. Not saying it was bad but not worth repeating especially with the cost that was involved. The 22 never interacted as a group except for the round of introduction. As soon as it was over everybody was busy talking amongst themselves. There was no fecilitator and no one to hold a discussion. The venue was chosen arbitly and important points like balance between financial capacity and spending preferences of all members, location, choice of food and timings were not kept in mind.

I am always the one to ask the wrong questions, am always giving the bad news.... while I too won't take name but I have been told by a member, and i quote, "delhibloggers need some strong moderation I think, I feel the group is degenerating into idle talk."

I am not supporting this statement completely for I don't think it needs moderation... but I am concerned about (asking me what is *my* concern? good question but I don't have an answer) such bloggers who join this community with a certain perceptions and expectations but are disappointed....

May be we should have more opinion on all that...


Please don't start a flame war.... that's not at all my intention... would rather like to Apologise in advance if any of my staments amount to flaming.....and I also don't have the courage to fight anymore flame wars....

The word *politics* here is being used in its true sense as used in social and philosophical research and not as understood in the popular indian context.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I personally never felt so disgusted with this newspaper before....... but this was heights.....

They published this news of people renting out their wife in areas Gujarat. For long Gujarat have had a large number of Tribes (Bedia to name one) who are traditional prostitute. Sex trade is now wearing a different mask, thanks to female infanticide and feoticide, and men are allowing their wives to be a wife of another man, belonging to upper caste, on a monthly rental. And we thought indecent proposal was indecent.

So far so good but what makes this news paper disgusting to me? They complimented this news with an 'item number' a cartoon.

[Disclaimer] Am uploading here the screenshot of that cartoon taken from the E paper site of that daily, as I couldn't figure out how to link the e paper news item.

Did you smile at that Cartoon? You should coz its meant to be funny.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Short write up on Blogging

'Blogging' an individual’s power, role and freedom when it comes to publishing a little piece of his mind in the web. His revolt against the fourth estate’s privilege, editor’s political monopoly, publisher’s economic convenience. Blogging a businessman’s platform to reach out to his customer, interact with them heart to heart, an artist’s platform to showcase his work, no more holding costly exhibitions, a non-techie’s answer to a software guy, “HTML isn’t the key dude, I have push button publishing”. Blogging an introvert’s paradise, an extrovert’s paradise too…coz he just can’t have enough of talking so is blogging, a loner’s ‘dear diary’, a community for net-workers….there is just no end to what you can do on a blog.

That was the summary of the write up I presented at the Seminar on "New Media Concept and Applications" conducted by Apeejay Institute of Mass Communications. (AIMC)

And here's my detailed take on blogging...Read on....


There was a time when publishing a little piece of your mind and be heard by millions was a privilege shared by the members of the Fourth Estate the journalists. Try to think of it, the last time you wanted to express your point of view, no matter how insignificant that was, was the only way you could do that was by writing a ‘letter to the editor’? Half of the time the letters didn’t get publish and if at all it did, it so did only after fair amount of editing on his part. Not anymore. Now, if you want to express you have a way to make yourself heard virtually that is. You can now blog about anything and everything.

Online publication by an Individual in the form of a weblog, a phenomenon, which began in and around 1994, has since then rapidly grown and the number of blogs that are being published are increasing even as we speak. Blog a term derived from the traditional concept of weblog, which were originally web pages that were news based. The editors of a weblog presented links both to little-known corners of the web and to current news articles they feel are worthy of note. The links were accompanied by the editors personal commentary and point of view. The weblogs were acting as filters with the readers being presented with the most relevant news as according to the author of the weblog. Earlier it was mandatory for the author of an weblog to give a link to a content he was publishing.

1999 saw the coming of free software like and These are service providers which gave a lot of freedom and options to the author of a weblog. These services which are basically a automated publishing software made publishing on the weblog much easier, free from any kind of restrictions and hassle. The filtering process and all sort of mandates was done away with. It is at this point of time that the term blog was coined. Simon Dumenco, a coloumnist on an online publication house, says “There is no such thing as a blogger. Blogging is just writing -- writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology”


In its simplest form a blog is “a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links”. defines a blog as “A blog is your easy-to-use web site, where you can quickly post thoughts, interact with people, and more”. in its opening page says “ is now offering free and easy to update pages with an easy-to-use web interface… you can have your own pitas page (with an url like that you can update from any web browser, without fussing around with uploading, editing pages, and all that time-wasting junk. You can customize it to look however you want, or use one of the templates we've made already, and you can give your friends access to it so you can all have a page you all contribute to….

While presenting their blogging service says’ “Publish your own thoughts anytime, participate in lively discussions and communities, make new friends.”

Comparison with Traditional Websites

Before internet came access to information was not as easy as it is now. With the advancement in internet technology a website or in lay man’s language a became a very familiar name. Corporate houses, Government department, individual entrepreneurs, NGOs, Publication houses, restaurant owners, they all started having their own websites. We all know how handy these websites became. Any thing you need anytime of the day you just need to have access to Internet. With the coming of the latest broad band Internet and the Internet through cable the websites are even more useful a source of information on anything under the sun. However, for an ordinary individual reaching out still remained a difficult task. Why?

First, Creating your own website is a costly affair. Second, it requires specific technical skills. You are required to buy webspace, and to create the site you need to take technical help of a software professional or may be you’d have to know HTML language, a language used to create a webpage. Blogging on the other hand is free and allows an individual, with absolutely no knowledge of HTML or any other computer language, to create his own personal webpage. Blogging is as simple as writing in a Microsoft word file. All you gotta do to make your writings be read by the whole world wide web is to click a button to upload the content and publish it. An individual can sit in a Rs. 10 per hour cyber café and start creating a blog. It’s as simple as opening an email account and starting composing and sending an email.

Thirdly, updating an website is a complicated and is never done on a regular basis. A blog, given it’s hassle free publications options is be regularly updated, almost daily or may be even twice or thrice a day depending upon the blogger’s time, interest and enthusiasm. I personally used to write almost daily when I started blogging although have now become irregular at it. But I still feel a sense of responsibility towards my readers so a regularity needs to be compulsorily maintained.

Blogs and Mainstream Media

A first hand report, a personal touch is what made the sting operations so favourite and popular. A blogging is like a sting operation. I can open up a blog under a false name just as I can create anonymous yahoo mail accounts. This anonymous blog can then contain first hand information on the rampant corruption in a public office, the inside story of an ordinary girl becoming Miss India, the original story teller of major bollywood success. I, the author of this anonymous blog could be anyone, could be a top level official at a public office, could be an insignificant spot boy in a movie set. To bring certain things to light I no longer need to approach an editor of some news papers or magazine, I no longer feel insecure about loosing my job or life for being the whistle blower.

News and facts presented or brought into light through blog has a unique personal touch of the author. This personal touch brings an amount of trust in the content. A well written blog is an intelligent mind talking. Regular readers would tend to form an opinion about the blogger and his credibility; accordingly they tend to believe or disbelieve in what the blogger have to say on a particular issue. This is mostly missing in a mainstream media as it is very well known that all news stories passes through the editor’s table where it is crucially scrutinized and politically edited. Mainstream media nowadays is becoming more and more a marketable product with the coming of yellow journalism. This have created the perfect backdrop for a blog with a journalistic approach.

There are classic examples of serious blogs in US and UK which are trusted more than the newspaper. One such blogger is Salem Pax the Baghdad Blogger.

MSM has a limited circulation and a blogger can reach out to the entire world population who are accessing internet. Of course writing necessarily doesn’t mean it is being read. The blogger also needs to put hard work in promoting his blog.

Blog as an Advertising tool

I used fair and lovely for the prescribed period, alas I didn’t become a single shade fairer. If I could catch hold the makers of fair and lovely by the collar and speak out right at his/her face, “Look here, your product doesn’t work” I would be so much happy. This is precisely the fun that makes a blog an effective advertising tool. If I am a maker of certain things say garments, or jewelry I can blog about it. My blog can contain my day to day adventour with my business, how I designed an excellent necklace and how I never wanted to sell it to anyone else, but had to give away coz I was offered an excellent rate. How I took a break and went backpacking to a nearby village and how I got inspired, looking at their traditional wear and make up, to create a fusion of modernity and tradition in my next line of clothing. If I am a service provider say a lawyer I can write my daily ups and downs in the court, how a client who came to seek divorce found a friend in me and how I got caught up between a friend who wants the home to stay and a lawyer whose only objective is to break.

The reader’s access to the bloggers mind and soul builds an amazing trust. The next time the readers need a designer and they have an option of going to 5 different designers all equally unknown to them, they will go to the one whose blog they have read and liked.

The reader also have an option of getting back to the blogger on an issue, has an option of leaving a comment on the blog, this comment again is a publication of that reader’s thoughts.

Blogs to showcase your creative writing skills

There is a poet hidden in all of us. Love, hate, dream, desires, failures they all make us write songs sweet and painful. Before blogging one had absolutely no option but to write the songs and poems in his/her diary and read it out to some close friends. I remember having written a love song when I was in school. I thought it was good and wanted to give it in my school magazine. Having fought enough with the inner soul I gathered enough courage to show it to the concerned teacher to be shortlisted for the magazine. She rejected it. And till date I think the only reason she rejected was coz she thought it was a bit too matured a love song for a school kid, we were supposed to write about “twinkle twinkle little star”. Now I can write anything and everything including erotica on my blog. There are thousands of such blog with excellent content. There are fiction writers, poets who are happy writing only on their blog, they are happy with the love and respect of their regular readers and don’t really want to get a real book published.

Many more options of blogs

There is just no end to the long list of purposes for which you can start a blog. Having started with one blog I now have about 7 blogs. Each for a different purpose. Though all of these are not updated regularly but I do update them whenever something relevant comes up. These days there blogs on topics ranging from News, current affairs, corruption, movies, music, food, creative writing, social awareness, fund raising, travel and tourism. We have blogs which are opened to keep an archive of the day to day activity of some online group of forum. Like the Delhi Blogger’s Meet is a blog which keeps an account of the events of the Yahoo group with the same name. I have started a blog and a yahoo group on the theme of backpacking. Lets go wanderers. Similarly we have the Caferati blog. We have blog being started only for a specific purpose say to announce a one-time event, as a call for all to join in some project. I had put up a post on one of my blog calling for a Protest March for Jessica Lal’s murder case. The comments section of a blog can also be used as an attendance register for a particular event.

Then we have blogs which are actually collections of other blogs. The authors of these blogs popularly known as blog tracker keeps a track of many popular blogs and features a certain post from some blog on their page with a line or two of his own point of view.

Finally and one of the most rapidly growing types, we have absolutely personal blogs. A blog which is just like an electronic diary. One can publish his or her thoughts with original name or anonymously. We all wanna a share our emotions. Some fear sharing it some don’t. A personal blog gives an option to express their thoughts and emotions.

The wikipedia lists these following 16 types of blogs

Moblog (mobile blogs)
Political Blog

My personal experience

I began blogging at a point of time when I had a lot to share with the world. I had begun to believe I lead a fascinating life and it would be so great to know me. Now, I am a person who is completely self obsessed but cannot actually talk about my own life in person. Could be some sort of strange psychology that on any given topic I can go on talking but ask about myself I would have difficulty expressing. Not that I don’t have anything to say but because I have so much to say that it becomes hard to sum up everything and speak. So I began writing down whatever I had to say. I realized there can be no better a listener than a face less reader who reads and perceives what I have written in his own way and if he has some queries he can get back to me at the comments section. Some body once asked me if I find the computer to be a good listener. I said “yes” because it does the job of taking my thoughts to my readers but doesn’t asks me questions. For most parts… I intend to say only that much which I have written on my blog. I don’t want people asking me questions about what I have written. Blogging works that way coz I don’t answer any unnecessary query on my comments section.

Right from my first post onwards I started getting compliments on my writing skill which gave me more and more confidence and enthusiasm. I started having readers who visited my blog regularly. Soon I started feeling responsible for putting up some post or the other so my readers won’t go back empty handed. Posting regularly became self-imposed duty. As the compliments greaw I also started believeing in my excellent writing skills. I joined a writers forum called caferati thus I started calling my self a creative writer, a poet.

Blog is perhaps the only media to show case your creativity with such ease and comfort and free of cost. Be it writing, photography, sculptor, pottery, painting, even cooking etc. You need not arrange an exhibition, you need not approach a publisher.

Having started the personal blog, ‘This is my truth’ purely for venting out my feelings and to keep a track on my eventful life I eventually started another blog where I started writing about stuffs that comes out more from my mind than from my heart and I called it ‘This is my mind’. The reason why I made a separate blog for mind is because as I became more accustomed to blogging I started using the blog URLs as my email signatures. Now I didn’t want my official mail to carry the URL to my personal blog so I separated the two.

In the blog “this is my mind” I write about my take on the current issues, my attempt to raise a social awareness, legal awareness, basically my point of view no matter how insignificant it is can now reach to millions. I plan to start up an NGO and I know I would be starting a blog by the name of the NGO to keep an online archive of the events and will go for a paid website only after couple of years of its working.

I also have a collaborative blog with a friend on which we talk about love and concern for our city Delhi. This blog is supposed to be a community blog for any delhi based blogger.

I also have a photo blog which are also called photolog. Again having a photolog doesn’t mean I am a great photographer but I still have it…that’s about blogging…anybody can.

Over all these days of blogging I have picked up on the art of getting traffic to your blog, you read other’s blog leave a comment with your blog URL, they come back and read your blog. I have joined blogger’s community, have made some nice friends. It has been a different experience altogether some thing I never perceived. When I started I didn’t know where I was heading now I feel this is the best that has happened to me.

The latest in blogging

Blogging is almost about to become a complete industry with its own jargon, blooging tools, blogging accessories, virtual exchange of gifts on Christmas amongst the bloggers, virtual blog marathon called blogathon, virtual blogging festival where posts and blogs are showcased in one host blog, we have awards for various categories of bloggers, blogs, posts etc. eg. Blogerati awards, we have a virtual share market for bloggers where you canyou’re your blog listed and then you can find out what’s the value of your blog, we have tools like hit counter, who is tagging me, who is online, etc. we have virtual banners carrying message which a blog can wear on World Aids day.

With google Ad Sense one can even make money from one’s blog.

We have ordinary guy next door like Gaurav Sabnis who became an over night hero amongst blogger all over the world. Apparently he was mentally harassed by a corporate house for having expressed his freedom of speech too freely, the ruckus ultimately made him leave his job all because he believed in the basic blogging ethic, freedom of speech. We have authors of India Uncut and Desi Pundit who have almost become celebrities in the blogsphere.

And this is just the beginning. India soon is going to see a revolution in blogging with more and more real life professional journalist giving up the traditional path of running around a busy editor, and starting a blog instead. These days we have the major dailies tracking the blogs and featuring them in their pages. Blogging in India is soon going to be a mature media.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Crime against woman and children : Obscenity

Crime against woman has been an ever expanding subject with the society inventing new ways to suppress a woman. It is ironical that while some of the offences were defined in the Indian Penal Code way back in 1870, with the advancement advent of 21st century woman, advancement in science and technology, rise in economy, we have seen advent of new forms of crime against woman forcing the legislature to draft new legislations like Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Indecent Representation Of Woman (Prohibition) Act, The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation And Prevention Of Misuse) Act, 1994 and many more. As humanity progresses we have new crimes and new laws to curb those crimes.

Provisions in Indian Penal Code
Dowry - Section 304 B and Section 498 A (to be read with Section 113 A of Indian Evidence Act)

Section 304 B

(1) Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called "dowry death", and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.

Explanation- For the purpose of this sub-section, "dowry" shall have the same meaning. as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

(2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.
Under ordinary circumstances in criminal jurisprudence the accused is presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty by the prosecution. The relevance of this particular section lies in the fact that it shifts the burden of proof from the prosecution on the accused in the following circumstances.

  • Death of wife in unnatural way
  • Death within 7 years of marriage
  • Before death there have been incidence of cruelty and harassment
  • Such cruelty and harassment was related to demands for dowry
In such circumstances the court shall presume that the husband or relative have caused the death.

Section 498 A
Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation- For the purpose of this section, "cruelty" means-
(a) Any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
(b) Harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.
The demand for dowry is the required mens rea to constitute this crime.
In a case where the newly wed wife died due to burning the facts and circumstances of the case couldn’t prove either murder or abatement to suicide under section 306, the guilty party were caught under this Section.
The offence under section 498 A is non bailable and non compoundable.
Rape - Section 375 and 376
Section 375 A man is said to commit "rape" who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions:-
First - Against her will.
Secondly - Without her consent.
Thirdly - With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
Fourthly - With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
Fifthly - With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
Sixthly - With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.
Explanation- Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the
offence of rape.
Exception- Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape
Section 376

1) Whoever, except in the cases provided for by subsection (2), commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine unless the women raped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age, in which cases, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both:
Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than seven years.
Custodial Rape by Police Personnel – Severe punishment
(2) Whoever,-
being a police officer commits rape-
(i) within the limits of the police station to which he is appointed; or
(ii) in the premises of any station house whether or not situated in the police station to which he is appointed; or
(iii) on a woman in his custody or in the custody of a police officer subordinate to him; or
(b) being, a public servant, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody as such public servant or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him; or
(c) being on the management or on the staff of a jail, remand home or other place of custody established by or under any law for the time being in force or of a woman's or children's institution takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on any inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution; or
(d) being, on the management or on the staff of a hospital, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in that hospital; or
(e) commits rape on a woman knowing her to be pregnant; or
(f) commits rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age; or
(g) commits gang rape,
shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may be for life and shall also be liable to fine:
Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term of less than ten years.
Explanation 1- Where a woman is raped by one or more in a group of persons acting in furtherance of their common intention, each of the persons shall be deemed to have committed gang rape within the meaning of this sub-section.
Explanation 2- "Women's or children's institution" means an institution, whether called an
orphanage or a home for neglected woman or children or a widows' home or by any other name, which is established and maintained for the reception and care of woman or children.
Explanation 3- "Hospital" means the precincts of the hospital and includes the precincts of any institution for the reception and treatment of persons during convalescence or of persons requiring, medical attention or rehabilitation.
Rape by husband when punishable
376A. Intercourse by a man with his wife during separation

Whoever has sexual intercourse with his own wife, who is living separately from him under a decree of separation or under any custom or usage without her consent shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
Sexual intercourse when punishable

376B. Intercourse by public servant with woman in his custody
Whoever, being a public servant, takes advantage of his official position and induces or seduces, any woman, who is in his custody as such public servant or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him, to have sexual intercourse with him, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.
376C. Intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc
Whoever, being the superintendent or manager of a jail, remand home or other place of custody established by or under any law for the time being in force or of a woman's or children's institution takes advantage of his official position and induces or seduces any female inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution to have sexual intercourse with him, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation 1- "Superintendent" in relation to jail, remand home or other place of custody or a women’s or- children's institution includes a person holding any other office in such jail, remand home, place or institution by virtue of which he can exercise any authority or control over its inmates.
Explanation 2- The expression "women's or children's institution" shall have the same meaning as in Explanation 2 to sub-section (2) of section 376.
376D. Intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital
Whoever, being on the management of a hospital or hem. on the staff of a hospital takes advantage of his position and has sexual intercourse with any woman in that hospital, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation- The expression "hospital" shall have the same meaning as in Explanation 3 to sub-section (2) of section 376.
Offence under section 376 is cognizable and non bailable
Trial should be in Camera
Prohibition on publication of pictures or names of the victim.
Section 354. Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.
Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
Sexual harassment
Section 509. Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman
Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
Kidnapping of child for various immoral activity
366. Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etcWhoever kidnaps or abducts any woman with intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled, to marry any person against her. will, or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and whoever, by means of criminal intimidation as defined in this Code or of abuse of authority or any other method of compulsion, induces any woman to go from any place with intent that she may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable as aforesaid.
366A. Procuration of minor girlWhoever, by any means whatsoever, induces any minor girl under the age of eighteen years to go from any place or to do any act with intent that such girl may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
366B. Importation of girl from foreign countryWhoever imports into India from any country outside India or from the State of Jammu and Kashmir] any girl under the age of twenty-one years with intent that she may be, or knowing it to be likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.

Short writes ups on the Crime of Sedition

From my Lecture in AIMC...the two insignificant lectures that I have given.

Sedition - Definitions

As defined in Ferdico’s Criminal Law and Justice Dictionary
“Advocacy of resistance to, disruption of or otherwise of the Government through speech, publications or other acts, short of overt acts of treason.”
Treason is not defined as a crime in the Indian Penal Code. Art 111 Section 3 of the United States Constitution defines treason as
“Treason against united states shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

Section 124A of Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines sedition in the following words: -

Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

Explanation 1- The expression "disaffection" includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.

Explanation 2- Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.

Explanation 3- Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.

Sedition in its simplest term is an action calculated to disturb the tranquility of the state and lead ignorant person to endeavor to subvert the Government and laws of the country.
  • Induce discontent, dissatisfaction, disloyalty
  • Insurrection, rebellion
  • Stir up opposition to the government and bring contempt to it

This offence was inserted in the chapter relating to offence against State with a view to fill up an inadvertent omission of a special provision for the punishment of the offence of abetment of rebellion.

It is interesting to note in today’s context, when people are taking on to streets against the Government machinery, Jessica Lal’s case being the latest, that the torch bearer of independence movement like Gandhi and Tilak were tried for sedition and convicted under this section. Gandhi in his trial under this section had pleaded guilty and invited a punishment.

Constitutional Validity of Section 124A - upheld

The constitutional validity of this section has been challenged many times and some of the High Courts have held that it is in violation of fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression and thus constitutionally invalid.

However, the Supreme Court has upheld its validity in number of cases (Kedar Nath Singh AIR 1962 SC 955). It has held that the explanation appended to the main body of the section is clear to manifest that it is not meant to curb freedom of speech and expression. Criticism of public measures or comment on government action however strongly worded would be within reasonable limits and would be consistent with fundamental right. It is only when words used have the pernicious tendency or intention of creating public disorder or disturbance of law and order that the law steps in to prevent such activity.

Essential ingredients of the offence

1. Bringing or attempting into hatred or contempt
2. or exiting or attempting to excite disaffection towards government
3. such act may be done by
4. words (either spoken or written) or
5. by signs or
6. by visible representation

The word ‘whoever’ includes not only the writer or creator of the seditious material but also all those responsible for its publication. For everything that appears in his paper the editor and the publisher would be equally responsible along with the author.

Any third person using the seditious material in any way or further publish it would be equally responsible along with the original author.

Principle behind the offence – actual disturbance not mandatory

The offence consists in exiting or attempting to excite in others certain bad feelings towards the Government of India. The section contains everything that amounts to Defamation of the Government with exclusions given only to any criticism in good faith or any particular measures or any acts of administration.

To constitute an offence its not prima facie mandatory to have an intention to cause actual disorder or rebellion. It is sufficient if the accused intended to incite feelings of enmity to the government.

‘Hatred’ and ‘disaffection’ covers all feelings of disloyalty, enmity, dislike, hostility, ill will, political alienation or discontent towards the government.

Presumption of Intention of the accused

The meaning of the words written or spoke should be presumed to be the intention of the accused. This meaning should be that meaning which is to be ordinarily understood by the people to whom the seditious publication is addressed. The burden to deny the ordinary meaning to be his intention lies upon the accused.

Circumstances to be considered – the time when the article is written, the past articles written by same accused etc to be taken into consideration while interpreting the ordinary meaning and intention. In Tilak’s case words of the article in question was interpreted in the light of other articles published at the same time in ‘Kesari’.

The rule followed was, “what would be the natural and probable meaning understood by the readers of kesari at the point of time when the articles was written by Tilak?” Time and context is also to be taken into account. An article, which was seditions at pre independence era, may no longer continue to be seditions as it may have lost its relevance.

General intent of the whole article or publication to be considered and not just isolated lines or words.

“words written or spoken or by visual representation”
  • Recitation of seditious poem
  • Certain picture, sign, flags, engraving etc.
  • Dramatic performance
  • Seditious letter
  • Seditious extracts from some foreign publication
  • Conducting seditious meeting
Publication of some sort is mandatory.
  • An anonymous seditious letter written and posted would amount to publication if opened by some one.
  • An seditions piece just in the possessions of the author cannot be taken into consideration.
  • Government established by law, its rule and representatives.
  • The existing political system as distinguished from any particular set of administrators.
  • Distinction between govt and individual officers employed under the govt.
  • An attempt to remove a minister from power not seditious as it’s an attack against one individual and not the whole of govt
Explanation 2 and 3

  • protects the bona fide criticism of public measures and institutions owth a view to their improvement and to the remedying of grievances and abuses.
  • Safeguards the freedom of speech and expression to journalists, publicists, orators, public speaker etc.
  • The scope of the explanations are very restricted.
  • There is no right to attribute the govt with immoral motives while criticizing
  • A strong criticism of govt and an attempt to over throw such govt by adhering to constitutional means is not sedition.
  • It is sediton only when people are incited to take to unlawful means