Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Holidays

India is a country of people belonging to many religions. All the major religions have their religious holidays. Sometimes these holidays come together and combined with Saturdays and Sundays they stretch to three or more days.

India should have only two public holidays Republic Day and Independence Day. Government employees have too many holidays. Those who need to take leave on a particular day to celebrate a feast or mourn can take casual leave. Gandhi Jayanti and Ambedkar Jayanti should not be holidays. Some religious holidays are needed by less than 1% of the people.

Parliament should not have a holiday when it convenes because a member died when it was not in session.

Brain and heart

Contemporary medical science believes brain is the seat of the person. A person who is brain dead is declared dead and other living organs are transplanted. Many times people who had heart transplantations had change of personality. They even remember some things which happened to brain dead person. This raises question about declaring a person whose heart beats but brain is dead as dead. What if contemporary medical science is wrong? Now life can be prolonged with artificial hearts. If we can have artificial brains and make brain dead persons live how wonderful it will be?

At one time doctors believed blood letting will bring down temperature and cure fever. Many times blood letting brought down temperature to such levels that the patients died. Many theories and practices have been proved wrong. Medical scientists must re-examine their theories about brain and death.

Rape

National Council for Women (NCW) has recommended the replace the word “rape” with sexual assault in various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC). Women activists said the word “rape” was derogatory to women. Two of their recommendations are as follows:

1) The definition of rape should be widened and not be restricted to vaginal penetration. Oral and anal penetration, or even body contact, should be considered “sexual assault.”

2) Buying sexual favours (from sex workers) should also be considered sexual assault.

I oppose them on following grounds:

1) The word “rape” should be maintained as it is and shall continue to mean vaginal penetration as vaginal penetration can result in pregnancy and oral and anal penetration do not result in pregnancy. Rape is a serious crime. It is not derogatory to women. It is derogatory for the rapists. Replacing “rape” with “sexual assault” and clubbing together with other crimes will dilute the seriousness of rape.

2) When sexual favours are bought there is no assault.

NCW should stop demanding change in terminology. Calling a “widow” “wife of late so and so” or calling a “prostitute” “commercial sex workers” does not result in betterment. There is nothing derogatory about being a widow.

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