Friday, November 21, 2014

The ills of Consensual Sex Clause.

The Consensual Sex Clause under Penal Code needed to be amended to accommodate traditional social and cultural norms and reality of present level of human development in terms of general awareness,physical and intellectual faculties. It should never have been viewed as protecting male chauvinism. And yet that was what exactly happened to the Dagana Dzongkhag proposal for a revisit of the Consensual Sex Clause under the Rape Law. According to reports in the mass media the proposal for an amendment was allowed to be killed with a lone woman MP  voice of dissent in the National Assembly.

People have wondered why women do not generally vote for women candidates. Well this is the answer. Not many take time to consider the welfare of women in general. Rather they simply look across the aisle and see a male raising a sex or marital issue and blindly oppose it as a matter of equality principle.

This is similar to what happened with the issue of the right of a woman with a child born from an affair especially with the husband of a married woman . Women MPs at that time either put themselves in the shoes of the woman engaged in illicit affair or taking vengeance upon the erring man.  They never stopped even for a second to consider about the right and the welfare of the wife and the legitimate children when they demanded and got a legislation that allocated 20 percent of the man's income to the mistress for raising the illegitimate child. A man's income often is the only income of the whole legitimate family.
Yes a child regardless of legal status has rights and needs but what about the plight of the wife and children of lawful marriage. This law has not stopped extra marital affairs.  And lawful family members'  sufferings have multiplied because of love affairs between clever other women married or single and erring  insatiable husbands whose misdeeds are encouraged and rewarded by this legislation backed by women MPs. Today the legal wife pays the price of two other people side affairs through physical and mental torments and financial deprivation. The absurdity is that the same law legislated to protect single mothers favours the married man whose ego may be bruised but income supplemented if his spouse bears another man's child. To give some credit to those women legislators,maybe, in their personal experience of life, only single men had the potential to father illegitimate children. So they did not think of legal consequences to lawful wives and children.

In the case of consensual sex especially among the age bracket of 16 to 24, the law inflicts a heavy toll on young lovers in high schools or colleges.  This law cannot prevent consensual sex because very often consensual sex is not so calculated and planned as deemed by legislators. Love blossoms like Spring flowers as part of natural instinct and consensual sex follows. Why must the claws of law tear away the lives of say a 16 year pregnant mother and 19 year old father.

A re-visit of the Consensual Sex Clause could have alleviated such social dilemma where the young father is jailed for 9 years and the even younger mother abandoned to fend alone and helpless.  But an MP  bent on penalising the man crucified the  plight of the young mother on the floor of the National Assembly. This should not have been the Buddhist legislative mood towards love and life. It is a crime against the young generation.

Bhutan may be a white washed democracy until younger generation are given a fair consideration. In my younger days I was amazed when I read a news piece that related an incident in an American School where a male student of 13 Years was given one day paternal leave to meet his baby and the mother aged 16 at the hospital where the delivery took place. O.K Bhutan is not America but just the thought that historically the Declaration of Independence by American forefathers actually defined Democracy of modern days.

The other MPs of this Parliament also have a duty to correct the deficiencies of a past legislation. Does this law have to bite someone prominent and influential to warrant an amendment? That day will hardly come because mostly the defenceless become the victims since such people possess no paved escape route.

Was any kin and kith of prominent and influential jailed under the Tobacco Law?
It took a Royal Decree to end the sufferings of many ordinary humble citizens jailed under the draconian Tobacco Law.  Insensitive and harsh laws makes criminals out of otherwise humble law abiding people.  Now who will and can step forward to stop the legal persecution of consensual sex partners that is driving young couples to commit suicide or face heavy jail term for men and social and economic deprivation for young women? Again the poorer section of the population will have to pray and hope for respite from the Throne.

Do the leaders of today's power structure know that the 1st national highway from phuentsoling to both Thimphu and Paro was built on the back breaking labour taxes imposed  on all people of Bhutan from the Bhutanese lunar age of 15 and above. Three months of compulsory labour contribution tax from every adult member of a family went into laying the lifeline of modern Bhutan. And adult hood was fixed at the age of 15. Now what kind of moral authority is being exercised by the democratic  legislators on the age that was sanctified and taxed not just traditionally but also during the dawn of modern nationhood?

In the world today, the rule of the Kings are not generally favoured. Yet in Bhutan even though democracy was introduced by the King ,the people can be heard saying let's go back to the  old system. Some maybe saying it out of blind faith or loyalty or curry personal favours but many may genuinely be frustrated with irresponsible and unaccountable deeds of democratic leaders who exercise collectively the power of an absolute Monarch. But unlike the individual person of the King the democratic leaders cannot be individually held accountable let alone penalize. The history can record a King being great or cruel or kind but under democracy except for the Prime Minister,the legislators who collectively are more powerful than the Prime Minister escape any historical blemish for their blunders or collective tyranny.

1 comment:

  1. i wish they could understand the biology little further and history little deeper la.