Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, ex officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
Mr. Harivansh Narayan Singh, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
Mr. Thawar Chand Gehlot, Leader of Rajya Sabha
Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Opposition
When a 17-year-old told his mother that he was raped for the last 11 years by his uncle, her reaction was “I never knew such things happened with men.” When he turned 18 he tried to file a complaint, but the existing rape law did not recognise his case.
How did this happen? First, it is still taboo to talk about men or trans women getting raped. Second, the current law does not recognise rape for any gender apart from cis-women. It is not okay for justice to be denied because our laws are not inclusive enough.
The good news is that senior lawyer and Member of Parliament KTS Tulsi introduced a bill in the Rajya Sabha in July 2019 seeking the formation of a gender-neutral rape law.
It’s not a new battle - Centre for Civil Society (CCS) and several petitioners have been fighting to amend the existing Indian rape law. Last year, the Supreme Court declared that it is up to the Parliament to amend the law.
Thanks to the proposed bill in the parliament, we have a strong chance to finally recognise and punish cases of rape involving transwomen and men.
Our Parliamentarians need to know that the citizens they represent want an inclusive, gender-neutral rape law. Rape is a horrific violation of bodily consent. It scars just as much whether you are a woman, transperson or man.
We have until September 2019 to ensure that the Gender-Neutral Rape Bill gets passed in Parliament. Don’t lose this chance to strengthen our laws.
The Times of India - This story of a male rape survivor will shock you
India Today - Bill to make sexual crimes gender neutral introduced in Parliament
India Today - "We can't erase our hijra culture"
The Logical Indian - Organisations Protest Against Transgender Protection Bill For Treating Rape Against Trans-Women As “Petty Crime”
The New York Times - U.S. to expand its definition of rape in statistics
Rajya Sabha Bill draft - The Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019
The Cosmopolitan - Bill Introduced in Rajya Sabha to Make Sexual Crimes Gender Neutral, and Here’s Why We Need It
The Scroll - India's law should recognise that men can be raped too