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Among Celebrity Politicians, Kirron kher Tops in Attendance at Parliament, Rekha gets the lowest score

The national average attendance rate for lawmakers in Parliament: Lok Sabha MP 82 percent and for Rajya Sabha MP 79 percent

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Kirron Kher with her husband Anupam Kher. WIkimedia Commons

New Delhi, Sept 03, 2016: Bollywood celebrities’ attendance at the parliament house was taken into account. It shows that well-known actress BJP MP Ms.Kirron Kher is at the first place when it comes to attending the sessions whereas veteran actress Rekha is last on the list.

As studied by the PRS legislative research (a non-profit organization involved in tracking the legislative matters) Ms. Kher who is the representative of Chandigarh LS seat holds 85 percent attendance which is counted to be the most by any Bollywood celebrity.

She was accompanied by fellow actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal who represents the  Loksabha constituency of Ahmedabad East. TMC’s  Ms. Satabdi Roy representing Birbhum and Bhojpuri actor-singer and BJP lawmaker from Northeast Delhi Manoj Tiwari were the ones registering a good attendance rate of 76 percent.

Rekha- a Bollywood actress and RS MP. Wikimedia Commons
Rekha- a Bollywood actress and RS MP. Wikimedia Commons

The national average attendance rate for lawmakers in Parliament is: Lok Sabha MP 82 percent and for Rajya Sabha MP 79 per cent.

Famous actress Hema Malini who represents Mathura had only 37 per cent attendance. Records indicate that she had participated in 10 debates and asked 113 questions.

Dev Adhikari- a TMC MP from Ghatal- scored just 9 percent attendance. The Agnishapath actor participated in just one debate.

Another TMC Rajya Sabha MP and veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty’s attendance was recorded and it was as poor as of 10 per cent. The 66-year-old actor, whose term started in April 2014, had not participated in any of the activity in the sessions.

Renown actress Rekha’s attendance was the lowest among celebrities as she clocked an abysmal 5 per cent. Nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April 2012, the actress too had not participated in any activity of asking question or debate in the sessions.

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Among others TMC’s Moon Moon Sen and Tapas Paul have a good attendance of 70 and 64 per cent respectively. Vinod Khanna, the BJP MP from Gurdaspur, Punjab scored a second class, with 59 percent attendance.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Bhagwant Mann – a comedian-turned-politician- comes from Sangrur Lok Sabha seat in Punjab. He scored an attendance of 64 percent and participated in 79 debates and asked 39 questions.

Coming to Odisha: Biju Janata Dal’s Lok Sabha MP and Odia actor Sidhant Mohapatra got 68 percent attendance to his credit. A Rajya Sabha MP Anubhav Mohanty netted 70 per cent attendance and  participated in 31 debates and asked 209 questions.

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From Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha member actress Ms. Jaya Bachan had 74 per cent attendance. The famous Shotgun, ie, Shatrughan Sinha achieved 68 per cent attendance.  Sinha represents Patna Sahib Lok Sabha in Bihar. He did not participate in any debate, nor posed any question.

As the data indicate, very few celebrities had an active attendance record in Parliament.

(With input from Agencies)

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Legendary Singer Asha Bhosle regrets for not singing English Songs

Asha Bhosle shares the reason behind why she didn't sing any English song.

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Singer Asha Bhosle
Singer Asha Bhosle. wikimedia commons
  • Legendary singer Asha Bhosle regrets not getting a proper education and says she would have touched greater heights if she had studied further and crooned songs in English too.

Bhosle talked about her regrets at the Leadership Lecture Series at the Dubai campus of the Global Indian International School (GIIS) on Tuesday, read a statement.

Asked about her message for the young generation, she said: “A person is responsible for his own success. The one who works hard day and night and keeps doing his work, he will always be successful. And for your school, the message that I have is, I haven’t studied much and today when I go abroad, when I go to America or London, I really regret after listening to their songs, I feel bad that I can’t get that accent.”

The legendary singer Asha Bhosle added: “I really wish that I had studied more but back in those times, in my generation, 80 years back, there was no use of educating women, they said women are supposed to do simple household chores, deliver babies, why make her study.

“So, the education never happened. And now I really regret that if we were made to study or given our education, then we would have been at different heights in our life and I would have gone way ahead in English songs because our style and English words would have taken me to greater heights.”

Asha Bhosle is one of the most versatile singers to have been associated with Bollywood. From cabaret to ghazals — she has sung songs like “Jhumka gira re”, “Dum maro dum”, “Chura liya”, “Mehbooba mehbooba”, “Mera kuch saaman”, “Dil cheez kya hai” to “Prem mein tohre”.

From Zeenat Aman to Urmila Matondkar and Rekha to Vidya Balan — Bhosle has lent her voice for actresses of different generations over six decades and has managed to stay relevant by adapting to new styles and singing techniques.(IANS)

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Catalonia Independence : Spanish PM plans to remove Catalonia’s leaders to take control

Many Catalans who want to remain in Spain will approve of this strident action. But those who want independence for their region are likely to see this as a provocation rather than a solution

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The Spanish Prime Minister said one of his aims is to restore peaceful co-existence to Catalonia by removing its leaders. VOA

Madrid, October 22, 2017 : Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has outlined plans to remove Catalonia’s leaders and take control of the separatist region.

Speaking after an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday, Rajoy stopped short of dissolving the region’s parliament but put forward plans for elections, BBC reported.

The measures must now be approved by Spain’s Senate in the next few days.

Large crowds have gathered in Barcelona to protest against direct rule from Madrid. It comes almost three weeks after Catalonia held a disputed independence referendum.

Spain’s Supreme Court had declared the vote illegal and said it violated the constitution, which describes the country as indivisible.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has ignored pleas from the national government to abandon moves towards independence.

Rajoy said the the Catalan government’s actions were “contrary to the law and seeking confrontation”. He said it was “not our wish, it was not our intention” to impose direct rule.

This will be via Article 155 of Spain’s constitution, which allows it to impose direct rule in a crisis on any of the country’s semi-autonomous regions.

Spanish law dictates that elections must be held within six months of Article 155 being triggered, but Rajoy said it was imperative that the vote be held much sooner.

Reports say that Spain’s interior ministry is preparing take control of Catalonia’s Mossos police force and remove its commander Josep Lluís Trapero, who is already facing sedition charges.

The government is also considering taking control of Catalonia’s public broadcaster TV3, El País newspaper reported.

Catalan Vice-President Oriol Junqueras said Rajoy and his allies had “not just suspended autonomy. They have suspended democracy”.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau said it was a “serious attack on the rights and freedoms of all, both here and elsewhere” and called for demonstrations.

The president of Barcelona football club, Josep Maria Bartomeu, said the club gave its “absolute support for the democratic institutions of Catalonia chosen by its people”.

But he called for any reaction to be “civil and peaceful” and said dialogue was the only way to a solution.

Eduard Rivas Mateo, spokesman for the Catalan Socialist party — which supports the Spanish government’s stance but also wants constitutional reform — said he could not accept a “harsh application” of Article 155.

ALSO READ Catalonia Protesters Demand Release of Separatist Leaders

But Ines Arrimadas, head of the centrist Ciudadanos party in Catalonia, which is against independence, said holding fresh elections would “restore goodwill and democracy” in the region.

Rajoy’s use of Article 155 had been widely anticipated, but his announcement when it came still had a huge impact. The article has never been invoked before, so there was a certain amount of mystery surrounding its potential reach and meaning.

Although Rajoy insisted that Catalonia’s self-government is not being suspended, many will disagree. The removal from office of Carles Puigdemont and all the members of his cabinet, to allow ministers in Madrid to take on their duties, amounts to a major reining in of Catalonia’s devolved powers.

The Spanish Prime Minister said one of his aims is to restore peaceful co-existence to Catalonia with these measures.

Many Catalans who want to remain in Spain will approve of this strident action. But those who want independence for their region are likely to see this as a provocation rather than a solution. (IANS)

 

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What Gives Husbands The Licence to Rape? Decoding Marital Rape in the Indian Legal Scenario

Can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman?

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Marital rape
While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India. Pixabay
  • Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence
  • Marital rape is yet to be categorized as a criminal offence in India
  • According to the central government, criminalizing marital rape “may destabilize the institution of marriage”

New Delhi, September 2, 2017 : Baby works as a domestic help; she says she cannot recall her age when her parents married her off to a man who was much older to her; a man she barely knew. She didn’t anticipate her husband would demand to have intercourse on their wedding night. She was still young and not ready, but that didn’t stop him. Baby was raped by her husband on her wedding night. But marital rape means nothing to her.

Sunita irons clothes for a living. She says has been married for more years than she can remember. The duo has four kids together, but that doesn’t stop her husband from raising a hand or two on her, every once in a while. Every night, her husband would get drunk, hit her and forcefully demand to have sex, paying no heed to her resistance. Sunita has three daughters, and a son, and the husband still wants to have progenies. “I told my mother that this man has raped me multiple times. She protested, arguing that he is ‘your husband’ after all,” she said.

But did she never decide to approach the authorities?

To this, Sunita promptly replied, “I once had a sore eye after he (the husband) hit me with his shoe when I refused to have sex. I went to the local hospital and then the police. I narrated the entire scene; they were very considerate, offered me water and then asked me to go home and ‘adjust’.”

Sunita is unaware of a term called ‘marital rape’.

This is the reality of a huge part of the society in real India.

Like Baby and Sunita, women who suffer such indignities are often asked to “adjust” with perpetrators of violence because of a deep –embedded fear of what the society would say. This notion of an ‘ideal woman’ impedes women to object to illicit treatment meted out by their ‘better halves’.

The debate around the issue has become ripe once again with the Central Government stating that what “may appear to be marital rape” to a wife “may not appear so to others”. In an affidavit to the Delhi High Court, the central government took a stand against criminalizing marital rape saying that it “may destabilize the institution of marriage” and also become easy tool for harass the husbands and the in-laws.

Rape v/s Marital Rape

Rape is defined in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, but with an irregularity: “Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.”

While rape is addressed as perforation without a woman’s accord in its main clause, the only remedy to forced intercourse provided to ‘married’ woman is specified under Section 498-A of the IPC and the civil provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestiic Violence Act.

Following the horrific 2012 Nirbhaya rape case that brought the entire world to a standstill, the Indian media has given paramount coverage to instances of rape across the country. But even after 5 years of the gut-wrenching incident, there seems no end to this crime.

ALSO READ The Hardships of Sexuality: Marital rape, violence and humiliation

Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence. However, rape by husbands within holy matrimony continues to remain an obscure subject in India and the exact number of cases is hard to gauge.

According to a 2015 report by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) tracing the proximity of offenders to the victims of sexual violence, it was revealed that in 95 per cent of all rapes, the offenders were familiar to the survivors. These, presumably include acquaintances, friends, relatives and colleagues.

And what about rape committed by husbands?

These cases continue to be an under-reported crime in India. This can be attributed to two major reasons,

  • Because of the stigma associated with it
  • Because of the presence of a defunct justice system

Furthermore, more often than not, these cases go missing because of several additional (and unnecessary) barriers stemming from a combination of familial and/or social power structures, shame and dependency.

Marital Rape In India

While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India.

A United Nations’ report titled ‘Why do some men use violence against women and how can we prevent it?’ published in 2013 disclosed that nearly a quarter of 10,000 men  in Asia-Pacific region, including India, admitted to have indulged in the rape of a female partner. The report traced their rationale to a deep-embedded belief that they are entitled to sex despite the consent of their partners.

The study also revealed that the majority of these instances were not reported and the perpetrators faced no legal consequences.

In 2014, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in association with International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) brought out a report titled ‘Masculinity, Intimate Partner Violence and Son Preference in India’. Among other things, the report analyzed the average Indian male’s understanding and interpretation of the idea of ‘masculinity’ and how that molds their interactions with women.

Not surprisingly, the study revealed that a typical man in the Indian society associated the attributes ‘tough’, and ‘controlling’ with masculinity.

Segments of the present day Indian society continue to look at men as tough forces, who can (must) freely exercise their privilege to establish rule in personal relationships and above all, continue to control women.

Additionally, the study also revealed that 60 per cent of the Indian men disclosed the use of physical violence to establish authority.

In India, stiff patriarchal norms continue to tilt the gender balance firmly in the favor of men, as a result of which, women are forced to internalize male dominance in their lives.

Marital Rape in India : A Legal Perspective

Section 375 essentially distinguishes between two categories of women

  • Married women
  • Unmarried women

Much to the Indian society’s disappointment, the Indian legal system denies protection from rape to the married woman. This creates discrimination as the women belonging to one section are denied justice merely by virtue of being married.

But can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman? Is it justified to discriminate a woman just because she is married to the man who has raped her?

The Debate Around Marital Rape In India

Despite the piquant situation, the issue raised furor when Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told the Parliament that the question of criminalizing marital rape in India has no relevance “as marriage is treated as sacred here.”

Does marriage being a sacrament provide one with the legal right to rape a woman?

South Asia director at Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly had retaliated saying that it is particularly concerning when a government that claims to secure the safety of women inside and outside national territory shamelessly turn to justify a crime in the name of culture and tradition.

Group director of social and economic development at the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) Priya Nanda asserted in an interview with a leading portal that “the reason men don’t want to criminalize marital rape is because they don’t want to give a woman the power to say no.”

In 2013, a three-member commission headed by Justice J.S. Verma suggested remedial measures to combat sexual violence in India, following the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case. One of its recommendations was the criminalization of marital rape.

ALSO READ Reasons Why Marital Rape Should Be Recognised as a Criminal Offence

The recommendation was ignored by the government as a large amount of people questioned its efficiency saying if made a crime,

  • It might be misused by people
  • It will be difficult to prove
  • It might break up marriages

But, how fair is it to not have a law against marital rape, only because of the reason that it is ‘difficult to prove’?

In a broader understanding, it needs to be understood that the criminalization of marital rape must not be viewed as a step against men or the institution of matrimony, but as an attempt to demolish the patriarchal system that continues to clutch the Indian society.


 

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