Sando - Shin Angyo Onshi

Change of address

While this will remain, I am planning to use a different blog more regularly. Please drop a comment or a mail for the blog link.

Thank you for your patronage.

Bheema V.

Please note that this will remain, and when I am really feeling angry, I will probably post here.

Also note that I may not be able to respond immediately. This has become a spam magnet, and I don't always pay attention to the comments.
Sando - Shin Angyo Onshi

Adultery law and gender bias

Previously I had occasion to take a quick look at the adultery law in India. [Please check the link.]

As I understood it, the law punished the adulterer (the man who had sex (not amounting to rape) with the wife of another man, without the consent of the second man) as well as the wife who had sex outside marriage. Thus, the law provided some relief to a man whose wife had an affair without his consent. However, there wasn't any symmetrical relief to the woman whose husband has an affair without her consent. From my reading of the law, I thought the bias was against women.

Given that background, I was surprised when I saw a ToI headline screaming 'Adultery law biased against men, says Supreme Court'. My first instinct, given that it was a ToI report, was that they had made a mistake.
However, as it turns out, I had made a small mistake in my previous post.

ToI reporter got it right, when he wrote that 'Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code .. punishes a man alone for adultery for having consensual sex with a married woman'. So, in the case of adultery, only the man who had sex with someone else's wife is culpable. The unfaithful wife, on the other hand, cannot be punished.

But it still didn't change my basic argument, since Section 497 seems to treat the wives as chattel. There isn't any adultery if it is with the consent or connivance of the husband. Moreover, as I mentioned above, if a married man has sex outside marriage, neither he nor his sexual partner in the affair commits a crime, as long as that partner isn't married.

This second point is relevant to the current article, because the appellant cannot be accused of adultery because of this precise reason.

The point I am trying to make is that unlike the claims of the ToI article, the Court doesn't seem to say that there is a bias against men.

The full text of the judgement is available online [Criminal Appeal No. 2232 of 2011]. The key passage is quoted below. In the passage, the judgment quotes the Section in question, mentions that there is criticism of the section on grounds of bias against women, mentions that only a man can be punished for the offence of adultery, and then mentions that the appellant, as a woman, is immune to the charge of adultery.
7. So far as the appellant is concerned, she is charged under Sections 341 and 497 of the Penal Code. Section 497 deals with the offence of adultery and provides as follows:
"Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor."
The provision is currently under criticism from certain quarters for showing a strong gender bias for it makes the position of a married woman almost as a property of her husband. But in terms of the law as it stands, it is evident from a plain reading of the Section that only a man can be proceeded against and punished for the offence of adultery. Indeed, the Section provides expressly that the wife cannot be punished even as an abettor. Thus, the mere fact that the appellant is a woman makes her completely immune to the charge of adultery and she cannot be proceeded against for that offence.

At best, the argument can be made that the section is deeply flawed providing no relief to the wife of an unfaithful husband, and always considering the unfaithful wife as the victim even though the crime can only be carried out only with her consent (if that were not so, then it would be a case of rape). A more detailed discussion of question can be found here.
Sando - Shin Angyo Onshi

(no subject)

Apropos (and I do love that word) the previous post on "Rascals", marut asked:
I doubt it would compare with Janasheen ?

Did you leave the movie mid-way?
To which I say:

I actually watched Janasheen in the theatre with marut, and yes, Rascals doesn't quite have the same claw-your-own-eyes-out kind of painfulness that characterised Fardeen Khan's first movie (or, most of his movies since). I watched Janasheen after getting drunk, and it still was a sucky movie. I probably would have enjoyed Rascals more if I were drunk (but can't be sure - those screechy voices and the background score and the songs might have instead turned me completely mad.)

However, 'Rascals' currently has 3.5 on IMDB (though I am sure that would go up over time as more brain dead morons rate it), while Janasheen currently has a 3.7.

[Spoilers ahead, but then do you really care? Go ahead, ask yourself, do you really care?]

The worst thing about Rascals is that it is not quite so bad that you would actually walk out, and it had a couple of scenes that weren't too bad (i.e., scenes that I kind of liked, for example during a bank robbery, a note is passed on to the teller, who then passes it on to her colleagues, who all misread it as 'Give us all the money, we have gum' - yes, Ladies and Gentleman, that is about the best this movie could do). You would know how '3 Idiots' used tons of old jokes from email forwards, and somehow most of them seemed to work. Here nothing worked. Abysmal execution all the way around.

For example, there is an extended scene in a church, where people keep using euphemism. When someone else invariably responds by providing the actual swear words, the first person reply by saying that yes, that is what he meant, but he couldn't say it directly because they are after all in a church.

Now, while I probably haven't done a good job in explaining the setup, I hope you would agree that repeated use of this setup does provide a nice opportunity. You could play it out in multiple ways. You could play it at unexpected times through-out the movie, you could play it out straight a couple of times and then subvert it. But, however you play it, it would require some sense of timing in the actual execution. And they suck at that. The scene is as flat as a super-smooth surface used for 3D holographic projection.

Or consider, for example, the physical comedy. Recently when Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie met to discuss their old collaboration (Fry and Laurie Reunited), Fry mentions that one of Laurie's skills is his ability to take a fall and that 'it is much easier to hit than be hit'.[Go ahead and watch a bit of that: Starting around 3:00 minutes in this video for the context and starting around 4:00 minutes for Fry's answer.] With the ex-macho heros doing comedy, apparently getting the timing right with hitting is difficult, and getting the timing right getting hit is impossible.

And then there is the story. As you know I have been reading some geography these days, and so I will use a geographical metaphor. You might know about inland deltas - like Okavango Delta - where a river, trapped in an large valley might give up all pretense of effort and disappear after breaking up into increasingly smaller branches away from a lake or sea. That is what happens with this story, it meanders over pointless territories, gives up arse and turns into an inland delta. Well, almost, except that since they really couldn't really figure out what to do with the story, they tell us that the whole thing was an extended con. [And a truly frightening pun: woh 'Con' thi. - Who was she? or, She was a Con!]

Of course, it is a bloody con. They should have just given us all our money back.

And I could talk about how even the presence of Kangana and Lisa couldn't save the movie. And about how Kangana spends most of the time walking around in a bikini, but when she wears a short skirt, she has a great huge pair of black shorts on under her skirt - What The Fuck Was That?
Sando - Shin Angyo Onshi

(no subject)

I don't usually watch movies in the theatre any more, but today a friend passing through town dragged me to a screening of 'Rascal'.

It might be possible to make a worse movie, but it would be difficult.
Sando - Shin Angyo Onshi

(no subject)

Of all the successful mangakas, Mitsuru Adachi is probably the laziest. Among other faults of his, he seems to use stenciled character designs (I can never tell the characters apart), and boiler plate story outlines (the flavour is always the same). But, even more practically, he regularly uses pages with minimal art to pad out a chapter. He also tends to use a lot of panels full of environmental incidentals that have nothing to do with the story proper.

That also makes him one of the best with story pacing. Somehow between very short scenes and padding panels he manages to play out infinite variations on the standard Adachi outline.
Sando - Shin Angyo Onshi

(no subject)

I found Akon singing 'Chamak Challo' on the music player that I had lent to my brother. It is the perfect song to keep playing on a loop as I try to read. In a moment of indiscreation I thought I would try to check out the video for the song on youtube. Fortunately I stopped myself once I saw the thumbnails for the search result.

That is the best reason for not watching TV.

Now I can play 'Chamak Challo' on a loop without having the image of SRK dancing pop up in my mind.

BTW, I have kind of drifted over to G+. No one there - kind of like LJ 2003 and not like LJ 2011 - and it feels much more roomy than twitter. [Since brevity is the soul of wit, everyone on twitter desperately tries to be witty - not a pretty sight.]

A discussion in last week's QI turned me towards the series 'Columbo'. So far I have just seen the first installment - and it was pretty good.
Sando - Shin Angyo Onshi

(no subject)

Semi famous bloggers regularly put up posts of the view from their hotel room. Which goes to prove that even self-proclaimed paranoid bloggers aren't as paranoid as me.

I would always worry about people being about to find out my hotel and room number from the photo. It shouldn't be too difficult, and then some stalker could land outside my room. Or some deranged fan could decide to send a rpg my way.
Sando - Shin Angyo Onshi

(no subject)

I recently identified something that has crept into my response to any news these days, and I hate it.

As my friends in particular and youngish middle-classish Indians in general have started having stronger opinions about everything from corruption and terrorism to land acquisition and large dams, and as newspapers have started giving more play to these news items, my response to such news has changed. I no longer have an opinion on these issues, and instead find myself speculating about why exactly the various players in these public dramas act the way they do.

Recently, The Atlantic's James Fallows in a number of his blog posts pointed out that a lot of focus of MSM in US is on the politics of the issues (if choice A is taken up, will the party B suffer in elections), partly because MSM does not have the depth to tackle the fundamentals of the issue. But, on the other hand, general public seems to care deeply about the policies of the issues (will we be better off if choice A gets through, or should choice A get through).

So, recently I have found myself wondering more about the politics than about the policies.

I don't think I like this change in me.
Sando - Shin Angyo Onshi

(no subject)

I keep registering for all kinds of sites, and unless I use a throw away password, I keep forgetting the passwords.

I have been logging into livejournal so rarely these days, that sometime soon I'll forget the password I have used on this site.

Till then:
run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run...

I haven't watched Blue, but I think I want to like the movie. Watching the sun recede as you sink deeper through the darker blues while you steadily grow every more desperate for air must be spectacularly beautiful.

Been diving, serially, through forty years of series by David Attenborough. I will try and write at length about it, but it has been a wonderful insight into progress of technology in TV, especially given that David Attenborough has apparently been an early adopter for a lot of technology.

I don't know if I have mentioned this, but I have become a huge Stephen Fry fan. Some[1] believe he is a pretender. I however think that he is one of the most intelligent, and, more importantly, funny persons around. Having said that, I believe that, while he is not as lazy as his friend Douglas Adams, Fry hasn't created enough lasting works[2].

There is a magnificent moment in the 'Bat' episode of Series B of QI, where he narrates two anecdotes about the Attenborough brothers, the first about David's encounter with some bats, and the second about Richard's assistant director in 'Gandhi' who beautifully captured the mood at Gandhi's funeral.

The most beautiful thing about the internet in general, and search engines in particular, is that fact that accidental connections appear that you may never have, in your normal life, encountered.

While trying to find a clip of Fry mimicking the Attenborough brothers, I searched for "Attenborough gandhi bat", which lead me to the website for a very promising movie: Gandhi at Bat with a promising 9.5/10 on IMDB.

1: This is not wikipedia. Weasel words are welcome.
2: The fault lies, probably, in my appetite, and not in his production volume.