20 January, 2021

The Cure For ‘Moral’ Panic

In the liberal public sphere, Mahmood Farooqui’s trial is not yet over. Concerns over ‘carceral feminism’ and ‘flawed’ trials reveal our insecurities.

Illustration by Saahil
The Cure For ‘Moral’ Panic

The conviction of Mahmood Farooqui on charges of rape has triggered responses that merit serious ref­lection—if only, because the people who have res­ponded in the print and online media, especially, are persons with credibility and a track record of working/writing on matters of law, women’s rights, human rights and public interest. 

The facts of the case in brief: Farooqui was accused of sexually assaulting a Fulbright scholar from the US at his house on March 28, 2015. The form that the assault took was forced oral sex, which is covered under Section 375 (d) of the Indian Penal Code: “Rape—A man is said to commit ‘rape’ if he (d) applies his mouth to the vagina, anus or urethra of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person, under the circumstances falling under any of the following seven descriptions [of which two are relevant to the present purposes] Firstly—against her will. Secondly—without her consent.” 

There was delay on the part of the complainant in lodging an FIR. In...



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