A White Knight Constitution

From the Urban Dictionary:

White Knight: A person (usually a male) who sees the typical maiden in distress, and believes that he can help her. A male version of the “mother figure” that some girls become.

White Knight: … A male that treats woman as goddesses and does nothing but shower then in compliments on how wonderful and beautiful and special they are. Maybe be used as a noun or a verb.

White Knight: 1) A man who stands up for a womens right to be an absolute equal, but then steps up like a white knight to rescue her any time that equality becomes a burden.  2) A man who Promotes gender equality but practices special privilege for women.

We present to you the biggest white knight of the land: the venerable Constitution of India!

Modern constitutions guarantee equality before law, but most of them skilfully subvert this notion of equality to favor one group or the other.  The Indian Constitution goes one step further: it is designed to promote inequality.

In Article 14, the constitution of India supposedly guarantees equality as a fundamental right:

The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

But immediately afterward, in Article 15, we have:

(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.

and, furthermore

(4) Nothing in this article or in clause ( 2 ) of Article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes

And there we go.  “Right to Equality!” and then immediately, wink wink, “Special provisions”.  No matter how educated, urbane, affluent, or “strong and independent” an Indian woman is, she still has “special provisions” designed for her benefit.  And since in nature as in society, no benefit is without its costs, the burden of providing that benefit to “women and children” and on “socially and educationally backward classes” is on the shoulders of productive men.

We shall not go into the merits or demerits of affirmative action or “reservations” for untouchables or SC/STs or OBCs, etc.  The damage that that is doing is well-known.  The constitution has been amended too many times to perpetuate this policy of reservations which was supposed to be temporary.  Read Arun Shourie’s Falling Over Backwards for more edification on this topic.

It is the “special provisions” for women, that is proving to be a special horror in modern India.  There is rampant misuse of woman-friendly laws by unscrupulous women.  IPC 498(A) is probably the most misused law in the history of free India.

The stories are all too common: a woman is angry or annoyed at her husband or her in-laws, she alleges cruelty (without any proof), the husband and his family is arrested and made to go through a coercive blackmail process to pay off the angry bitch or face courts for the next ten or twenty years.  Given the glacial pace of Indian courts, most men choose to save their years, and their family’s peace of mind, rather than their hard-earned money.

Most of these laws put the burden of proof of innocence on the defendant male.  It is an irony of feminism that women are misusing these laws to target not just their estranged lovers or husbands, but the female relatives of those men as well.  But then, for a feminist, a man’s mother and his sister is part of the “patriarchy” that has oppressed her.

A brave man, Dennison Paulraj challenged the constitutional validity of one such draconian law (the PWDV Act) in 2008, but was defeated in court because of the above “special provision”.  The court held the flagrantly biased act to be constitutionally valid, stating:

The submission made on behalf of the petitioner in this case overlooks the benign constitutional provision in clause (3) of Article 15 of the Constitution which provides that nothing in Article 15 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children. The said provision overrides clause (1) of Article 15 of the Constitution which provides that the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

We do not find any merit in the Writ Petition. The writ petition is dismissed.Consequently, the special leave petition also has to be dismissed. It is accordingly, dismissed.

Hence, a White Knight Constitution.

The blame of this state of affairs today in India, in which women are misusing biased and badly designed laws with impunity, squarely lies with the authors of the constitution of India.  But even if they had safeguarded equality before law without any such “special provision”, I’m quite sure the Indian lawmakers would have put in a white knight provision sooner rather than later.  Indian lawmakers have proved themselves capable of subverting the constitution by amending the constitution 99 times!

We already are seeing wide-ranging subversive effects of this “special provision”, but the most vomit-inducing is having reservations for women in elected bodies.  There goes democracy and free choice.

So, men of India, be aware of this reality where you are considered and treated as a second-class citizen.  If you remain ignorant of how your constitution has been designed, you have only yourself to blame.

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