The government on Wednesday said that the concept of marital rape cannot be "suitably applied in the Indian context" because marriage in the Indian society is treated "as a sacrament".
The government's stand came against the backdrop of the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (UNEDW) recommending India criminalise marital rape.
"It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors, including level of education, illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament," Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, minister of state for home, said in a written reply to a question from DMK MP Kanimozhi in Rajya Sabha.
Hindustan Times conducted an online poll asking our readers to give their opinion on what they think about the government's view.
Out of the 1,898 readers who responded till 10:30am on Thursday, an overwhelming 61.91% respondents disagreed with the government's response to Kanimozhi who had asked the home ministry whether the government will bring a bill to amend the Indian Penal Code to remove the exception of marital rape from the definition of rape.
On the other hand, 35.14% respondents agreed with the opinion and 2.95% said they don't know or cannot comment on the government's reply.
The DMK legislator had also said that according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), 75% of married women in India were subject to marital rape and whether the government had taken cognisance of the fact.
Marital rape refers to unwanted sexual intercourse by a man with his wife obtained by force, threat of force, or physical violence, or when she is unable to give consent.