ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dignity Trumps Reputation


The recent court verdict acquitting Priya Ramani in the defamation case filed against her by M J Akbar is significant at least in two respects. One, it seeks to encourage women to collectively fight against patriarchal politics that seems to use criminal proceedings against them with the intention to dampen their fighting spirit and to coerce them into unconditional obedience to males who are driven by masculine desires. Two, the court’s verdict also reasserts the need for forging an encompassing unity of law and morality in human beings. The verdict seeks to achieve this unity, which is evident in the court’s creative use of moral vocabulary such as dignity. It goes a step ahead in putting dignity over the notion of reputation, which, arguably, is steeped in the self-serving subjectivity of a person who seems to use reputation as the basis to file the defamation case against Ramani.

As far as women’s legal battle is concerned, such fights are morally painful and socially difficult. It is morally painful as it forces them to prove that they have not levelled baseless charges against the accused. It is socially difficult as they run the risk of being further exposed to the vicarious eyes of society. However, on a positive note, such a struggle has an enormous moral significance, not just for the victim of criminal proceedings but also the entire society.

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Updated On : 6th Mar, 2021
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