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Argument of Definition: Defining Cruelty in the 21st Century - Essay Example

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Argument of Definition: Defining Cruelty in the 21st Century

The idea of cruelty, even within domestic walls, has wider socio-political significance. Domestic violence is an issue that many countries across the world are still grappling with. In a recent progressive pronouncement by the Supreme Court of India, in the case of Samar Ghosh vs. Jaya Ghosh, 2007, the idea of ‘mental cruelty’ was judicially evolved. Although the court declared that it was not possible to objectively define ‘mental cruelty’, the term could include instances of cruel behavior like undergoing sterilization without prior consent of one’s spouse or taking a unilateral decision on whether or not to have any more children. In fact, even ‘feeling of deep anguish, disappointment, frustration in a spouse caused by the conduct of the other’, if found occurring over a sustained period of time, may amount to ‘mental cruelty’ (Shukla). Interestingly enough, in this case, it was not the wife but the husband who sought relief for the mental torture he was undergoing as a result of his marriage.The idea of cruelty, even within domestic walls, has wider socio-political significance. Domestic violence is an issue that many countries across the world are still grappling with. In a recent progressive pronouncement by the Supreme Court of India, in the case, the idea of ‘mental cruelty’ was judicially evolved. Although the court declared that it was not possible to objectively define ‘mental cruelty’, the term could include instances of cruel behavior....
In a recent progressive pronouncement by the Supreme Court of India, in the case of Samar Ghosh vs. Jaya Ghosh, 2007, the idea of ‘mental cruelty’ was judicially evolved. Although the court declared that it was not possible to objectively define ‘mental cruelty’, the term could include instances of cruel behavior like undergoing sterilization without prior consent of one’s spouse or taking a unilateral decision on whether or not to have any more children. In fact, even ‘feeling of deep anguish, disappointment, frustration in a spouse caused by the conduct of the other’, if found occurring over a sustained period of time, may amount to ‘mental cruelty’ (Shukla). Interestingly enough, in this case, it was not the wife but the husband who sought relief for the mental torture he was undergoing as a result of his marriage. According to Dictionary.com, in the legal sense, ‘cruelty’ is ‘conduct by a spouse that causes grievous bodily harm or mental suffering.’ The idea of ‘cruelty’ as being associated with hurting those we love, or at least those we marry, then, has come a long way from the times of Spinoza. Now, thanks especially to the Feminist movement, the personal is also political. Domestic violence can no longer be concealed under the guise of one’s ‘own business’. Globally, the law takes this kind of violence very seriously and as we find from the Dictionary.com definition, even equates ‘cruelty’ with violence found in the home, especially between spouses. Another issue that is often brought up with relation to cruelty is the ending of life. The question of whether capital punishment is cruel or not is one fraught with many controversial ideas. The death ...Show more
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An author of this writing "Argument of Definition: Defining Cruelty in the 21st Century" attempts to redefine what we mean by cruelty first and explores its various dimensions. Doing so, the writer covers various issues brought up with relation to cruelty…
Argument of Definition: Defining Cruelty in the 21st Century
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