On Incest

I wanted to write an article on a social taboo. No matter how hush-hush, this topic is, this happens in India.
News Channel NDTV had done a series in July, last year, that highlighted this issue.

It had created great furore then.

The word is INCEST.


Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives. It is socially taboo in most cultures around the world, but whether it is illegal depends on the jurisdiction, the type of sexual activity and the nature of the relationship between the family members involved.

Incest laws may also vary between individual states or provinces within a country, depend on the age and sex of those involved and often extends to marriage between said individuals.

When incest involves an adult and a child,it is usually considered to be a form of child sexual abuse .


The Indian Penal Code (IPC) does not contain any specific provisions against incest. As a result, incest is not an offence.

If the victim of incest is a minor, it is treated as a case of child sexual abuse under Section 90 of the IPC which deals with sexual abuse of children.

According to the IPC, “there is no specific provision in the Indian law as regards to sexual abuse of children by parents or teachers. Such acts are covered by the general provisions relating to sexual abuse of children by their custodian, in whatever capacity they may be.


The paramount importance of family culture in India dangerously covers up Incest statistics and most of the voices are muffled before they can create an issue.

Because of the sensitive nature of the topic, media houses dread doing cover stories about this.

The well knit social structure is also to be blamed. The female victim knows that if she raises her voices, she would be ‘shaming’ her family and also herself. She could also get killed by ‘honor killings’.

Naturally, the only person she can speak to is her mother, who probably is also a victim of incest simultaneously.

They grow up to believe this as natural practice and there is a vicious circle in place. Wife swapping is also a part of this taboo issue.

Consensual sex is fine. But I am not sure how many of the wives actually consent to wife swapping. It is very hard to get statistics. Because there are no witnesses.

This is the best I could do.

(here is a better article : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/259959.stm)


2 comments on “On Incest

  1. bhavanas11 says:

    Incest is a very difficult issue and yet it is perhaps the most painful and traumatic. Yes, till recently even CSA was not considered as a separate offence.

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