Two Finger Test: A Call for Obliteration

By Megha Shankar

“Failure of good governance is the obvious root cause for the current unsafe environment, eroding the rule of law and the want of knee-jerk legislation.”

Two-finger Test (TFT), ordinarily referred to as Virginity test, has become a new trend in many countries, especially India, where it is widely executed. The test is the practice and process of inspecting the genitalia of girls and women to ascertain whether they are sexually chaste. The doctors who conduct this test are mostly males. It is based on the false notion that a woman’s hymen can only be ripped off as a result of sexual intercourse. But the absence of hymen cannot be considered as an indicator that the girl is virgin. It is because hymen can be eroded by a number of other factors such as sports, etc. It is very sad to see that such bugaboos still persist in our society where we are heading towards modern era. It makes no difference whether we enter twenty first century or we remain orthodox.
The very definition of crimes against women is faulty. Phrases such as ‘outraging the modesty of a women’ and references to her chastity or honor are irrelevant.  On the one hand, people speak about defending the majesty of women. And on the other, they screw the same by conducting a test of this genre. This can be called a medical rape. Especially, if we take into account the rape victims. The hymen examination of rape survivor forms the only medico-legal response in a rape case in India. At this point, a small incident can be quoted to refer the same. In Mumbai, a seventeen year old girl was kidnapped, cramped for two days and was repeatedly raped by a man. She had to undergo the so-called two-finger test which was carried out by two male doctors in the presence of a woman police constable and a member of CEHAT.  Her salwar was removed and she was made to sleep on the examination table. Her legs were spread by the nurse and the doctors then began to conduct the test. The doctors were wearing gloves. They spread the walls of her vagina and inserted two fingers into that opening and found that the fingers were going in effortlessly. They wiped their fingers on a few slides and the girl, who was trembling in pain, was left in that position. Her other parts of the body were not examined.
DNA samples could have been more helpful in this regard. The Union Government has not taken any step towards eroding this brutal test. Compare it with the SAFE  kit used in USA and UK which comprises of a specific set of tools for collecting evidences in rape investigations. India is still lagging behind in useful equipment. The test calls for a total obliteration from the country so that dignity of the women remains intact. But the same can be made binding as a national guideline only when the Supreme Court of India directs.