Recently I came across this case happening in one of my extended circles. A married woman in late 20s alleged that her husband of 10 years is gay and filed for divorce in the court. She claimed that both her daughters (aged 6-yrs and 2-yrs) are conceived off another man because her own husband was incapable of forming a sexual relationship with her due to his sexual orientation.
What I found appalling was that she left both her daughters with the husband’s family and took off to her mother’s. She has now joined a college and is portraying herself as a single girl in order to get married to this other man of resourceful means.

I don’t know how the court has reacted to her allegations specially since if the daughters are not natural-born to her husband, why should he be entitled to their custody? His case is evidently stronger than his wife’s since she’s the one that cheated and left her kids with his family. But in his last conversation to a relative he told that the court seems inclined towards the wife and he may even have to pay compensation for the divorce along with getting custody of the children.

How fair is that to the man and his family is all I ask? Why does he have to pay for his wife’s self-confessed infidelity, insensitivity and ill-attachment to her own kids?

Another case that recently happened in one of my father’s friends’ family is that a newly wed asked for a hefty sum of money to be transferred to her mother’s account or else she’ll file a dowry case against the husband and his family.When the family  did not pay heed to her threats, she filed a case against the husband claiming he is impotent and has an extra-marital affair. The court ruled in her favor and she received a handsome alimony.

When I was a toddler, our neighbors’ son, a doctor got married to a woman who was under a false identity, filed a case of dowry demand  and domestic violence and put the whole family behind the bars in return for heavy compensation in cash. Her false identity was discovered when she was caught doing the same to another family and our neighbors were finally let out of jail a decade later. Justice may have been served late but the family is now living in slums, trying to make ends meet through daily wage jobs.

I am sure these are not the only cases you have heard about.

Women go to the police with a complaint (may be false), but the system provides to record that as a criminal complaint and that data adds in to the National Statistics of Crime Against Women. When male goes with a genuine complaint the police at max can record a Non Cognizable offence against the women. That will never reflect in the statistics. Then how will one guage crime against men? Every 100 Suicides in India have 63 Males and 37 Females. Every 100 male suicides have 45 married males, and every 100 women suicides have 25 married Women. Married women suicides have default arrests of the inlaws under presumed dowry death. Married men suicides entitle wife for a 50% share in property. — Jinesh Zaveri, an advocate on men’s rights in marriage laws.

The biggest threats to Indian men and Indian families is Article 498A of Indian Penal Code , Passed by Indian Parliament in 1983, which is a criminal law (not a civil law):

“Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. The offence is Cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable.”

498a can only be invoked by wife/daughter-in-law or her relative. Most cases where Sec 498A is invoked turn out to be false (as repeatedly accepted by High Courts and Supreme Court in India) as they are mere blackmail attempts by the wife (or her close relatives) when faced with a strained marriage. In most cases 498a complaint is followed by the demand of huge amount of money (extortion) to settle the case out of the court. This section is non-bailable(you have to appear in court and get bail from the judge), non-compoundable (complaint can’t be withdrawn) and cognizable (register and investigate the complaint, although in practice most of the time arrest happens before investigation). There have been countless instances where, without any investigation, the police has arrested elderly parents, unmarried sisters, pregnant sister-in-laws and even 3 year old children. In these cases unsuspecting family of husband has to go through a lot of mental torture and harassment by the corrupt Indian legal system. A typical case goes on for years (5-7 years is typical) and the conviction rate is about 2% only. Some accused parents, sisters and even husbands have committed suicide after time in jail. — 498a.org, a website to raise awareness on 498A of IPC and it’s increasing misuse by the Indian daughter-in-laws.

One of the most hazardous and disastrous social evils in society along with crime against women is misandry i.e. hatred towards men, and is visible in following forms:

  1.  Presence of anti-male gender biased laws in India.
  2.  Little awareness of men’s issues.
  3. Trivialization of men’s problems.
  4. Male disposability.
  5. Systematic gender-based discrimination against men across policies – either public or private.
  6. No special protection accorded to men from serious issues like incidences of terror from intimate partners, immediate family and extended family.
  7. Gender based discrimination against fathers.
  8. Gender based discrimination against boys in education schemes.
  9. Irrational distribution of responsibilities across the two genders.
  10. No allocation of budget by Government towards male friendly causes and objectives.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) as many as 61,453 married men ended their lives in 2010, compared to 31,754 women. The NCRB report in 2011 concluded that at least 16 people committed suicide every hour and the total figure was 1.35 lakh; Suicides due to divorce and “illegitimate pregnancy” saw a rise of 54% and 20% respectively in 2011. The report showed that 70% of victims were married. While social and economic causes led most men to commit suicide, emotional and personal causes mainly drove women to take the extreme step.

Taking into consideration shortfall in Indian Penal code of basic human right of men and protection, a new law named ‘Saving Men from Intimate Terror Act’ SMITA is on the anvil. This bill is supposed to be tabled in the Parliament this winter session and debate would be held in the Rajyasabha as given to understand from the Standing Committee of the Parliament. — Fight For Justice, a blog on protecting men’s right in India.

SMITA is a joint initiative by the Indian Social Awareness and Activism Forum (INSAAF) and Confidare Research, drafted to protect men and boys from domestic violence from their spouse, girlfriends and parents.

Various forms of abuse against men by the opposite sex have been classified by  them under:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Legal abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Sexual abuse

The draft bill was sent as a petition to the Rajya Sabha by the NGOs, following which an acknowledgement was sent to the petitioners, paving the way for a discussion on it in the Upper House.

If you are one of the victims of women-centric family laws in the country, you can seek support at NGOs such as Men’s Rights AssociationSave Indian Family Foundation/All India Men’s Welfare Association.
Every coin has two sides to it, without looking at the other, one should not form an opinion. Justice For Women was not a result of misandry but an attempt to protect, save, empower and fight for equality of our own kind.
The purpose of this post is to aware the readers of the threats of women-centric laws to the men in India and to show our support for SMITA. This is not to say that crime against women and inferior status of women in India is a myth.
Everyone deserves fair and just trial. Gender bias deepens division of society based on sex and I believe we would all agree this country needs to learn solidarity, unity and tolerance towards those different from ourselves.
Comments
  1. This blog comes as refresher. All the women who are advocating for men to respect other women, this should burst their bubble as it demands, them to respect other men too. Thanks for the blog.

  2. Time for MAN says:

    Respect has to be mutual between men and women, not one-sided as feminists tend to demand. Sad state of affairs in Indian laws that a woman has been placed on a much higher pedestal legally. Just on her whims and fancies a case of rape/dowry/molestation/violence can be filed. Any punishment should be given to criminal not “gender” . If a wife is wrong she should be ask to pay compensation and maintenance. But laws are such that wives living in adultery can also demand and get away with maintenance. There are no studies conducted officially by any govt or NGOs on male issues. And then, at the time of framing laws, it’s told – “there are no statistics to tell how many men are oppressed” so, laws will get framed only in one-sided fashion!

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