By Rajesh Vakharia : Recently, it has been reported that actor Aamir Khan has approached Mumbai police with complaints about some malicious propaganda against him. This is least expected out of a person, who stereotypes and paints large sections of Indian men as evil on his show Satyameva Jayate. He claimed 50% of men are beating up 50% of women in the episode on domestic violence (in last season), which is far from any truth.
The title of Aamir Khan’s program Satyameva Jayate has to be changed to Ardha-Satyameva Jayate (Half Truths only Triumph) as it is all about manipulation and fake tears.
Actor Aamir Khan is doing business around truth while manipulating data, figures, statistics and telling half truths. This is not Satyameva Jayate at all. Watching such a program actually distorts one’s perceptions, when it is sold to the audience claiming it to be the truth.
For example, the episode on domestic violence never mentioned anything about any domestic violence that men may face, leaving the audience with a perception that only women face domestic violence and men can never be victims of domestic violence by women.
Not only that, the statistics of domestic violence against women in Satyameva Jayate were false as he went on to tweak the data here and there.
For example, National Family Health Survey (NFHS) – III, whose data Aamir Khan quoted, was funded by US embassy (or USAID) and it deliberately limited the survey to only women in the age group of 15 to 49. This survey conveniently excluded elderly men, women, children and most importantly men. Aamir Khan used this survey, but he failed to inform that all these categories of people are excluded.
National Family Health Survey reported 37% women facing domestic violence at least once in life time, but Aamir Khan failed to stick to this figure and tweaked it to 40% to make it a round figure, so that he can sell it to audience easily.
The other survey that Aamir Khan referred to is a survey by Yugantar Education Society claimed that 84% women face domestic violence in India. Now, one has to just wonder,
Why are we getting different versions of truths in different surveys and which figure is the truth and which is not truth? There cannot be 2 different statistical truths about domestic violence. Is not it? Does Aamir Khan even know which of these two, is the truth?
If Aamir Khan is referring domestic violence as a “truth” in Indian society, then we have to accept that every person including men, women, children and elders are at the risk of domestic violence, the violence inside four walls.
Enough male victims have approached Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), who has faced domestic violence from wives including scratching by nails, slapping and pushing for not agreeing to have a child. Many have also complained of women getting their male relatives and even men in neighbourhood to get their husbands threatened and beaten.
Domestic violence is reprehensible. But, a recent survey by Confidare India found that more than 66% of men who, eventually got separated have faced physical violence from their wives.
Some 29% men, who eventually got separated also faced physical violence from in-laws. Please note, these figures are from separated or divorced men only, not from entire general male population. Such a generalized survey has to be funded and conducted by Government. But, till then it is disgusting if domestic violence against men is ignored.
In year 2012, about 20,000 married men committed suicide compared to about 12,000 women due to “family reasons” alone. This data is from National Crime Records Bureau of Home Ministry.
If men do not face domestic violence and men are running an undeclared war against women as claimed by Aamir Khan, why are they committing more suicides than married women?
In this program Satyameva Jayate, Aamir Khan is just propagating popular stereotypes in very complex social issues and he is shedding crocodile tears. The end result is creating pressure on Government and Parliament to enact laws, which are simply excluding men from any protection.
For example, in recent times, men and homosexual are excluded from protection of sexual harassment at workplace and the Government is not yet ready to acknowledge the crores of men who are facing domestic violence in India.
Media and TV programs must stop manipulating public opinions with false information and stop dictating laws from TV studios. This is important to realize at a time, when many people and political parties are asking for more accountability of media. The self policing inside TV and media is not at all working.
SIFF would like to highlight the following:
- Why did Aamir Khan rounded off the figure of 37% women facing domestic violence as reported by National Family Health Survey-III to 40%? Why he distorted it a bit, if he is claiming himself to be a champion of truth?
- Why was he so confused about the truth that he has to use two entirely different set of numbers? Why he used two sources of data on domestic violence, which gave entirely different figures (40% and 84%)?
- Why did he exclude any data or survey on domestic violence on men, elderly people and children?
· Why Aamir Khan made it into women versus en issue, while a lot of domestic violence is actually bi-directional?
· Confidare India, a research firm has conducted survey on 263 separated men and it found that 66% of these men have faced physical violence from wives, not in life time, but often in a short span of just 3 or 4 years.
- Confidare India, has also found that 29% of separated men have faced domestic violence including physical abuse from their in-laws. Other kind of abuse from wife and in-laws include, “wife calling husband’s mother a slut or a whore.”
- While there are multiple laws enacted by Government to protect women from domestic violence, Aamir Khan’s one-sided program with Ardha-Satya (half truth) has only one impact, i.e. Government’s refusal to give any protection to male victims of domestic violence.
So, Aamir Khan is partially responsible for denial of protection to male victims of domestic violence. By pitting women against men, Aamir Khan is playing a very dangerous game in our society. This can only create social hatred against men and misandry.
It is very strange that a man, who maligned the whole male gender, is now complaining of someone else maligning him.