By RAJESH VAKHARIA ,NAGPUR : Recently the Law Commission was “once again” tasked with the job of reviewing 498a , and once again asked to provide recommendations if 498a needed to be changed . However the interesting thing is the stand that the media has taken on this whole issue . From the type of articles that have lately appeared in the press a few salient points are amply clear.Media was thoroughly enjoying the gender war:- Innocent men going to jail , Mothers and sisters being imprisoned , Men coming out with a sense of vengeance . Some men creating ingenious methods like filing cases for giving dowry or thousands of dharnas and press conferences taking place on 498a all made for excellent masala news which the media loved to cover. There seems to be a sense of dissatisfaction in the media that these will cease of 498a becomes billable and people stop suffering. Let us further analyze this paragraph.
Media’s agenda of family breaking may fail:- Lets face it , media loves to see breaking families. Not only does breaking families leads to more spicy news like increasing crime , increase in gender violence both agsint men and women alike , most importantly breaking families brings immense financial gain to the media and its advertisers. How ? Here is how ….
Lets say a united family of husband , wife , grandparents and grandchildren share one house , one newspaper , one fridge , one TV and one microwave. The moment the wife is separated from the husband she will need a whole new set of duplicate articles for herself thereby essentially doubling the sales of all these articles. So the simple logic is that more number of times a family divides the more the consumerism increases overall . It is not just by chance that Americans consume the most inspite of having the most debt . The totally detroyed family system in US the prime contributor to the unhealthy consumerism. As a consequence we rarely ever see an article in Indian newspapers and the television preaching family harmony. In fact living with the family itself is projected oppression of women by Indian newspapers . The press seems to almost hail broken marriages and divided families and single parenthood for women is made to look as the cool thing . Women who choose to remain single are projected as role models for other women to follow and emulate. 498a is a major facilitator in family breaking since once this case is filed the chances of reconciliation are virtually reduced to zero. The media is hence dead against 498a being amended and Indian families remaining united.
498a articles in the press give away the resentment in the media :- The way the articles on 498a amendment are projected all have a very uncanny similarity.
1. The media knows that the majority of Indians would have this law changed , however the media still always manages to find and interview ONLY those people who they know have a vested interest in keeping this law alive. The faces against 498a amendment are far and few in between and are all familiar radical feminists of India and consist of mostly female lawyers and some feminist NGO’s naming whom in this blog will surely attract a defamation case against me. It common knowledge that 498a is the most major source of revenue for the lawyer fraternity. Over 30% of all bail cases arise out of illegal arrests and detentions under section 498a and if this is removed it will be a big blow to the income of the lawyers , a majority of whose make a living out of bail cases The media never is never able to find its way into the homes of the 100,000 women who have been illegally arrested under this section and interview then to decide if 498a needs to be amended or not.
2. Media always “questions” the fact if 498a needs to be changed. The articles in the press always have a headline that questions the fact if this law needs to be changed. If after countless court judgments , overwhelming misuse data , millions of extreme civil rights violations and thousands of husbands suicides later the media still questions the fact if 498a really need to the changed , it shows a inherent bias and exposes the fact that the media is clearly not happy that the law is changing.
3. Suicides of Husbands and arrests of women almost find ZERO coverage. The Media almost never fails to print the fear mongering and the lies that the few feminist lawyers and some radical feminist NGO’s plant about Indian women becoming more inflammable than gasoline after they married and spontaneously catching fire anytime they are in their husbands home, however it always conveniently ignores the fact that twice the number of husbands are driven to suicide as compared to wives , which is coming straight from the Ministry of Home affairs. The Husband data is conveniently brushed as economical reasons and the wives suicides are even more conveniently put under the dowry death header. If the husband can commit suicide due to economical reasons why can’t the wife also commit suicide due to economical reason. Does the wife not have an equal responsibility as the husband to improve the economical status of the family failing which she can choose to kill herself . Why is the logic of dowry death applied to the wife and the logic of economics aplied to the husbands ? These are questions that the media never asks and one can never find such arguments questioning the absurdity of the data collection and the suicide statistics in the media. Is this not another point that points to the media’s unhappiness that 498a is changing ?
4. The media knowingly plays into the hands of the feminists and projects spousal homicides as dowry deaths. This failed strategy of the feminists although has been dissected and thoroughly debunked many times since spousal homicide is already covered by laws like 304 and 304B which remain functional, the media continues to print it almost all its articles. The Media feels that justifying the need for 498a by quoting murder and spousal homicide statistics will somehow play in their benefit. There are 1250 spousal homicides of women in United States (according to FBI) and 1882 dowry deaths (spousal homicides+coerced suicides) of women in India every year. Spousal homicides without dowry angle are also classified as dowry deaths. So Indian spousal homicides are far less than the US if taken as a % of the population showing that women are much safer in India than the US.
5. The media is solely responsible for portraying the women as a victim theory leads which leads to female foeticide in urban India. People are afraid due to this false propaganda that girls are unsafe as they grow where as boys never face any crime. The truth is, a boy has 24 times more chance than a girl to face crime as he grows up. No one is telling this to young urban parents, who believe only girls are vulnerable and hence try not to have more than one girl in the family. However in 498a coverage the women as a victim theory is again reinforced.
Conclusion :- The media and women’s organizations have a lot of money and that money being used these days to buy print space to attempt to change public opinion fight a desperate battle to prevent amendment of a law that has caused irreparable hard to millions of men and women alike and has been responsible for breaking the social fabric of a nation. However the media forgets the fact that the generation that is now most likely faces these cases gets its news from the internet and not the press . Recently a journalist when shown the above facts of the media reacted violently and dismissed the facts calling us “bubblegum chewing youngsters” . The fact the bubble gum chewers can also chew on facts and data and mobilize such mass numbers to change a law that was once seemed the very essence of radical feminism and family destruction has gotten many people in a lot of industries into a lot of discomfort and the media is essentially one of them. 498a will change today or tomorrow and no one can stop that , because women will continue to misuse it in large numbers and resentment will only increase . In this battle of good vs evil or lies and deception vs truth the path that the media chooses is what remains to be seen. Will the media choose to needlessly alienate itself from the public and contribute to family destruction by projecting biased and one sided articles or remain on the side of the truth and project unbiased facts and figures and leave the public to draw its conclusions ? This is for the media to decide.