The insanity, unconstitutionality and the male hatred inherent in the marital laws of India is no longer a new thing. It is a well known fact that there is a dire need for a drastic rationalization and de-genderization of the marital laws in India.
India, is one of the first countries to have a non-bailable, cognizable and non-compoundable criminal offense for marriage breaking which is not only inter-gender discriminatory but also intra-gender discriminatory. It’s the highly controversial, draconian and inhuman law of the Indian Penal Code – the IPC Section 498A. This law considers husband and his family as“Guilty until Proven Innocent” and is a very facilitating “tool of arrest on demand” since 1983.
This law has been responsible for the arrest of millions of innocent citizens of India including husbands, mothers, fathers and siblings of husbands, octogenarians, infants and has also abetted the suicides of a few million people ever since its inception.
As if, all this wasn’t enough, the Govt. of India was benevolent enough to introduce another gender biased piece of legislation – “The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act”. As the name suggests, it is applicable only to women. But, to be specific, to married women all wives only!
Married Indian Males are losing the most fundamental right of all, THE “RIGHT TO LIFE”. It is not at all uncommon to see people laughing whenever a married men tries to express his problems or says that his spouse and in – laws are torturing him. The audience might find it funny but it is a sad reality for those 61453 married men who were driven to take their own lives in 2010 being unable to bear the torture and lakhs more such who continue to live an abused life without even a semblance of acceptance of abuse. This was as per the data presented by the National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB), Home Ministry report released by Hon’ble Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday, the 27th of October 2011.
|National Crime Records Bureau – Ministry of Home Affairs Suicide Statistics|
|Year||Married Men||Married Women|
SIFF attributes the tremendous increase in suicides of Indian married males to the complete lack of understanding and unavailability of remedies on the issue of domestic violence against men in India.
SIFF’s research has shown that while international studies world over have proved that both men and women are equally likely to be victims of domestic violence, in India a male facing domestic violence has almost nowhere to look for help. The Indian courts have passed little relief and very recently one of the most prominent Indian High courts apathetically observed, “Though men are victims of violence, such incidences are few and far between, thus ruling out the possibility of protection from the parliament”, while dismissing a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Domestic Violence Act as it violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
The DV Act, as it is affectionately called by its victims – the Harassed Husbands – has many a weapons to destroy husband and his family. Some of them are listed here
1. It has provisions for ordering interim maintenance over and above that ordered in Section 125 CrPC (Refer Section 20(d) of the Act) – inbuilt violation of the principle of “Double Jeopardy”.
2. It has provisions for ordering a husband to refrain from entering his own house.
3. It has provisions for ordering a father to stay away from his own children – inbuilt formula to create a fatherless society that can result in more crime in the society.
4. It has provisions to jail a husband on mere statement by wife (Refer section 31 and 32 of the Act) – inbuilt violation of Articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Indian Constitution that jointly provide the “Right to Fair and Free Trial” to any citizen of India. This single provision renders the Act as unconstitutional and liable to be scrapped, provided there is willingness in the Indian Govt. to do so.
5. It has provisions for a case under Section 498A to be filed – this defies the very argument with which the Act was filed. It was told by the feminists that since 498A cases are taking very long time to finish, we should have a civil law and now this very civil law has a secret tunnel leading back to the same Section 498A. This clearly shows the moral bankruptcy of the feminists and intellectual bankruptcy of the lawmakers declaring either of them ineligible to propose or formulate any laws.
6. There is no proper definition of offense in the Act and a mere reading of the Act makes the very institution of marriage as the onset of Domestic Violence on a wife as if husbands have no other job in life but to beat their wives.
This Act is very dangerous for husbands and there is a dire need to protest against it and urge the Indian Govt. to repeal the Act.
Psychologists and Social workers are also equally to be blamed for this carnage since they fail to understand the issue of Domestic violence on men and shockingly even after their deaths they term those men to be weak and irresponsible. It becomes imperative to mention here that the peculiar feature of domestic violence against men is its total lack of social acceptance let alone extending any kind of support to its victims. Finding no helping hand from the society, government or the media, these male victims have no option left but to commit suicide.
Indian males demand their “Right to Life” back
The responsibility of these self annihilated innocent male lives ultimately rests with the Government. The Government cannot simply shake its hands off this responsibility and pass off these suicides as being due to ‘financial reasons’. Whereas in reality, as per the analysis of NCRB itself (a Govt. body), the contribution of “financial reasons” to suicide lies low at a meager 2%. SIFF strongly recommends that the Indian government should stop neglecting the suicides of Indian Married males and allocate adequate budget to spread awareness of domestic violence on men and provide adequate redress mechanisms at the social and legal levels so that lakhs of innocent men who can be still be saved can claim back their “right to life”
SIFF’s “Right to Life” Campaign
The yearlong “Right to Life” campaign for Indian men will be officially inaugurated on International Men’s Day ( IMD) on November 19th 2011 . As part of this campaign INSAAF plans to
• Provide free counselling to married men facing emotional, physiological, physical or financial violence at the hands of their spouses or in-laws.
• Spread awareness in the society and media on the issue of Domestic Violence on men
• Conduct seminars for the judiciary and legislature with the intention of creating effective redressal mechanism for male victims.
• Provide the framework for the creation of a Protection of Men from Domestic Violence act ( PMDVA).
According to statistics released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, in the last fifteen years (1995 – 2010) over 776812 married men have been claimed by rampant domestic violence against them. In a shocking revelation of suicide statistics for the year 2010 reveals that once again almost double the number of married men have committed suicide in comparison to married women as the report attached here corroborates. The rate at which the suicide rates of married men are increasing from 1995 according to the govt reports (See Annexure ) is truly astounding. The figures for a last few years also are equally concerning.