Monday, June 18, 2012
Where Are The Men's Rights In India?
I don’t have any qualms if I am called Sexist, Male Chauvinist Pig, Narcissist or any similar sounding adjective for this piece of mine. First I care rat’s posterior for comments made against anything that I have a strong conviction and second there is absolutely no harm in standing up for the genuine rights of the group, community or even the gender to which one belongs.
That said, I will still urge the readers to not get prejudiced and conclude on the basis of their own assumption, without analyzing both sides of the coin and more precisely, what I want to convey here.
I am not at all against the welfare, development or the rights of the fairer sex but that doesn’t necessarily means I close my eyes on the virtually nonexistent rights of the males when compared or pitted against those are there for the females. I am not all against the protective umbrella that our women enjoy from the laws and guidelines that are formulated since they deserve that extra bit of cushion from the law makers so that their interest, life, future are safeguarded but that shouldn’t anyway make things look utterly one-sided affair once it is put head-on against their male counterparts.
Some wise head correctly said – ‘As long as you are not entangled with our police, courts and lawyers you won’t realize how pathetically one can land in a hopeless situation’. Here I want to add another possibility for Indian men; that is women. As an average man in this country one only needs to be that unlucky to land in a mess with a woman to realize how biased our laws are. I can assure you, the helplessness that you will feel when among our courts or police would appear negligible in comparison to what you will feel against a single woman; more so when the dispute is of domestic in nature. Yet again I am not against the specific laws that are largely women oriented as they should be since a majority chunk of our women are still oppressed, thanks to nonsenses like Khap and all but I am strongly against the very laws being misused so rampantly in urban areas. If someone disagrees here on the women laws are not being misused, then I am afraid this piece of write-up isn’t for you since you might be living in an entirely different India.
Let’s get down to the business of analyzing the law then. The thumb rule of formulating any rule is
· It should protect the interest of the oppressed and less powerful
· It should bring a social balance among the sections of the society
· It should have an unbiased approach towards the issue at hand with an holistic framework
· It should have checks-and-balances to stop the misuse of the same
Let’s see how far our women rights laws have achieved in addressing the basic necessities of law making listed above.
Protecting the interest of the Oppressed: Has it really? Need an honest answer after scrutinizing all the burning cases that we see on television or read in our newspapers on daily basis. If you ask me then, had it been successful even by a tenth of what it is been designed for, we would have achieved a paradigm shift on the state of our women by now. There are abundant instances of women getting tortured in the hands of their husbands and in-laws or even their own parents and siblings for no reason whatsoever. The number of dowry deaths reported daily might very well urge for the use of a calculator to take the count. And keep it in mind that we are talking of the situation a good three decades since we formulated such strong women oriented laws. So where is the effectiveness of the law here? If the Law has real teeth to set things straight at the grassroot level then how come it is time and again failing miserably to protect the interest of those millions of women who are tortured beyond anyone’s imagination in our villages or even in semi-urban areas? How in earth the law loses its veracity when it comes to its effectiveness in every nook-and-corner of our country? Why the law is not that approachable for a helpless women residing in a remote village of Uttar Pradesh, who gets beaten mercilessly for even sleeping half an hour more than she is allowed to? Why the law doesn’t act on the culprits of a Chhattisgarh tribal village for killing their daughter-in-law because she couldn’t bear a son? Where is the law in the villages of Haryana when they kill their own daughters for developing a liking towards someone of the same village?
Bringing a social balance: Has the law brought about a social balance in our society? Has the average woman of any village who works in the fields has become at par with her rights and exercising of the same with the woman of our metros who goes to a pub over the weekend? Where is the social balance when our women in villages are still refrained from deciding to whom even they should vote in the elections? Where is the balance when a majority of our women can’t even decide what they want from their lives or if they should venture out to the market to finish some household chores, without informing their husbands? Have the strong women rights brought all women cutting across cast, creed, social stature, religion or geographical location to level terms? So where is the social balance when a set of women can do whatever they like in their life and very rightly so while another set might just have to seek for permission to even address their nature calls? What is the social balance we are talking about?
Being unbiased itself: Now here the crux of my blog starts. Does anyone from the core of his/her heart believe the laws are unbiased in its entirety? The maturity of governance comes with credible actions against complains without wasting anytime than acting not only in haste but also taking the complaint on its face value and taking it for granted. While the norm is to have the grievance and its authenticity corroborated before acting against the culprit, in case of women laws it is always the other way round. The alleged accused (generally along with his family) is always invariably acted upon and thrown behind bars (most of the times) without anyone caring to figure out if the victim’s complain holds any water or not. This is even against the core ethics of our criminal justice system where it is emboldened – ‘Let a thousand of culprits go Scott Free but let’s not punish an innocent’. Where these lines written all over our courtrooms perishes when it comes to implementing women rights rules? How in earth once can guarantee the authenticity of the claims of the complainant without investigating the truth behind the screen? How the laws of a mature democracy can take someone’s words on face value, just because they belong to a particular gender or community? Even if we consider the female species are to be the real holy cows of the planet, still it can’t rule out the presence of few rotten entities that could go all over the place with all their fabricated grievances at the drop of a hat. Can someone guarantee the non-occurrence of such quelled behavior ever? If NO then why take a chance with having such biased laws which could so easily be sabotaged?
Stopping the misuse of it: I am sure the present sets of laws are misused to the fullest and I need no further conviction on it. More than the misuse, it is the nonuse of the laws that looks scarier. The women who really in desperate need of such laws to come to their rescue to elevate them from the inhumane torture and mental trauma they go through everyday are generally never seen exercising their rights while the nonsense brigade residing in our metros or elsewhere are seen benefitting tremendously by misusing the same rules more rampantly than Pakistan employ lies when it comes to terrorism. There are instances of domestic abuse FIRs getting filed just because the husband refused his wife going for a movie alone. A simple quarrel in the household are reported to the authorities as a case of mental and physical trauma at parallel with the dowry torture complain tucked along with it. The concerns of the honorable Kerala high court on the number of live-in relationships later being conveniently leveled as a case of rape against the male member is nothing but a proof how the rules are being misused by today’s generation women when they feel all advantages are taken out of a relationship. Even if we agree that a pious species like women won’t ever take wrong measures for personal gain, the law by design should contain enough avenues to stop itself from getting misused. Do our women laws have even one single such avenue within? I mean, literally a single clause which will deter anyone from filing false complains? Is there a clause to severely punish the complainant if the accusations were found to be fabricated later on? Is there any clause to safe guard the interest of accused in it? Shouldn’t the law be unforgiving to both the parties and treat both the parities cordially till found otherwise? What if the accused is actually innocent? What course the law will take against the complainant if it is found the accusation is because of the overzealous attitude of one party?
Not sure about many, but I have some firsthand observations of the laws being misused. I have seen guys along with their family members being put behind bars on the basis of false allegations made by their daughter-in-laws. While there are no answers to such atrocious action, just based on someone’s mere complain it is more disheartening to see the nonchalant behavior of our authorities towards the reparations the accused might face because of such actions. I am aware of at least one instance where a person has to lose his job, his image and family repute. His father committed suicide after coming out of the jail through bail; only to be unearthed later that the accusation was an entire pigment of imagination of the woman who filed it at the first place. A family stand devastated while the woman in question was only reprimanded by the courts for such behavior. Now I need someone to stand up and still claim the rules are not misused by today’s women.
Even if one wishes to brush the issue by claiming it to be one-off, he or she still can’t as the instances are not rare but plenty. The other day while returning after a nice dinner around midnight, I happen to see few girls in front of a pub putting on the kind of attires which I am sure even our movie personalities would have some reservation in putting in. There was a police raid and these girls wearing almost nothing were seen running for covers. Now imagine if their husbands dare to oppose such behavior of these girls in future. There goes a FIR for domestic violence and the man will find himself behind bars even before he can realize how a lightning strikes. Now please don’t term me playing the moral police card since pea brains and the pseudo moderns who think nudity as a sign of prosperity won’t realize till they see their own female members hooking around half nude or the scenario I mentioned is only imaginative since I am sure it has happened, is happening and will continue to happen.
I have seen women using the laws as an official weapon for blackmailing their in-laws to agree on their terms-and-conditions. Lakhs of rupees are bargained as alimony and maintenance by threatening with this law. Hapless families are seen selling their last penny to meet the demands since a simple complain might land them in jail for no apparent fault of theirs. The concern goes on and on.
In realty; while the idea of such draconian laws was to help the real needy and bringing a fear psychosis among the real culprits has failed miserably in achieving its goals, it is now being used by absolute idiots roaming on urban streets against their helpless and innocent husbands and in-laws so that their greed and that false sense of dejavu – ‘We are modern and prospering’ is satisfied.P.S – No intention of projecting the female race as bad but just an attempt at showcasing the nasty truths that are been carried out on the pretext of being ultra-smart. Just a thought needed.