It reminds me of that obnoxious fish curry we had encountered in Chickmaglur (Central Karnataka) as I go through the reporting about the upcoming Marriage Laws Amendment Bill (2010) popularly known as the “Marriage Amendment Draft Bill” or the “MAD Bill” in the men’s rights community and I can’t help but share that incident of fish curry before I move on to the actual topic of the article at hand.
So, the story goes like this. Three of us had gone for a road trip to Chickmaglur. After about 4 to 5 hours of driving, we were feeling hungry and reached a place where we found a restaurant. Not seeing any other option, we entered it, though it didn’t look that great. After initial inquiry, it turned out that the fancy menu on display at the walls was just for “display”. So, exasperated we told the waiter, “Get whatever you have”. So, he asked if he could get a thali for us. We nodded and he started getting the items provided in a thali.
One of them was contentious as I am a veggie. So, I asked him, “What is this?” To which, he replied, “It’s fish curry”. I said, “Can you get me something in veg?” Though he obliged, the other two were happy to get fish curry as one of them was a Bengali and the other one a die-hard non-veggie. But as soon as they started eating the fish curry, which ‘looked’ very tempting, they repented it as it had only curry, no fish.
Coming back to the MAD Bill, it is also something similar to the above fish-curry for men. It has only spicy curry and no tasty fish for men in it. Although the Government is projecting it as a quick short cut to divorce for men – by introducing a new ground of “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage” – in reality, that divorce is very costly for men.
If things go as they are reported in the media, men facing abusive marriages would have to part with 50% of their property made from their hard-earned money to their estranged wives in the event of a divorce.
For women, this law is a bonanza, as it gives them immense power to abuse their husbands in marriage and then walk out, leveling false allegations on them, feign victimhood and grab the property of their husbands. And, in this way, they can keep on repeating it and become “gold-diggers” in the true literal sense by marrying multiple times and amassing their properties, courtesy the upcoming MAD Bill.
Whereas, for men, this law is like an addition of spice to the already hyper-spicy curry of marriage laws like Section 498A, the Domestic Violence Act, Section 125 CrPC which are just aimed at endangering the peace of mind of men and robbing them off their wealth. But this MAD bill is the masterpiece as it intends to rob them off their hard-earned properties just for “being married!”
Moreover, the bill, which is being hailed as progressive in the media, does not talk about,
- The tenure of marriage.
- Wife’s contribution to the property,
- Division of liabilities on the property like loan taken for property, loan taken against property, mortgage against property etc.
- Taking care of senior citizens in the Hindu family,
- What will happen if there are children involved in the marriage and the wife, after getting property and children post-divorce, abandons the child and runs off with her paramours? Who will take care of the child? Can the child go back to the father after a bitter separation? Who will take responsibility if tomorrow; the child grows up to become a criminal – being a victim of faulty upbringing?
- Gender discrimination against husbands by not providing them opportunity to oppose divorce application while wives have the same privilege.
One would just wonder how come this bill is being termed ‘progressive’ when it just refuses to move ahead with the times and be attuned to current social circumstances.
This is not the first time that the Govt. is preparing a “fishy fish curry” for men.
First, it came with Section 498A (1983) and jailed innocent men and their families under false and fabricated allegations of dowry harassment.
Then, it came with the vicious Domestic Violence Act (2006) which threw men out of their own houses and perpetuated legal violence on them at the hands of their vicious and abusive wives and greedy in-laws.
All these years, all these laws aka spicy curry sans fish, cornered men to such an extent that suicides by men, especially married men, went on rising on a skyrocketing spree and the society and Govt. cared least about them.
And even, today, what we see that men are just being offered spicy curry sans fish in the form of more and more extortionary and anti-male laws that just aim at targeting their peace of mind and lifetime hard-earned wealth, earnings and properties and such proposals by the Govt. are celebrated by the media and society, showcasing their internal misandry (social hatred against men).
And one of the main reasons for more and more such laws in pipeline is – inaction by men. Men do not stand up for themselves and feel inferior in talking about their own rights and well-being. They are conditioned to think that it’s too unmanly to talk of “men’s rights”.
Being one of the founder members of “Confidare India Men’s Rights Community Center”, India’s first ever men’s rights community center, I do get a lot of calls from abused and victimized men, who have been subjected severe domestic violence in their marriages at the hands of their wives, in-laws and children. And more often than not, they continue to live in the abusive marriage because our current judiciary is so insensitive to men’s issues that men, in abusive marriages, are just not granted divorce.
And no wonder, the judiciary is anti-male and insensitive to men’s problems. Recently, a high court judge in Bangalore refused to come to a program merely because it was organized so that victimized men can come and share their problems and the reason cited for refusal was – “I cannot attend a program that focuses on men, I could have attended if it was about family problems.”
With such pervert social attitudes, how can the lawmakers or the judiciary create even a semblance of an atmosphere conducive to men?
It will only happen if men rise up and start asking the Govt. about their rights, otherwise, in the current situation, with a few handfuls of men fighting for their rights, there won’t be any change in the fish-curry for men. The curry would get spicier and fish quantity would diminish.
Choice belies with men, they can either continue to suffer or take a stand for themselves and stand up for themselves. After all, the curry must change and only men can change it.