We had a very good event yesterday. Around 110 SIF members joined the march. Around 25-30 people from the neighbourhood came.
We started the march from the victim Manoj Kumar’s brother’s residence. As soon as we started assembling, immediately two TATA SUMOs came there tagged with “Election Duty”. The Vigilance Department of Election Commission had come to inquire what was going on as polls are announced in Karnataka and election code of conduct is ON. They were given proper anti-misandry antidote and sensitization about abuse of men and misuse of laws.
They left the place smiling and told us not to make noise or break the discipline. They were handed over a copy of the press release.
After that, we waited for some more time, and then started forming the queue with 2 people in a line. A banner made by Marital Justice group, printed by us on a size of 4′X2′ was held by both the brothers in the front who led the march.
The photos of Manoj Kumar and Dr. Prashant Pandey from Dehradoon who also committed suicide due to legal terrorism about 55 days ago and still his perpetrators are roaming large. I told the Vigilance Department that you will not face such issues if the police stops giving lipservice to men and actually works for them (as they belong to the Police Dept., news will spread inside).
Around 7, we started after I briefed the crowd about the route and the walking rules. We started a slow march with candles burning, and posters, placards and banner shining. We were initially 44 people in 22 lines. But as soon as we reached the first junction out of the lane, lot of people joined us – mainly SIFF members and some bystanders, who came after reading the banner.
Near the first crossroad opposite Mast Kalanadar, 4th Block, TV9, News9 and Suvarna TV came and recorded. Victim’s brother spoke about the abuse their family went through and Kumar Jahgirdar spoke about so many men committing suicides and it being a social serious which is neglected.
After that we moved on. As we reached the first traffic junction – now we supposed to get onto the main road that goes straight towards Sony Junction away from Wipro Park – the traffic constable who were with us, told us to move quickly. But the grief stricken people moved slowly and the traffic was blocked for some time.
The expression on the face of the onlookers changed drastically from anger to disbelief, shock, dismissal, worry as they saw the banner. They were angry on face as we blocked them but when they saw the banner, they had no words.
As we continued to move amidst heavy Koramangala Saturday Evening traffic near Sony World, many so-called good and law abiding citizens of India saw the effect of law misuse and abuse on men. We distributed around 100 press releases to the onlookers so that the message spreads.
I could see many people peeping from the food joints in and around Sony World. From Sony world signal towards NGV, we walked all the more slowly and stopped a lot wherever there were more than 2-3 people standing and ensured they at least read the banner. Some people followed our procession in their cars, till they found a parking slot, parked the car and joined us. One such fellow who joined us, was around 45 and looked pretty trendy in appearance and asked us about the agenda.
When we told about the abuse of men and misuse of law, he agreed and he said, “Men are being used as FREE ATM MACHINES”. Then two more lads of about 21-22 joined us. We briefed about abuse of men and false cases. They added, “We fear false rape case”. Then one fellow asked them, “Are you married”, at this, the stylish 45 year old fellow retorted saying, “Do not ask them if they are married or not, ask if they are suffering or not.”
We then proceeded and reached Koramangala PS. We all gheraoed the SHO there. He was aware of the procession and knew we were coming. We all went inside the premises and gathered at the entrance of the PS. First the brother of the victim explained all the ordeals they went through and how police’s indifference has hurt them.
It seems Manoj went to HAL PS to file a complaint against his wife and he was ridiculed. This was also told. After Manoj, me, CS, Rukma and Raju briefed the SHO in turns about the men’s rights movement, abuse of men and misuse of laws. The discussions continued for about an hour before the crowd dispersed. We placed all the candles in front of the PS. Put both the photos and banners there too for some time.
All in all, it was a good event. One of my colleagues had come with his wife. While talking there, his wife told me that her mama faced 498A way back in 1993 and went bankrupt in fighting and settling the case. She still carries the stigma and she appeared very happy that a movement like this exists. She had just landed from a flight from Lucknow to Bangalore and came directly from airport along with her hubby – my colleague.
I feel extremely satisfied as I write this narrative.