As I understand you are the director of Women and Child Development in Karnataka. I would like to put this question to you, as to what is the WCD ministry doing for lakhs of those innocent suffering women who are thrusted to jail on mere allegations (true or false) of mental harassment and torture related to dowry.
I am writing this email from my son’s email id. My name is Neena R Dhulia. I am a 60 year old woman who has to attend court dates every month, here in Bangalore for my estranged Daughter -in – law has filed 3 false cases implicating me, my aged and ailing husband and my 27 year old young son. One case has been filed in Kolkata for which my son has to make monthly trips to Kolkata taking leaves from office. My husband is suffering from asthma, chronic bronchitis and is retired. We are solely dependent on our only son for all expenses.
Here is the brief of the ordeal we went thro’ and are still undergoing and if you do not help us, it will continue without any end.
My son’s was an arranged marriage and it took place on 12th Feb 2007 in Kolkata. No sooner after the marriage it came to forth that the girl, Viral Goda (maiden name) had serious psychological and behavioral problems. She was suffering from extreme mood swing and was used to utter habitual lies. Within just 2 months of the marriage, she went to her parents’ place for some days. My son also booked a flght ticket for her as demanded by her father. After going there, her behavior changed very much. She stopped talking to us and within 2 weeks her father refused to send her back, till her ‘conditions’ are satisfied and refused to disclose the same. After that they went incommunicado over phone. My son could not take leaves from office, so he sent her a plain letter asking her to come back. She did not come back. After about a month or so, my husband went to Kolkata, struggling with his dwindling health, to bring her back.
She insulted him badly in front of our relatives and said that my son will have to sign on 10 of her and 6 of her father’s conditions and then only will she ‘think’ of returning. They did not even disclose their conditions and kept pressurizing for my son to go to Kolkata from Bangalore to sign the conditions. They had visited all our relatives’ place and defamed us so much (and specifically me) with false and concocted stories convincing them so much, that no one came forth to our help. We kept them requesting for an amicable settlement, but they never listened to us. Suddenly on 10th September 2007, they landed at our place with the local police and blamed us for ‘Harassing her for dowry’. This was a totally baseless and false allegation as we are Gujarati Jains and there is no Dowry system in our community. Soon their agenda became clear when they demanded 12 lacs rupees in front of the police for not filing the case. Even the police did not listen to us. My son kept pleading to the officer to give him a chance to present our side of the story. But the police officer was in no mood to listen. He also behaved very badly with me and talked to in a manner very unbecoming of a police officer of the rank of SHO talking to an elderly woman. When we failed to satisfy their illegal demands, they filed the case with the cock and bull story they told the police. We were kept in over night police custody. Next day me and my husband were granted bail on health grounds and my son was sent to the Central Jail for 2 days. They also bribed the PP to object for my son’s bail for at least 15 days. But the learned judge granted bail to my son. It has been almost 10 months now since then and apart from court dates, nothing much has happened. In addition they filed cases on us under Domestic Violence Act 2005, 125 CrPC. She has demanded 30, 000 per month as maintenance in Bangalore in DV Act and 30,000 in maintenance. Already she is getting interim Rs. 2500 per month as maintenance under Domestic Violence Act. All this happened to us just because she is a ‘married woman’ and has cried hoarse of dowry harassment. We were put to jail without trial.
They even got this printed in the Times Of India, pg 3, 13 Sept 2007, Bangalore Edition. Why is the media so biased? Even before the case has gone to trial, they have published the verdict. Why is your department not taking action against such biased media reports?? Such false reports are poisoning our society and strangulating the family system of India. People, knowing that they may get a girl child are heading towards abortion as they fear that there are 80 % chances that their daughter will be killed, kicked, raped or tortured for dowry, as published by UN. Why is your department not taking objection to these false and baseless reports adversely brainwashing the mindset of the common people?
This is just a brief version. There are many more things that happened to us. But what I want to know from you is, does your esteemed ministry consider the mothers and sisters of a married Indian male as women? If it does so, then how come in the last 4 years, 95, 000 innocent women have been arrested on mere complaints, without any trial being conducted and your esteemed department is totally mum about it? The laws meant to protect a woman are working against them. For every complaint of dowry harassment made by one woman, there are on an average 3-4 women who are harassed by the police and later it is found that the matter is settled out of court with payment to girls side to the tune of lacs. One word, DOWRY, a married woman utters in front of the police to hide all her follies and the whole family of the in – laws is devastated and treated worst then hardcore criminals like murderers, rapists, burglars and dacoits. Is this the era of Women Liberation for which such laws were passed ??
Why is it that your department is not vouching to fight against this misuse of dowry laws rather than spreading false statistics. A study conducted by Center for Social Research shows that the misuse is to the tune of 98 %. And yet such a law is let loose for Legal Terrorism to be unleashed on innocent law abiding and honest tax paying citizens of India and that too in today’s era of WOMEN EMPOWERMENT.
Is this what your department calls for WOMEN EMPOWERMENT that when a girl fails to deliver her role in a marriage because of her parents’ faulty upbringing, the blame has to be happily passed over to innocent in-laws and terrorise them to coerce them for a payment of the girls’ misdeeds and follies.
This is not only just my case. My son has joined an NGO called Save Indian Family Foundation, that is dedicated to the cause of creating awareness against this ongoing Legal Terrorism and help its victims. Just in Bangalore, alone every week he says, he gets around 8 – 10 new cases and these are the ones who have somewhere heard about the NGO and approach them for help. There are many many silent victims who are dying a slow death everyday as they have no one to listen to theri woes or help them.