Date: 25 / 09 / 2008
Activists of the Save Indian Family campaign are meeting from all over India in Goa this weekend (27-28th Sept) to intensify agitation for amendment of dowry laws and domestic violence laws. Their demands are that dowry laws be made bailable and non-cognizable and domestic violence laws to be made gender neutral in larger interest of the society. The spate of actions taken by the radical feminists in sidelining the moderates and wreaking havoc on innocent people in the name of Women Empowerment has already done a lot of damage to the Women Empowerment movement and its credibility. Save Indian Family Foundation does not want further deterioration of the society and hence hopes that the Govt. will do well by taking the above demands into consideration and not buckle under the pressure of radical feminists. It is high time that the media takes cudgels in presenting to the Society the bitter truth about radical feminists who are calling the shots.
It is to be noted that the Govt. made several laws to tackle dowry menace. It all started in 1961, with the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. Then Section 498A, Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) in 1983 and the very recent Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, passed in 2006. Quintessentially all of the above three try to achieve the same objective and unfortunately enough none is successful so far as now, these radical feminists want some more laws as they continue to ignore the extravagant marriages and inaction of dowry prohibition officers in curbing the dowry menace.
It is to be noted that Women’s organizations have got and are still getting millions of dollars from the Govt. and from International agencies to implement stringent anti-male, laws ultra-vires the Indian Constitution for fighting against dowry. And now that they have got used to it, if the dowry menace is eliminated with proper implementation of the existing laws, then they will not get the funds and attention. So, they go soft on dowry exchange during marriages and yet cry for more laws so that men and their families can be harassed and money can be extorted from them.
It is worthwhile to be noted here that nowadays, women do not hesitate in filing 4-5 civil and criminal lawsuits for the same allegations on their husbands, blatantly and out rightly violating Article 20 of the Indian Constitution which clearly says that no person can be tried / punished twice for the same offense. The cases filed include lawsuits under Dowry Prohibition Act, then another under section 498A of the IPC. Then one more under Domestic Violence Act and one more under maintenance and so on and so forth.
But now Indian men have learned to fight and are giving stiff resistance to such wild practices and will continue to do so till the laws are not amended and the perpetrators of this misuse, aptly termed by the Honorable Supreme Court of India as Legal Terrorism, are not brought to task. It is interesting to note that in India, terrorists and hooligans are roaming freely and the Govt. does not want to bring back TADA / POTA but the same Govt. continues with arbitrary arrests of the 1,20,000 women in last 4 years without any trial or investigation and the same is also justified by radical feminist organizations. Such practices can only be ridiculed at best and termed as grave mockery by the Govt. taking potshots at the people’s patience.
Save Indian Family Foundation regrets to mention that in spite of nationwide awareness campaigns launched by it since the last three years and bringing this to the notice of the Govt. about the rampant misuse, still if the Govt. continues to ignore, the people will have no choice but to take the law in their own hands losing complete faith on the law of the land.
It is so pathetic that the Govt. is funding radical feminist organizations, which are no way different from any radical fundamentalist organizations so far as their intolerance is concerned as it is evident from the silence of these radicals on the arrests of 1,20,000 women.
It is also a sad reality that the government is completely ignoring the suicides of Indian men to the tune of close to 80,000 a year with married men forming a sizeable chunk of it to the tune of 56,000 (on average) a year.
We wonder whose life is in more danger in the country: Men or Women?
· As per the National Crime Records Bureau data of 2005:
o Married Men Suicides = 52000 vs. Married Women Suicides = 28000.
· As per the National Crime Records Bureau data of 2006:
o Married Men Suicides = 55452 vs. Married Women Suicides = 29869
· For a wife, even adultery is not a crime (it is a rewarding option and free money earning business for the whole life), but for a husband even an allegation of “Name-calling“ is a crime and not only the man, but his mother/sister/age-old father can also be put behind the bars for this ‘crime’ under IPC 498A or DV act.
The Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Dr. Girija Vyas had enough time to take steps to eradicate the social evil called dowry exchange. Although the NCW has proposed multiple laws but sadly enough none are ever implemented in true spirit. If the dowry practice still exists, then it is a complete failure of the NCW and Girija Vyas and for that Save Indian Family Foundation demands resignation of Dr. Vyas and closure of the NCW.
More recently we had a very unfortunate judgment from the Honorable Supreme Court as well, wherein the Supreme Court granted apology to a husband who accepted taking dowry. When the law has clearly laid down that both giving and taking dowry is a crime, why were the criminals not punished and let go off with an apology? Does this not mean that the law of the land has no meaning and has been only enacted to terrorize innocent citizens and extort their hard earned money from them?
With an ending note Save Indian Family Foundation likes to remind the civil society as well of its duty to raise voice against the injustice going on under the barb and paradoxical veil of Women Empowerment and to the Govt. to make family an issue in the coming elections. And that these laws need to be replaced by some more benign, sensible, gender-neutral legislation that may ensure women their rightful, honorable place at home and abroad, while at the same time not forgetting the rights of the men.
Thanks and Regards
Public Relations Officer
Save Indian Family Foundation, Bangalore