Very recently, Anjali Sinha, a columnist with the Navbharat Times and a women’s rights activist wrote a column in Hindi, translated as “Is the Dowry law being misused” This article seemed to be in response to two articles in Hindi, from the same publication by Poonam Pandey, translated as Govt. Serious over Misuse of Section 498A and Section 498A causes losses worth 4500 crores.
The article written by Anjali Sinha clearly shows how peeved are feminists with the bare facts of Section 498A standing exposed and a study report being prepared by a non-funded non-profit men’s rights organization about the ill-effects of a law that has earmarked the feminists’ efforts of male-hatred and one that has been at the centre-stage of debate between various social groups.
Highlights of the Article by Anjali:-
- Every law that is made to protect women becomes a matter of controversy.
- Though there are scores of laws to protect women but in our society all are rendered infructutous.
- Other than dowry harassment, many other problems are faced by women and since there are no specific provisions for the same; every time a woman goes to police station, the complaint gets converted into a dowry harassment complaint under Section 498A.
- It is a well known fact that women are the biggest victims of domestic violence.
- Divorced single women face more problem than divorced single men.
I won’t say that Anjali is completely wrong however there are serious grey areas that need to addressed and hence this article.
She is absolutely right in the first three points but only factually, the mere presence of these facts cannot be taken as a justification and an excuse to allow abuse of innocent men, women, children and senior citizens to be continued to grow unabated under the barb and paradoxical veil of “Women Protection and Empowerment”. In fact the first point is absolutely true and that proves that every law that the feminist lobby designs, pushes for or vouches for is so ill-designed that it becomes controversy’s favorite child. Straight from the horses’ mouth! Now that they are themselves admitting that they are experts in nourishing controversy’s favorite child, is it not time for the society and the lawmakers to understand their sinister designs and show them their real place?
And for the fourth and fifth point, neither is any concrete data available nor it is an unchallenged domain. In order to have concrete data, there needs to be gender-neutral studies conducted encompassing both the genders with a spirit of equality. Till now not a single comprehensive study targeting men has been ever done and no effort ever been spent to know the problems of men. Only women (and that too in the age group of 15-49) have been the privileged ones. And in such a scenario, making any comparisons or conclusions about both men and women is like picking a group of left-handed people and telling 98% left-handed are skilled people.
Most of the feminist literature and feminist theory have been the backbone of the bias and discrimination against men and it is based on a single psychological syndrome which is the “Victim Women Criminal Men” syndrome. And based on this, all the women protection laws have given the sole testimony of the complainant woman a weight-age equal to Level 1 evidence – enough to convict the accused in legal parlance.
And this in itself is the key to the paradox. The entire criminal justice system of receiving complaints, investigating them and collecting evidence and facts to corroborate them are based on the sole principle that, “No innocent should ever be punished’ as the possibility of filing a false complaint to settle individual scores can never be ruled out and there has to be sufficient protection mechanism against the same.
However, in case of women laws, by assuming that all complainant women are victims and all accused men (and other women related to the accused man) are criminals and extrapolating it to assuming that a woman will not lie unless compelled and a man unless proven innocent will not be spared; is a clear violation of the fundamental basis of the establishment of the “Criminal Justice System”. And such a system can neither provide justice to women nor men. It will only help criminal women take advantage of innocent men and that is exactly what is happening now. If that was the real hidden feminist agenda then they are successful. Choice lies with them to decide.
Anjali also peeves on two more fronts,
- She is disturbed that the Domestic Violence Act is being blamed of misuse.
- She vouches that every problem of women can be solved by law.
Let me console her by telling her that the Domestic Violence is not all being misused. The Act was designed to extort men and throw them out of their own homes and it is exactly being used for that. The way the Act is designed and relies so heavily on the complainant woman’s whims and fancies and statements, it is completely deficient in addressing to Domestic Violence. And it is not only inter-gender discriminatory but also intra-gender discriminatory as it exempts one set of men from punishment and deprives a set of women from protection as well. However, I will not go into details about this, the fact remains that the current form of the Domestic Violence Act in India is not at all being misused; it is exactly being used with the hidden agenda with which it was designed. However, the portrayal of the Act may deviate from reality and this might be concern for the credibility of women and feminists in turn as it is credibility on which they harp, survive and grow unchallenged.
As for formulating laws for addressing women’s problems, there are quite some pitfalls as mirrored in Lao Tzu’s statement, that, “The more laws and order are made prominent,
The more thieves and robbers there will be.” And the feminist ideology of designing laws has already been dissected. Also, the laws designed as per feminist ideology have already shown their dismal performance, every year, the tone of the feminist get shriller, “Crime against women is increasing” and the irony of the fact is that they use unproven complaints as basis of growth indicator!
Anjali says that police convert problems of women into complaints under Section 498A. Again, factually she is correct but we need to go a bit deeper to understand why the police are doing so? The women activists of the past have left no stone unturned in creating problems in smooth police functioning by holding Dharnas / protests in front of police stations, breaking chairs of judges, etc. and creating havoc therein. And in absence of men’s rights and any Governmental body speaking for men’s rights, the police started the practice of converting every complaint into Section 498A.
Having said that, the feminists cannot simply pass on the blame to police and escape the responsibility of causing a societal formation pitted terribly against men and infringing into their basic constitutional rights, nor can the women who file these false complaints against men causing terrible social damage to the men of the country, people who love those men and the country at large.
And now that, Men are Back, the masculists will ensure that women and feminists take the responsibility for the damage that they have caused.
Coming back to the main theme of the article, “Do we need any law to protect women”, I will share a small experience by men’s rights organization, Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF). SIFF has never ever made any statement of helping women yet some women and their parents approached SIFF regarding marital problems.
SIFF listened to them and after being counseled by SIFF counselors, they wrote back that they were terribly benefited by the counseling and now their problem is solved and expressed deep gratitude towards SIFF.
The key point to be noted here that SIFF was able to not only solve the problem but was also able to make people happy without any law; while the feminists have been claiming to fight for women’s problems since decades and are still groaning. Lao Tzu’s saying stands verified.
And the moot question remains open, “Do we need any law to protect women?”