Marriage – the most controversial social institution – has always been at the center-stage of debates. However, of late, since the last decade, a new trend of criminalizing marital disputes has begun. This trend has started victimizing the “Indian Husband” and his family in a big way and has resulted in,
- Skyrocketing expectations from men and nose-diving acceptance levels.
- Ever-increasing suicides by husbands – 6 times the rate they are born.
- Child and elder abuse.
- Erosion of faith over the institution of marriage leading to promulgation of homosexual relationships, pre-marital sex, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
- Increased juvenile crime.
- Drug abuse.
- Teenage pregnancies (the trend is catching up and no sooner would be a social reality in India).
- Resentment amongst affected, victimized and unheard men and their families towards the police, judiciary, the law and order system, the criminal justice system and the Govt. at large.
- Splurging divorce rates.
All in all, it has created newer, unforeseen and unanticipated problems in the society. However, religious conservatives and social contractors are still not opening their eyes to the problem. Thanks to their stubborn behavior they are compromising human lives and human happiness in their over-zealous efforts to “save” the institution of marriage.
However, quintessentially, all they do is to pressurize the man in the marriage to accept unreasonable demands from the woman and/or the society. For e.g. the recent drama that unfolded in Shoaib Malik’s case. Till the time news of marriage of Shoaib-Sania were not reported no one (including Ayesha and her family) were really bothered about the alleged marriage of Shoaib and Ayesha. But as soon as the news came up, suddenly everyone was interested.
Merely because Shoaib signed on the divorce papers does not validate the marriage because Shoaib had been subjected to “Extortion Patronized by State (EPS)” and was forced to sign the divorce papers. Marriage had been forced unto Shoaib.
A false case under sections 498A, 420 and 506 was lodged against Shoaib and he was publically exhumed by the media. The Imam of Kolkata threatened to issue “Fatwa” against Shoaib if he did not accede to Ayesha’s demands. The police grilled Shoaib for 2 hours and retained his passport as well.
Now my question here is, “Who is Ayesha Siddiqui?” Has anyone bothered to know that? She is just a woman claiming to have married Shoaib some 8 years back! So where was she for 8 years?
No one – the police, the judiciary, the media, the society, the religious conservatives, the social contractors – is really bothered to ask these questions to Ayesha. Why? Merely because she is a woman and Shoaib is a man? So the net result is – when a woman complains against a man in the nature of a marital relationship, the woman is ALWAYS RIGHT, no matter how illogical, after-thought the complaint is and how extortionary are her demands?
When out-rightly Ayesha and her family were denying involvement of any money in the settlement, than why media reports of “150 million of settlement” made rounds? And why now, after allegedly receiving the amount, Ayesha no longer wants to pursue the case?
Is it not a clear case of “Extortion Patronized by State (EPS)?”
The reason I am posing these questions here is because no one else did.
A woman makes an unsupported claim (of marriage) against a man, does not even come out in open and based on that complaint, the civil liberties of a man is violated, his reputation is strangulated in broad daylight, he is extorted and made to cough out a fortune and no questions are raised against the irrational and unreasonable behavior of the woman, no support is extended to the man and any such support is marked off as “unexpected”!!!
Merely because the allegations pertain to a marital dispute, anything and everything under the sun – starting from violation of civil liberties to broad daylight murder of social reputation to state sponsored extortion (EPS) – goes unchallenged?
Is marriage a crime for men in India?
Because Shoaib was a celebrity, he still faced very little harassment and even his harassment got widespread publicity. Had it been some common man, he would have been thrown behind the bars and no one would have bothered about him and his family even.
As per National Crime Records Bureau in the year 2008 alone, 37369 women and 127492 men lost their civil liberties as they were arrested under Section 498A without trial or investigation. Taking into account 5 years from 2004 – 2008, a total of 160416 women and 550804 men have undergone a similar ordeal.
All this goes on because not only marriage is a crime for Indian men; the Indian Govt. is not taking any steps to contain the abuse of humanity perpetrated by the notorious Section 498A. Indian Govt. is directly responsible for such inhuman treatment of men in India. The Supreme Court of India had warned against Section 498A terming it as “Legal Terrorism” way back on the 20th of July 2005. Close to five years have passed and the Indian Govt. is sleeping over it.
With the Shoaib Malik episode the “Extortion Patronized by State (EPS)” came out in open completely.
While the dispute between Malik and Siddiqui was completely civil, a wrong law and wronger implementation of the law allowed the Siddiquis to extort the Maliks and a civil dispute was criminalized endangering the civil liberties of an otherwise law abiding citizen. Such criminalization of civil disputes is a very dangerous trend. If the Indian Govt. does not react to this scenario and take a corrective step by scrapping Section 498A, then it will be directly responsible for the civil liberties of citizens being violated, their fundamental right to fair justice being impeached and lives and years of life of innocent people being tanned in this furnace of social injustice.
It is now very clear that the very concept of marriage is crime in India and any woman can extort any man in the name of marriage – whether they met, got married, cohabited together, led a family life et. al. are all pointless debates. What matters is that there is a complaint from a woman against a man and that is basis enough for all kinds of injustices on the accused man – social, legal, financial, emotional, humanitarian – and this is what I object to vehemently.
Even the society does not seem to have any problem with such high dose of inhumanity being practiced widespread. When I started a discussion about this on the Facebook, I got some replies like, “498A is much justified on Shoaib because he ditched Ayesha to marry another woman”.
So there is a pre-judged notion in the society that merely because Ayesha is complaining, Shoaib must have ditched her and that pre-judged notion becomes the basis of all injustices henceforth. If Ayesha was so truthful, why she did not pursue the case? Why accept money? Why not come out in open? But no one will ask these questions as somewhere silently everyone wants criminalization of marriage because it fits the “Male-Disposability Syndrome”.
However, the fact remains – Marriage is a crime for men in India.
Either stop criminalizing marriages or stop marriages!