International Men’s Day(IMD) is just over on 19th of November. This was the 13th year of celebration of International Men’s Day since its inception in 1999 by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh in Trinidad and Tobago and the 5th year of its celebration in India after it was first celebrated in 2007.
In the year 2009 a few corporates like the Allen Solly and the HBO took the leap in faith and announced events to observe International Men’s Day, however, barring that, there has been a very high reluctance in the society at large to accept the occasion of International Men’s Day as a mainstream occasion.
It is a wonder that various stakeholders of society are not only ignorant and oblivious to “International Men’s Day”, but are also invalidating about it. Recently DNA carried a news item wherein opinions about IMD from various sections of the society were published. It was, however, interesting to see that to publish views about IMD, all the reporter Som Nandi could do was to get some feminist NGOs to express their views. And all they have expressed is male hatred (unsurprisingly). I will not blame those feminist NGOs for spewing venom against men, as this is what they are adept at.
The real culprit for such a humiliating article on IMD is the reporter Som Nandi, who lacked basic common sense of not knowing whom to ask for when there are over 30 NGOs working for the welfare of men, he could get only one. This not only shows his lack of professionalism in writing articles but also displays the inherent male hatred he harbors and harps on it for survival in a society where misandry (male hatred) is social service.
Why do we need to celebrate International Men’s Day?
- International Men’s Day is the need of the hour. Today, expectations from men have skyrocketed; at the same time acceptance for their limitations have nose-dived. Men do not have proper communication channel in the society and a man who tries to share his problems is either invalidated or ridiculed. Distressed men often feel cornered and end up ending their lives as is evident from the suicide statistics.
- Today, women are getting reservations and concessions in every field and the price of this is paid by men whose lives are getting hyper-competitive. Men face a lot of discrimination in the society, whether it is working for longer hours at office, or being forced to do household chores in addition to shouldering the primary financial responsibility or paying more income tax compared to women at the same salary level.
- Boys do not get privileged education, the way girls get, yet they are burdened with the breadwinner’s responsibility. This imbalance puts a lot of pressure on boys and this is taking a toll on their health in general. More men die due to stress related diseases like blood pressure, diabetes, cadiac arrest, etc. compared to women.
- More male children die at birth compared to female children. 3 times more men die in road accidents. Men have 5 years of lesser life expectancy compared to women. Married men commit suicide 1.9 times more than married women, whereas male population is just 1.1 times the female population.
- Men are not encouraged as much as women to share their problems and there is no official support from the Government for men.
- These facts and statistics and numbers clearly show that men are the discriminated gender and men’s welfare and recognition of men’s rights is the need of the hour.
- Men perform the most dangerous, menial and risky jobs in the society, not only in order to keep it running but also to overcome daily life challenges.
- Men have lost their lives and limbs since millennia fighting for their country-land as soldiers.
- Men are expected to take most of the responsibilities in family and society and the laws are also designed with this mindset and that is the reason Section 125 CrPC forces only sons to take care of their parents and not daughters.
- Celebrating IMD is just one way of telling men – “We are there for you”.
People’s Urge for Right to Equality, a Mysore based Men’s Rights Organization celebrated International Men’s Day on November 19th and as part of celebrations felicitated 4 such great men who are making the odds meet in their respective lives. Below is a glimpse of all the 4 men who were felicitated in the function and well deserved the felicitation given the magnitude of struggles and sacrifices they make in their lives for survival.
Mr. Aslam pasha, lorry driver aged 38. He is married and has 3 children.
He drives a lorry from Mysore to Kathmandu, Nepal. Each round trip will take almost one month. During the trip he eats in road side hotels, sleeps in his lorry and faces a lot of unknown dangers, drives day and night and earns about Rs 12000/- per month.
He gets to spend about a week with family and is ready for the next trip
Mr.Somashekhar, runs a mobile telephone booth, aged 44. He is unmarried, lives with and takes care of elderly blind parents. He is affected by polio and all 4 limbs are crippled and needs to be carried by people from one place to another. A benevolent auto driver picks and drops him every day. He makes his living by having a phone booth donated by someone and on contributions from private bus drivers and conductors at private bus stand, Mysore.
Mr. Ramesh is an auto rickshaw driver. He picks up the crippled Mr. Somashekar every day from his home to the private bus stand and drops him back. He is doing so for many years now and does it free though some times somashekar pays about Rs.50 when he has a good collection. He physically helps him in and out and also attends to Somashekar’s needs.
Above is Mr. Kannan, being felicitated for his selfless and silent contributions to the men’s rights movement and helping in setting up the men’s rights movement in its current form to help distressed men. He has sponsored several awareness campaigns silently and that is the reason the organization decided to felicitate him this time.
The above list is not exhaustive but merely illustrative of the hardships men, in general face and at the same time, also face apathy from the law. Where, on one hand, these men battle out a mere survival war, the judiciary is more than happy to force a man to “beg, borrow or steal” or “sell his kidney” merely because he is ordered to pay maintenance to his estranged wife.
This must go as a clear message to the judiciary, that when these men can toil it up in their lives overcoming all struggles and burdens, why an able bodied married woman should be granted maintenance merely because she asks for it?
Such pressures on men are the biggest contributing factors to skyrocketing suicides by men, especially married men as explained in “Married Men top the list of suicides”. I will be ending this article with a note – “Men have a right to stay Alive”.