Translation of Dainik Jagran Editorial on CCMI – The dangers of one-sided mindset

Dated 12th June 2016: An organization by the name of Confidare which works for men was established in 2011. This organization listens to men and provides assistance to them.

Thousands of victimized and distressed men have approached Confidare and its staff for getting help. As of now, it has branches in Delhi-NCR and Karnataka only. Only yesterday Confidare Community for Men concluded a 2-day conference. Conference focused on having quality discussions around men’s mental and physical heath.

As a result of the conference it has come to light that in 2014, 67.7% of those who committed suicides were men. In Karnataka itself, 5000 men ended their lives. These figures are published by National Crime Records Bureau. The main reasons behind the suicides were marital, financial and health related. Pan India, 59000 men ended their lives in 2014. Majority of suicides are caused by above stated reasons. However, there’s no attention given to this problem. Neither is there any discussion about the same nor any protests. It appears as if it is some kind of a joke that so many men are committing suicides. Their deaths do not call for any kind of sympathy or tears.

The following 7 topics were broadly touched upon in the 2-day seminar:

  1. Corporate world and men’s health.
  2. Marriage and family issues.
  3. Intimate partner violence.
  4. Psychological impact of litigation on men.
  5. Substance abuse.
  6. Critical Incidence Reporting.
  7. Social trends.

Well known psychologists, sociologists, academicians, experts on men’s issues and a large number of men participated in the conference. As per Confidare, they want to create one such platform where men can talk about their issues freely. They can get guidance from others to get some sort of a solution to their problems. Anil Kumar, Co-Founder, Confidare says that this conference is a first step in that direction. The problems are very complicated and it’s very tough to get a one-size-fits-all solution. Actually what we need is continuous research and study in this field. Co-Founder Virag Dhulia believes that when so many experts come together on a single platform, we should hope for some positive results.

While the conference may give rise to its own results but surprisingly, it is being ubiquitously assumed in today’s times that men do not have any kind of problems at all. Basically they are not considered human at all. Over years they have been projected in a manner, as if they only commit crime and do nothing else. Nobody seems to listen to them either – the police, the law or the Govt. On the contrary, attempts to speak about issues of men can get you earmarked as anti-women almost instantaneously. Let alone the whole society and country, even in a family we have both men and women and both them have their own shares of issues and problems to deal with. However, the moment we start talking about men or their issues, it is labeled as a regressive thought process. It remains an interesting question as to what measure, means and definition of progress portrays one half of the population as aggressors always. Even there’s a section of media reporters and journalists who are on the constant prowl to project some or the other man as a villain at the behest of a woman. Presenting such a highly negative imagery about men to the whole society is not at all a healthy trend. There was a time when men were projected as Gods while women were vamps owing to patriarchal influence, however, times have changed today. Today, we are manufacturing villainous men at the behest of women. Are we only surrounded by irresponsible men who are just out to harass any woman – be it family or otherwise, those who ogle women and force themselves on to her given a chance?

Specifically in India, there are about 650 million men. Are all of them wife-beaters, characterless and abusive? Just imagine, if such a high number of men are like that, would any society be able to function? As a direct consequence of such an inhuman approach towards men, now organizations working for men are demanding that before framing any such law which directly attacks men’s rights, these organizations should be consulted. No one sided law should be so framed that it becomes a cake-walk to trap innocent men in false cases. Many organizations are also asking for men’s commission as well, on the lines of women’s commission. Men’s issues should not be sidelined and the Govt. should make serious efforts to solve them as well. A balance between men and women is needed for a healthy society. Relations harbored by feelings of revenge between men and women will harm both society and family system as well. We have the example of west before us, wherein, now calls for resurrecting the family system are surfacing after the family system has been totally destroyed there.

[Writer Kshama Sharma is senior columnist and an expert on social issues]

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