We often keep hearing this word – Dowry. In newspapers, media, TV channels, often you will see Indian men being slammed for being “Dowry Seekers” and India also has criminal provisions for imprisoning men accused of demanding dowry. So, what exactly is this dowry all about? Let’s hear it from an expert on this issue – Ms. Jyoti Tiwari. Do watch the video below, hit the “Like” button, share it and subscribe to her YouTube channel for more such informative videos.
We live in 21st Century which is also known as the age of technology and one of the most stunning, path-breaking and unprecedented technological advances has been the internet which has provided a never-before accessibility to data and information. However, at times, it is overwhelming and one gets over-saturated with data, information, happenings, current affairs, news and just decides to give everything a flyby.
My husband had met Neelam Katara on a trip many years ago. He had asked her, “You are Neelam Katara, right? I have seen your struggle and it’s inspiring”. She replied, “Yes I am Neelam, Nitish and Nitin’s mother and the fact that my son’s murderers have to wait for hours in courts, is enough punishment for them.” She was skeptical at that time, whether the culprits would be brought to task or not. These are the words of the mother, whose son’s murderers were convicted by the court today. Though her sacrifices seem fruitful today and there’s some media coverage about the same as well, but it’s nowhere compared the noise that normally happens in an incident concerning a woman. Why so? Even the feminists are quiet and Neelam Katara is not a feminist icon as well, why? Whereas, on one hand, merely at the mention of an innocuous letter, tweet or some incident dating years back, any woman becomes a Braveheart and if it is from a man, he becomes a man who respects women but such a case never gets highlighted in news?
Here, a son was murdered and he had the audacity to love a girl from the upper class. It would had been a case of honor killing surely if a daughter was killed, but here a son was killed. A son isn’t the honor of a family, he is a bonded labour. So, what if a bonded labour got killed and why is his mother making so much of a hue and cry for this? Who asked her to fight such a long battle for justice, that too for a son?
Please note that for being a feminist icon, the woman must be a fair skinned young wife, girlfriend, not an old woman with wrinkles. And this young woman’s fight should be based on baseless falsities like she was harassed for dowry, or that she was a victim of domestic violence or that she had been violated. We believe the good-looking woman blindly. This wrinkled woman, who is mother of two sons, appears nowhere in our conversations. And this doesn’t apply to those who have been spared of false allegations so far, but also extends to those falsely accused and who also believe that they were victims of false allegations because there’s somewhere some woman who is being harassed by a man.
So, we had been talking about Neelam Katara that a wrinkled woman like her has been struggling for her sons. We had read news of Nitish Katara being murdered, of which even his girlfriend Bharti had a doubt about. She tried a lot to save Nitish but in vain. She was pressurized not to give statement favoring Nitish. And we cannot even imagine the pressure that might have been there on Neelam Katara, but she kept her fight on against a strong and powerful leader and his mafia. Even though, there was a conspiracy to poison her second son Nitin as well, but Neelam didn’t budge. She kept her fight ongoing against a corrupt system and influential people. The reason I am writing all this, because I am told that often women compromise as they are threatened into doing so. Few days back a female journo had come to meet me under the pretext of taking an interview, though the interview never got published. Basically, she had come to find out what’s wrong with me, why me, being a woman, I am fighting for men’s issues so vociferously.
While she was saying that poor women not only compromise being pressurized but also take their complaints back, but she was unable to answer a lot of my questions. I asked, who puts pressure on the girl, as the boy is facing a criminal case. He is either applying for bail or is getting ready for jail and if it’s a rape case then one needs to forget bail. First, the boy is jailed and his life is ruined by the time he gets bail. Either the girl takes money and compromises or if it’s a dowry case, then she is either ready to reunite with her husband or she takes divorce taking a huge sum of money. And a vast majority of cases, she just keeps on taking maintenance money, month after month without taking divorce. Even if she doesn’t appear in courts, she won’t be punished for that as well. While the girl need not bother after giving statement, the boy and his family is stuck as the case is criminal and is against the state. She wants to come back to husband because she becomes a burden for her own brother/father for the very reason of filing a case is money and not justice. The female journo was totally quiet on this and she left as she had no answers to these questions.
But I could not keep quiet. If your allegations pertaining to dowry, domestic violence, etc, are true, then fight it out in the court, why hide your face? It’s clearly evident that all the allegations are just a bunch of lies filed with the ulterior motive of extorting money from the boy. If the guy bends down due to fear, then the girl’s successful or else if he decides to contest the case, then the girl and her family simply vanishes from the scene. And it’s not as if the police, courts and feminists are oblivious to this trend, rather, they are instrumental in its implementation. When one visits the women police station, one gets to hear that you can compromise by giving money, the judge who presides over the court will openly ask, “How much can you pay, just pay and finish the matter”. You would tend to say that you are innocent, have not done anything and you have proof for the same, however, the judge sitting in the court has got nothing to do with your evidences but rather with your pocket and he will say, just pay for the nights you spent with her and finish the matter. You might find it strange, but it’s a matter of commission and not that of dowry, domestic violence or rape. And here, there isn’t a single agent, there are multiple like the girl’s father, her brother, the judge, police, lawyers, etc. There is also one more category of cases where the boy is no more, the girl doesn’t come to courts as she won’t be getting anything but the boy’s family keeps going to courts on dates. Technically, the girl can be asked to be present in the court, but it doesn’t happen that way. The money flow would simply stop if these criminal cases come to an end. And all these feminists who keep on cribbing in TV and newspapers about matters related to dowry and domestic violence, these are the very people who are instrumental in getting these cases, “settled”. If you think that all this is in favor of women, then it needs to be understood that it is the business of these people to say that it is in favor of women. These people benefit when the society remains divided and cases keep on getting registered, otherwise what is the rationale behind the argument that we need to stop crimes against women while men can continue to die?
What is dowry?
Well, actually it’s nothing, yeah, you heard it right, its nothing! Marriage is nothing but a business proposal. Various factors like boy’s income, property owned, other responsibilities, scope of foreign trips, jewelry etc. are weighed and in lieu of that, the girl’s father gives somethings as gifts to the girl like electronic items, jewels, clothes, and some amount of money. And it’s a double whammy for girls because all the above items become dowry when there’s a dispute and whatever she gets from husband’s family or puts a claim, it become stree-dhan (women’s wealth). If the money exchanged as pleasantries is a crime as heinous as dowry then why is the same encouraged during festivals and ceremonies? For me personally, even a paltry sum of Rs. 11 handed over to me by my aunt is like a crime as there’s no difference between this money and dowry money. In fact, I have challenged that these customary sums of Rs. 11, 21, 51, etc. should be stopped first, let alone reforming an institution as big as marriage. And this whole thing about dowry is totally farce, for you would never see a girl refusing to marry merely because she doesn’t want her father to spend Rs. 1000 for customs or her in-laws are giving her jewelry. Have you ever encountered such a girl? Nor, would you ever see a girl saying to her father and brother, don’t give me all this, just give me my right in the ancestral property. And the reason it wouldn’t happen is because feminism tells women that they need to desert their husbands and blame them, not their fathers. The tables would turn, the day daughters start asking for property rights from their fathers. Next time when you tend to think that Section 498a is being misused, think again, it’s meant for this use only. It’s meant to strike a deal which is based on a man’s emotions, body and life.
How many feminists have you come across raising their voices against fat weddings? All the latest fashion trends are part of weddings. The very newspapers who crib about dowry, proudly publish bridal collections of jewelry and hosiery. And the jewelry companies would also promote the so-called dowry in their ads as well. And then men are arrested for this alleged crime in an otherwise male-dominated world. And yet the whole industry of clothes, jewels, cosmetics et al runs because of women and the question still remains open – what is dowry?
Even here, the situation is same. It can by anything under the sun. All that parents did to us in childhood was domestic violence. Just see how casual statements of general safety like don’t go there, don’t walk from there, etc. become instances of domestic violence. She can accuse you of domestic violence by accusing you of not putting lights there and asking her not to go there and that you cannot tell a woman where to go and where not to go. Views like, I can roam naked but you can’t look at me, as it amounts to stare rape, are the result of a blind feminism. If you confront your wife that she isn’t taking care of the kid, then that’s domestic violence because she will say, is it only my job to take care of the kid? Can’t she just gossip for some time with her girlfriends or with her mother complaining against you that you go to office just to have fun and is she just a cook at home? All this comes under Domestic Violence. You need to pay for this from your pocket because apparently all pains and violence vanishes with the smell of money. Just keep on throwing money on your wife and the question of dowry or domestic violence would never arise but if you question it someday then you are the de-facto criminal, believe it or not.
In case Neelam Katara had a daughter, and she had cried at all forums that she is a woman who lost her daughter and had she compromised by taking money, then in that case, even she could have become a feminist icon. Rather, she just kept fighting for years together without bowing down before the pressure on her. Our rotten system supports such glamourous women who simply play victim card and go unscathed even after levelling false allegations, however, our wrinkled Neelam Katara is an apt answer for them. Ideally, the women who lie and their family members who work as agents of these women should hang their heads in shame, but it won’t be happening as apparently, putting false allegations is an indicator of women empowerment. Feminism and Women Empowerment encourage women to act as victims and when one refuses to tread the path, one becomes Neelam Katara. All those men and women who are ready to contest false allegations are Neelam Katara personified but their opponents are not ready to fight because the allegations are false and they might have already taken the money and are no longer interested in the fight.
Madurai: The Madras High Court on Thursday called for a “neutral and non prejudicial” law to protect genuine victims of domestic violence, irrespective of the gender, noting that existing law contains a flaw that lends itself to easy misuse by women.
In the above news, the Madurai bench of Madras High Court has asked for a gender neutral law to tackle Domestic Violence. At the onset, in the wake of a rising men’s rights movement in India and scores of abused men thronging for justice, this idea might just catch the fantasy of many a those who are batting for battered men.
However, I choose to differ here. I don’t think it’s a great idea. Rather it’s an erroneous idea prone to extreme backlashes.
And before the brickbats come for me, here’s why I think it’s a bad idea.
Domestic Violence problem distinct for men and women: The issue of Domestic Violence is not uniform for men and women. It’s rather very different. While woman claim to have been abused verbally, physically, emotionally, financially and sexually and the same set of abuses may apply for a man as well, however, when it comes to a man facing domestic violence, the problem is much more varied and complex for men.
Often men are threatened with violence by male relatives of the woman, notwithstanding the fact that such violence against men, at the instigation and behest of a woman is legal in India.
Men also face legal threats about being jailed under a false charge of domestic violence, again it is pertinent to mention here that it is very easy to get a man arrested on false charges of domestic violence by wife. Many such attempts and threats have driven married men to commit suicide and is the prime reason why married men end their lives prematurely.
Men are mostly cut off from their immediate social support structure like parents, close friends, cousins etc. and the man is defamed in front of them, insulted many a times and this breaks the confidence of a man which makes him an easy prey for establishing further control over the man.
More often than not men are forced to write-off their hard earned property (house, site, etc.) to their wives and the society supports such a demand by wife irrespective of her nature. This disparity between men’s problems and women’s problems is depicted here.
Laws in India are easier to make then review: We already have too many laws for domestic violence against women. And they are totally anti-male.
In those laws, there is no scope for a male victim to file any complaint because the very definition of law is against men and defines them as ubiquitous and stereotypical aggressors.
To modify such laws is a gargantuan and mammoth task as each law has various vested interests and stakeholders who tend to gain a lot from the law. In this case, it’s the lawyers lobby and the women who file the cases. And that’s a huge force which won’t allow modification of existing law.
It would be rather easier to have a new law drafted for protecting men from Domestic Violence which would cater specifically to the male side of the problem.
Research lacking from the male perspective: And last, but not the least, credible academic research about men facing domestic violence is severely lacking in India.
The Govt. of India invests no resources for the same and there are no surveys or studies conducted.
Neither are the organizations like Save Indian Family Foundation and Confidare, who are premier organizations batting for battered men, are being consulted on how to address the issue, nor are the male victims of domestic violence given any official platform to voice their woes.
In the absence of even such basic infrastructure, it would be preposterous to bring in a half-baked law on domestic violence which will do more harm than any remedial measure for battered men.
Hence, this idea of a uniform law for domestic violence is erroneous and needs to be rejected. What we need, is a male-centric law to protect male victims of domestic violence.
Recently, a twitter poll was conducted with the above question
“Are men conditioned to make more sacrifices compared to women?” and the results were shocking as shown in the image below.