Change of Discourse on Domestic Violence
Recently, the Apex Court in an important judgment said that it is mental cruelty for a highly educated person to fabricate false accusations with intent to tarnish the reputation and career of his spouse. Both, socially and legally, it is a decision that hints to restore the possibility of gender-equality which got lost somewhere under the politically influenced definition of gender equality in the past few decades. The term gender-equality, which should mean equality at any level without any gender discrimination, has been reduced to mean mere protection of the rights of women. A movement that spoke of equality in society got reduced to portraying men as relentlessly exploitative & abusive and women as a victim & exploited. The prevailing narratives filled with misandry has reached a stage that even the people at large in society willingly accept that a woman cannot victimize a man. Is it logical to believe that, as no study to date has confirmed that the physiological difference between man and woman also creates a difference in the feelings developing within them? When, as a proven fact, human emotions like jealousy, hatred, malice, love develop equally between women and men, how can only men be exploitative or oppressor?
Sufferings of Men are always Ignored
Today, it is a loud and clear unfortunate fact that misandry has gone so deep-rooted in our society that from any common man to the judicial system, the sufferings of men are ignored very conveniently. All the gender-biased laws like the Domestic Violence Act, Dowry Prohibition Act, Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, etc enacted in the name of women protection ensuring their and safety and dignity are utilised in personal interest in a manner that has paved the way for the harassment and exploitation of the rights of men.
Most common – Misuse of Section 498A of IPC
Today, the Indian society is going through a socio-cultural-economical transition, where materiality has infiltrated into relationships suppressing love and affection, resulting in fizzling of enormous egos further boosted by one-sided biased empowerment drive for women.
It is noteworthy that in July 2005, the Supreme Court in it’s judgment passed in Sushil Kumar Sharma Vs Union of India and Ors called misuse of section 498A IPC as legal terrorism. Even the Law Commission of India in its 154th report had accepted in clear terms that Section 498A of the IPC is being misused.
When it comes to discussions on Domestic Violence on Men, everyone shies away
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act talks about protecting women from domestic violence but does not discuss it anywhere in the context of domestic violence with men. The lawmakers have accepted the myth that men cannot be victims of domestic violence, but is it really possible? Around 40 per cent of the men in the world are victims of domestic violence. Studies show that if men and women commit the same crime, then the chances of men going to jail for it are three to four times more than women. As per the Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 53 per cent of men in the age group of 21 to 49 years, face domestic violence simply because they are male. The law on protection from domestic violence around the world makes no distinction between men and women. This is the reason that in Germany last year 26 thousand men lodged complaints of domestic violence happening against them. At the same time, about 25 per cent of the total victims of domestic violence in Mexico are men. Is it conceivable that a man in India could register cases of domestic violence against him?
Rajya Sabha member Sonal Mansingh said- Men’s day should also be celebrated
Even if a man takes such courage to break the myths associated with masculinity, he does not have legal protection, which can give him quick relief, except for adopting a lengthy legal process. In this era, everyone is fighting for the rights of women, but where are the laws for men, who are implicated in false cases by women. The time has come to take steps in this regard. Advocating for men’s rights, Rajya Sabha member Sonal Mansingh raised the need for vigorously celebrating Men’s Day in Parliament, like Women’s Day.
Laws meant for the protection of women frighten men
Naturally, the fight for justice for one side should not be prejudiced to the extent that the other side is persecuted and humiliated without any offence. Due to the continuous abuse, gender-biased laws made in the name of women protection have frightened a large section of society. Now, it’s high time that these gender-biased laws are reconsidered and made gender-neutral because even now if these laws are not re-evaluated, they are going to demolish the social fabric and family harmony in the country.
Domestic violence that men go through needs to be addressed by creating awareness in society, shedding preconceived notions, breaking stereotypes and making effective modifications in the laws to make them gender-neutral.