Gender neutral laws are the way forward as men’s rights too need attention

This is one the most sensible article published in a nationalized daily in recent times. When feminism wave seems to introduce a winds of change in India, it completely ignores the reality. A reality that with every bit of progress that feminism achieved, it has taken women clan backward actually. All that has been introduced, created more problems and dependencies for women.

Common men are not realizing the danger. Who still feel feminism is the way forward, look at these credible men, who had once advocated for “aabla naari” propaganda are now facing the sweet music that thousands on innocent men are facing, and they were happily turning a blind eye. Some of those stories along with stories of few eminent personalities are falsely accused are as below:

1. Retired  Justice of Supreme Court of India, Mr. A.K. Ganguly:

He had once supported saying that 498A should not be toned down. Read Here. Though what he said as an example w.r.t. 307 as most misused, is not true at all, you can verify that with NCRB data.

Now he is accused of harassing an intern while at the helm. Read Here.

2. Renowned Journalist Mr. Tarun Tejpal, Founder of Tehelka:

His magazine after Nirbhaya incident last December, published this sting operation called rapes will go on.

Now he is been accused of molesting / raping one of his colleagues in Goa and at present in custody.

3. AGM of an Nationalized Bank, Mr.  Lakshmikanth Chandana:

He was also falsely accused of Sexually harassing a lady manager of the same bank, but later CCTV footage proved the claim to be false.

4. A Senior Official of Northern Railways:

He was accused of sexually harassing an widow, after 15 years he was relived and lady was fined Rs. 5 lakh.

5. Ladies gang in Kolkata uses molestation trap for cash:

4 ladies in Kolkata uses molestation trap to falsely implicate innocent pedestrians for cash.

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Now the article as published in DNA India on the subject i.e. men’s rights too needs attention and gender neutral laws are the way forward.

Tired after a long day of work, Rajiv Sharma* came home and then was beaten by his wife.

Ironically, his wife then accused him of domestic violence. Desperate for help, he turned to men’s rights organisation Protect Indian Family — they helped him set up CCTV cameras in his house.

He gathered footage of abuse and produced it in court as evidence helping to clear his name from the domestic violence charge.

While women’s rights is a much discussed subject in the public forum, as it should be given the horrific and rising incidents of crimes against women, there exist a section of men who are abused but don’t have recourse to legal aid or emotional assistance. Protect Indian Family was thus formed to highlight the problems of men’s rights as well as help men like Sharma who have to face false charges. “Men’s rights is a subject that is completely ignored in India. It needs urgent attention,” says Amit Deshpande, the president of the support group championing the cause of men’s rights.

“I approached the group while I was going through a personal crisis… I was active during the movement headed by Anna Hazare. My blogs received media attention and that spurred me on to do much needed work in this area.”

The group is working to bring the Dowry Prohibition Act and other gender-biased laws such as the Domestic Violence Act and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act under civil laws. It is also working for the passage of a bill called Saving Men from Intimate Terror Act (SMITA) in Parliament; the group drafted the document.

The group is also trying to make Section 498a of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) — under which a woman can put her husband or his family behind bars for treating her cruelly — bailable. It is demanding that the words ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ be replaced with ’spouse’ in all related laws to ensure equality in law for men and women.

Gender neutral laws have found acceptance in western countries but not in India, believes Deshpande. “Laws relating to sexual harassment at work have been made gender neutral in 77 countries, but not in India. In the west, the concept of shared parenting is accepted. However, in India, once a couple parts ways, the mother is given custody of the child. Cases relating to child custody last for years and many times young children are unable to recognise their fathers when they meet them.”

Protect Indian Family is often approached by men who say they are facing false charges of rape, dowry harassment or sexual harassment at the workplace.

“These men need emotional strength and we help them realise that they have to think about themselves first. We provide legal advice free of charge,” adds Deshpande “We don’t judge or question the people who approach us but encourage them to reveal the complete story. If a person has committed a crime, there will be evidence against him. We have a satyagraha-like ideology and will only help people to come out with the truth. Some people who come to us with their cases do not follow up probably because their cases are untrue.”

Deshpande and other activists are also often approached by men who are on the brink of suicide.

Some are even ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause of men’s rights. “We step in and explain that ending one’s life does not help the cause and is not a solution,” says Deshpande.

Deshpande, who has been working in this area for three years, believes the initial ridicule has given way to partial acceptance. “I have seen an increase in the number of people who approach us. Though politicians, legislators and officials support us individually, they are reluctant to work on this subject in their official capabilities as it is a politically-incorrect subject.”

Despite the challenges, the group has met with several successes. 

“In one case, a man was being charged with a false rape case by his girlfriend who was extorting money from him. He was on the brink of suicide when he approached us. We helped him get back his confidence. He recorded their telephone conversations and informed her that he would complain to the police if she continued to harass him. Later, we found that she was married and her husband was involved in plotting the extortion,” says Deshpande. In another case, a man was being falsely accused of sexual harassment at his workplace. Ultimately, the perpetrators accepted that the charges were fake. The man was from an army background and the women had disciplinary problems with him. When he confronted them and asked them to state their problem, they backed off as there were no real grievances.

It is a tragic fact of society that the abuse of women is rampant, but it is worthwhile to remember that men are also wronged. Protect Indian Family provides help to those men in need.

*Name changed on request

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