Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Harrassed Husbands join forces : The Statesman coverage

Below is a coverage of the Statesman, a renowned newspaper in Kolkata in the front page on 4th September 2007. Certain controversies arose after the coverage was published. I think it necessary to clarify on the statement - "If my mother slaps my wife, she is doing it for her own good ~ not because she is her daughter-in-law but because she thinks of my wife as her daughter." as follows :

Infact my statement was not completely printed due to lack of space it seems. I would like to make it further clear that if that mother in law slaps, it is the same mother in law who would "do or die" when the daughter in law is in immense labor pain or if an unnatural bleeding starts. She is the same mother in law who will help the daughter in law bring up her kids, help to make the food in the kitchen and assist her in day to day work. She is the same mother in law whose experience would let the new comer know how much salt to spread in the food and how to run a household smoothly. She is the same mother in law whose jewellery and property will be enjoyed by the daughter in law when she passes away.

Above all, i would like to make it very clear, that i had told the reporter that i have heard of cases in the long past when the Mother in laws used to slap the daughter in laws. This was told to me both by my maternal and paternal grand mothers. It was a time when the girl used to get married at the age of 12 or 13. She used to be as good as a child and mischievous. Today, the mother does not have a right to slap her own son or daughter. Slapping the daughter in law of today is just a forgettable impossibility.

FYI, we are not against the law. We are against the misimplementation and misinterpretation of law. In other words, we are against the misuse of the law and the law needs to be strictly amended for a better and peaceful society. We do not believe in Domestic Violence Act, we are looking ahead to a Domestic Harmony Act.

The coverage of the Statesman is as below :

Search in The Statesman Web

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Harassed husbands join forces
Kajari Bhattacharya KOLKATA, Sept 3: In an age when women have finally found their voice to protest injustice against them, here’s a group of men which claims to have been harassed by the very weapon instituted to protect their wives’ rights. Men and their families claiming to have been “falsely implicated” under the anti-dowry law, Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, have formed a support group to provide legal aid and advice to fellow “victims”. Three of the four representatives of the support group, Bharat Bachao Sangathan, were implicated in Section 498A cases. A leaflet handed out to those unaware of the group reads: “498A & Domestic Violence Act: Weapons to kill in-laws. Are you being tortured by your wife/daughter-in-law/sister-in-law? Have you been falsely implicated in dowry laws by your wife/daughter-in-law/sister-in-law? Are you being harassed by the police?” Meetings are held once a week in a school in north Kolkata and men, women and families arrested under 498A or being “threatened” by their daughters-in-law and family with the anti-dowry law, discuss their fears. Suggestions come their way from four representatives of the Bharat Bachao Sangathan ~ Mr Vineet Ruia, social worker; Mr Kamlesh K Dwivedi, Mr DS Rao and Mr Suman Chatterjee, IT professional. The last three are “victims” of the “misuse” of the debated law. The group is an offshoot of the NGO Save Indian Family, which fights for the rights of men “wrongly” accused of taking dowry. The Save Indian Family website rants about how such politicians as Ms Brinda Karat and Ms Renuka Chowdhury are obsessed about women’s rights. “The Domestic Violence Act has been designed to violate the rights of men and their family members,” reads a Press note issued in New Delhi when members of the Save Indian Family organised a protest meet at Jantar Mantar, a week back. At the north Kolkata meeting, group members discuss ways to get out of the 498A “trap”, which they claim is a law meant solely for the harassment of in-laws and husbands. One of them is a visiting faculty at Calcutta University and Jadavpur University. Another is a businessman. An elderly Muslim couple asks about ways to hasten the end of a court case against them. A young man claims his brother’s wife and father-in-law are trying to extort Rs15 lakh by threatening to activate Section 498A on his family. According to Mr Ruia, Section 498A and the Domestic Violence Act are destroying the Indian joint family system. “We don’t want single parenthood to come into our society. We’re not saying women should not have rights ~ but rights should be for all women, not just if she is a daughter-in-law. Mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law should not be imprisoned. We are for the joint family. If my mother slaps my wife, she is doing it for her own good ~ not because she is her daughter-in-law but because she thinks of my wife as her daughter.” Mr Ajay Kumar, DCDD, said: “Few people misuse Section 498A. It depends from case to case.”

Discussion on this Pageone item Disclaimer: These are Internet generated discussion threads for which the The Statesman has no responsibility.

RE: Harassed husbands join forcesThis support group has been borne out of necessity. There is a need for similar support groups for victims of the "law" on atrocities against SC/ST.
RE:Harassed husbands join forcesColumnists Feminists in the government: common man at risk Monday, 07.09.2007, 03:59am (GMT) The current UPA government lead by the congress is different from the previous gov
RE:Harassed husbands join forcesThe World Health Organisation, on its report on India clearly cited Section 498A as one of the major reasons for the "Increasing Abuse of the Elderely in India".
RE:Harassed husbands join forcesThe Supreme Court of India has labeled the misuse of section 498A as "legal terrorism" and stated that "many instances have come to light where the complaints are not bonafide and have been filed with