A Convenient Substandard Classification that perpetuates Men’s Oppression

In India there is a saying “Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota Hai” which means men don’t feel the pain. This calloused expression reveals the discard appropriated to men and alerts us to how men are the deliberate recipients of injustice. All men cannot be stereotyped for a few criminals. There are more than 50 Indian laws favoring women and this creates more male criminals.

An independent ministry for women and children called the “Ministry of Women & Children” is been there for a long time. There are additional plans and policies for girls and women by government which include stipend, reservations and priority programs for women’s education in school/ colleges. Both the Central Government and State governments have a women’s commission. (The Constitution of India establishes a federal structure, declaring India to be a “Union of States.” Part XI of the Indian constitution specifies the distribution of legislative, administrative, and executive powers between the Union/Federal/Central Government and the States of India.) This structure promotes enhanced women’s rights with negligible checks and balances. This is discriminatory as men are subjected to almost no support and enhanced abuse and injustice (by various government machineries) as compared to women. The law against false cases is very weak and does not allow any compensation or legal support from the government. Let me explain this by an example – If a woman accuses a man for sexually exploiting her, then the man would be immediately arrested and the state will fight the case on behalf of the women. If after many years the man is able to prove his innocence then after complete satisfaction the court will exonerate the man and will only record an observation that the woman centric laws meant to protect women are being increasingly misused and so the courts will give an option to the man who was accused till now, to file a separate case of defamation against the woman. The state will not fight the case against women and there is no law to immediately punish the woman upon conclusion of the first case. In many cases women don’t even turn up to fight the case or record their statement and later it is realized the case was filed just to settle personal score against the man and his family and this blatant misuse goes unabated. Even Bangladesh, a country with small Hindu population has stringent laws to punish women abusing dowry laws which were meant to protect them.

The Indian government does not allocate any funding in its annual budget for men’s rights / issues. The misuse of these women centric laws which allow false accusations include the Dowry Prohibition Act (498A), Domestic Violence, Misdeed or Rape / Sexual assault, Harassment in workplace, Protection of children from sexual offences. Any type of sex-discriminatory law against women, as for example the payment of dowry, has long been prohibited under specific Indian laws, including the 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act and subsequently by Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code. There are many “me too” claims without any evidence or proof or substantiation. Often only taking a man’s names makes him criminal and even anonymous complaints are found in plenty.

Anyone whether husband or wife, if guilty should be punished, however we find that because of female bias and discriminatory laws many innocent people are in jail. Many times the people in jail are found innocent after several years of incarceration. Worse, those who are guilty of these false and frivolous allegations are never punished and on the other hand the victims (mostly male) of these false accusers who are actually survivors in true sense are not compensated by the government either. The incarceration of several years leads to job loss, severe financial crisis as they have to hire lawyers to fight the case; their families face severe hardship and trauma where they are declared guilty on the basis of a media trial etc.

There should be stringent punishment for false all accusers – whether men or women. The person who gives false testimony needs to be punished in the same manner as the one who is convicted. There are many cases where a wife has accused her husband, his mother, sisters and grandmother who too are sent to a jail resulting in many innocent women in jail! Even hearsay from the family of the wife is enough for police to arrest the husband and his family including the distant relatives. Till some time ago it was not unusual to find a minor as young as 2 years be mentioned as an accused for domestic violence etc. Many sex-discriminatory laws like the dowry act 498A or rape laws support criminals who demand exorbitant money to take back their false allegations, often in connivance with police. This extortion is endorsed by government that acts as an accomplice patronizing and endorsing these budding criminals. There are women who have filed multiple rape cases against multiple men in various courts and there is no way to check this menace.

Clearly there are discriminatory laws against men and the need of the hour is gender neutral laws. A proper investigation should be done with evidence documented. In India where women, children, animals, and forests have different commissions should Men not have one commission who would regulate their rights? Although Indian men exercise their voting rights, they have become second class citizens. In 2015 across India, 133,623 suicides were reported, of which 91,528 (68%) were by men, 42,088 were by women, according to data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Credit: NCRB, 2015 which suggests that one man commits suicide every 9 minutes. Amogst women, housewives (22,293) accounted for 53% of the total female victims whereas of all the men who committed suicide – 23% were daily wage earners (20,409) followed by persons engaged in farming sector (11,584) and self-employed persons (11,124). Amongst the 86,808 married persons who committed suicides in 2015, 64,534 (74%) were men, 26% women. However, of 28,344 suicides by married women, housewives accounted for 79% of them.

Often evidence provided by accused man or his family is not accepted, but if the woman just speaks men are branded as criminals. Many men are poor, sick, unemployed, and have to support a family, including elderly parents. Newsofx.com demands the creation of a male welfare ministry. Poor Men who cannot afford legal counsel should be provided with a legal counsel by government. Gender neutral laws should provide equal justice to all. All political parties eying male votes must put down in their manifesto what they will do for men and pledge to create a national men’s commission.

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Newsofx writes on men’s issues in India.

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MEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS TOO
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