Kon banega harass’d-pathi?
Posted June 28, 2010on:
Gone are the days when divorce was outlawed by most Indian communities. Now that the stigma has worn out, divorce rate of present century is soaring with an outrageous 350% rise in Kerala; most other states marking over 200% and Delhi been declared ‘The Divorce Capital’ as per various media reports. India is eagerly waiting for the 2010 census to see whether or not women beat the existing world record of filing divorce. The way Indian women outnumbered Americans in the number of women CEOs they outperformed in the matter of divorce as well. Previous census data shows 80-85% of divorces were filed by women where as only 66% of women instigated it in USA.
May be our legislators recognized this huge disparity and decided to maintain the social balance by proposing “irretrievably broken down marriage” as a ground for divorce; or else it could be our honorable power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde showing his power for his daughter Smriti Shinde. The same clause was proposed by the law commission way back in 1978 and several other law commission that came later also recommended it over and over again, the latest being 217th report in March 2009, but until now none of our minister’s daughter needed any divorce on this ground!
Most Indian women used to consider marriage as a ‘once in a life time’ activity, but now, what could have changed to twist the whole story? The BUMPER PRIZE! Yes the bumper prize that one could win if they break the marriage rather staying in the relationship. Various definitions of money like ‘alimony’, ‘maintenance’, ‘residence rights’, ‘child support’ etc seems to be more attractive to a fairly good number of women, regardless of their age, than immaterial things like ‘relationship’, ‘love’, ‘family’, ‘parenting’ etc. In order to achieve this ‘treasure’, all they need to do is to frame their husbands as ‘cruel’; and this is just a matter of making a local call.
One Delhi based businessman’s wife alleges even group sex with relatives and also claims that they have given 60 lakhs as dowry. Whether or not Muslim families in Delhi engage in those activities that are even new to liberal societies around the globe, is yet to be proven in the court of law!
Recently, a 65 year old man committed suicide in Taloja prison toilet after being convicted in a dowry harassment case filed by his wife! An average case in lower court would take around 5 years to get a verdict (not justice quite often). He wouldn’t have waited that long to hang himself unless he had strong confidence to prove his innocence. No sane person would think a man of that age would have fought for dowry from his wife.
Supreme Court Judge Deepak Verma while hearing a matrimonial case said “Married men should forget about their freedom”; in another case Justice Markandey Katju said “Do what the wife tells you and never question her authority; if wife says turn right, turn right and if she says turn left, then turn left”. If this is the attitude of our Apex court judges against men, what could this 65 year old man have heard from a lower court judge which led to suicide?
A couple of days ago Delhi high court Justice S N Dhingra ordered a husband to buy a house worth 18 lakhs for his wife in 30 days or else his bail will be cancelled and has to go jail. Here also dowry harassment case, IPC 498a, plays the major role. Those who are aware of the pattern of complaints coming in various NGOs across the nation, related to the misuse of these women centric laws, would consider the chances of criminal intimidation, blackmailing and extortion attempts which could have forced this guy to sign such an agreement.
In most of the cases when police arrest the husband and his entire family and take them to the station, the first thing that the cops do is to make them sign blank papers. It is not even a month old story that an 8 months old baby girl who was jailed in dowry harassment case died due to inappropriate medical assistance when she fall sick. Those who have never even seen the corridor of a police station until marriage would get scared of manhandling and succumb to whatever they are asked to do, to avoid all sorts of abuses and ill treatment.
Lawyers and women organizations including National Commission for Women say abuse of the legal system is woman’s right as they want fair settlement. Introduction of a new ground for divorce is going to accelerate the pace of abuse because at present the only threat for abusers in this extortion venture is not getting divorce until all the fabricated litigations are closed. The new clause will make this government sponsored legal terrorism fail proof. This is the era of Ayesha Siddiquies and the question what remains is, as what the title says, who is the next one to get harassed?