A day at the State Legal Services

The following conversation is real. This is how men are bullied in counseling sessions recommended by family courts. This conversation also stands as a glaring proof that Section 498a of IPC is only used as a blackmailing weapon and extortion tool. It is witness to the fact that our society thinks it is only fair to treat men as ATM machines.
Counselor to 498a wife: What do you want, amma?
498a wife:
I want a divorce.
Counselor to victim husband: Are you willing to give her a divorce or do you want to reunite with her?
Victim husband: Sir, I cannot talk about divorce or reuinion while I have a false 498a case on me.
Counselor to victim husband: Why not? She wants a divorce, just give the divorce, let her move on and you also move on. She has been wailing all along and saying that you did not treat her well and that you had unreasonable expectations.
Victim husband: Sir, I did not expect anything unreasonable. I just wanted to be an equal partner and wanted her to live a life of mutual respect with me.
Counselor to victim husband: How can your wife be an equal partner? Here is what I think of a wife. When I wake up in the morning. I have some needs…toothpaste and brush, coffee, tiffin, newspaper, hot water, clothes and lunch. In the afternoon I answer her phone call and say “how are you?”. In the evening when I return home I want food and have some more needs. From what I can see you are being unreasonable. Did you write a letter to her saying you cannot live with her the way things were going with your marriage?
Victim husband: Yes, Sir.
Counselor to husband: Well, that is cruelty to her and she has the right to file 498a.
Victim husband: Sir, you have listened to her so long. Please read her petition, Sir. You will understand my position. I was the one who has been harassed by her and her relatives.
Counselor to victim husband: No, I cannot read. I just want to hear what you want right now. Will you give her a divorce or not?
Victim husband: Sir, this is not fair ground. Nobody has ever listened to my side of the story till date. I have been fighting a false 498a case for more than two years. Even my passport has been taken away from me as a bail condition. I lost my overseas job, lost my visa status, and I have been unemployed ever since.
Counselor to victim husband: It does not matter. Leave all that stuff and even 498a behind. We will take away the 498a if you give her a mutual consent divorce.
Victim husband: But sir, there are many guys I know who have been forced to give a divorce because the wife wants it and then they were left in the lurch fighting false criminal cases.
Counselor to victim husband: Don’t worry about all that. We will take care of removing 498a if you give her the divorce.
Victim husband: Sir, I have been portrayed as a criminal in the society when I have done nothing wrong. I want to fight my case and prove my innocence.
Counselor to victim husband: Look, 498a is not a big thing and if you fight it it will take you many years. Instead, just give the divorce, and get rid of 498a. It is better to settle out of court. Also, as a matter of my personal principle and as a moral value followed in our Hindu society, you are responsible to take care of your wife. You are able and qualified. So, I want you to pay her maintenance.
Victim husband: Sir, but I was the one who was harassed by her and her relatives since the day of the wedding. And she is the one that filed for the divorce. And I am the one who is unemployed. And I am fighting a false criminal case under section 498a.
Counselor to victim husband: Don’t worry about all that. 498A case is nothing serious.
Victim husband: But, Sir, it is quite serious for me. She filed this case while my father was dying and I was even prevented from seeing his face for one last time. I could not even attend his last rites.
Counselor to victim husband: Look, you have to put all that behind.
Counselor to 498a wife: Did any of your family members come along?
498a wife: Yes, Sir, my sister and others came.
Counselor to 498a wife: Ask your sister to come in. I will tell her what we are going to do at the next meeting.
Victim husband: Sir, even my sister is here. Please let her come in and listen too.
Counselor to victim husband: Not necessary.
Victim husband: But, Sir, she is my family.
Counselor to victim husband: No, not necessary. Anyway, you are the final decision maker.
Counselor to 498a wife and her sister: The guy will give you a divorce if you take the 498a charges away. So, next time, both parties will bring your respective proposals for mutual consent divorce. We will see you in a week’s time.

Stop Legal Terrorism! Save the Indian Husbands!!


Stop Legal Terrorism! Save the Indian Husbands!!

Press Release – 10th February 2008, Lucknow (Yaksh 9839097522/ Swarup 9810611534)

Beginning year 2000, Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) has been incessantly working to spread awareness regarding the growing misuse of draconian anti-dowry laws like IPC Section 498A against men and their families. SIFF has been constantly urging the Government to make amendments to the laws to ensure that misusers of the provisions are punished and innocent citizens are protected from legal terrorism. SIFF has been campaigning to end denigration of men, devaluation of their lives and violation of their basic human rights.

The Government, however, has not taken any steps to address the above mentioned problems, forcing thousands of men to end their lives. According to the National Crime Bureau, the number of suicides by males in every age group studied outweighs the number of suicides by females, in the recent years. In the year 2005 alone, nearly twice as many married men (52,483), compared to married women (28,186), committed suicide, unable to withstand verbal, emotional, economic and physical abuse and legal harassment.

While every death of a young married woman is converted into a case of dowry death leading to immediate arrest of the husband and in-laws, accompanied by media-hype, male-bashing and breast-beating, large-scale suicides of men do not cause any outrage in the society. Media finds no incentive in highlighting the truth about abused men. People in power find no financial or political mileage to be gained from helping battered men.

The recent demise of Pushkar Singh is one of the countable few cases that has at least caught some media attention. Sadly, even though his suicide note bears evidence to the fact that he was financially and emotionally destroyed because of false criminal cases filed against him and his family by his wife, she has not even been called in for questioning by the police. One can only imagine the fate of cases where men take their lives silently, leaving no note behind. Deaths of these men make for the brief stories we often read in newspapers stating that a certain man “killed himself due to family issues or financial problems”.

Pushkar Singh represents thousands of men, whose lives have literally been destroyed in the name protective provisions for women and due to lack of equivalent protection for harassed men. While our elected representatives are busy introducing and pushing more anti-male, anti-family provisions in the Lok Sabha, SIFF pays tribute to Pushkar Singh by organizing a “Shok Sabha” on 10th February 2008 at Sector C, Jankipuram Park, Lucknow.

On this sad occasion, SIFF vows to not let the sacrifices and pain of men like Pushkar Singh go in vain. SIFF calls upon all men and women to protest against this saga of human rights abuses against men. SIFF demands that all protective provisions be made gender neutral and all punishments and penalties crime-based irrespective of gender. SIFF demands that misusers of women-protection laws be severely punished. SIFF also demands a Ministry of Men’s Welfare to address present day challenges faced by men and to prevent more men in despair from following the footsteps of Pushkar Singh.