On the occasion of International Day of Families – 15 May, 2010, All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), India Kudumba Padukku Iyakkam (IKPI), All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA) and True Equity Network (TEN) India are organizing a Seminar to discuss the various threats faced by the Family in India, the consequences of systematic destruction of the Family, and what we need to do to check the alarming trend of rising number of divorces, single mothers, fatherless children, and disintegrated families.
The United Nations adopted 15 May as the International Day of Families in the year 1994. This day is meant to highlight the importance of the Family in the society. The logo of International Day of Families consists of a solid green circle depicting the society, with an image of a house and a heart in red in the centre. This symbolizes the fact that families are the centre and the heart of the society, and the society should nurture the Family which provides a stable and supporting home for people of all ages.
The much envied Indian family structure is, in fact, based on mutual tolerance and coexistence of persons belonging to different generations, and provides safety and security to individuals at all stages of life. The larger family also acts as a buffer to mitigate everyday stress and helps minimize conflicts between inexperienced married couples. This stable and time-tested cultural institution has suffered the most serious assaults due to the export of family-breaking ideologies originating in the Western world. As a result, the big fat Indian weddings are getting bigger while marriages are getting weaker and shorter. Houses are getting bigger while the hearts are shrinking and the Indian household is shattering into pieces.
Sadly, the United Nations, while observing a special day to highlight the importance of families, is simultaneously contributing to the destruction of the family in many countries around the world, including India, by sponsoring policies and laws which are harmful to the Family.
Criminalization of marriage and family relationships
Several decades ago, under the garb of equality, the communists and feminists the world over have undertaken the systematic destruction of the Family. They have portrayed marriage and family as oppressive institutions for women. They have projected understanding and tolerance to build harmonious marital relationships as a form of slavery. They have portrayed men as criminals and aggressors, and women and children as hapless victims who need to be rescued from them. They have pushed for importing of senseless anti-family laws to India, without any heed to cultural relevance, social consensus, or the presence of a suitable law enforcement system for their proper implementation.
Today, marital interactions in India have been criminalized, so much so that upon the mere complaint of a married woman alleging cruelty or abuse, the husband and his family members are arrested and jailed, without evidence or investigation. Every year thousands of decent men and their family members are confronted with the shocking reality that today, being born a man, giving birth to a male child, or sharing a womb with one is a crime.
In India, marriage is a crime if you are a man, as there is not a single action a husband might do or not do that does not qualify as an offence, and cost not only him, but even his parents and siblings dearly. IPC Section 498A, Domestic Violence Act, Dowry Prohibition Act, and a slew of one-sided laws enshrined in the “Family Law”, are all designed to criminalize an ordinary law-abiding citizen. It is no surprise that the apex court of India observed that the Hindu Marriage Act is breaking more families than uniting, and that IPC Section 498a has unleashed “legal terrorism” in the country.
New weapons of family destruction or more lethal versions of existing ones are always on the anvil, thanks to anti-male, anti-family organizations, and one is never sure when and how they will strike another death blow on the family.
Legal Sanction of homosexual relationships, live-in-relationships, pre- and extra-marital relationships
After creating various fetters to discourage heterosexual marriage and normal family relationships, there is an upcoming trend of granting legal sanction to hitherto unacceptable homosexual relationships, live-in-relationships, pre- and extra-marital relationships through outrageous remarks and judgments by the judiciary, and even laws made by our elected representatives.
Sexual Freedom i.e. an individual’s right to have unrestrained sex with anyone appears to be the basis for women’s rights. The National Commission for Women (NCW) encourages adultery by women by seeking legal measures for an adulterous wife to claim maintenance from her husband. In other words, a husband is obliged to maintain a woman who is sleeping with someone else! Also, adultery by a man is a criminal offence, but adultery by a woman is, at best, equivalent to a woman’s sexual expression and liberation, and at worst, a civil wrong.
While the NCW is spearheading a sexual revolution, ultra-liberal celebrities like Khushboo are encouraging women to abandon the ideals of premarital virginity and marital fidelity as vestiges of worthless Indian morality. According to them, promiscuous sex should be seen as a morally indifferent and innocuous source of pleasure. How innocuous this source of pleasure can be is indicated by the rates of teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion and foeticide, illegitimacy, and adolescent crime in the Western countries.
American author and judge, Richard Posner, aptly notes in his book Sex and Reason, the “freer women are sexually, the less interest men have in marriage.” With demands for maintenance to an adulterous wife, one should not be surprised, if, in a few years, Indian men, on a large scale, will shun marriage like their Western counterparts, as marriage is not a necessary ticket to a woman’s bedroom. NCW seems to want to transform women into easily disposable sex objects so that there are more and more abandoned, destitute, frustrated, angry women, who hate themselves and men, and NCW’s survival is guaranteed for many more generations.
Promoting a fatherless society
Enjoying the love and affection of both parents is not only a basic right of children, but it is also important for a child’s normal development. Disregarding children’s welfare and best interest of children, anti-family laws have been designed to violate a child’s right to the love and affection of both parents.
Statistics from the United States reveal that, compared to children in intact families, children in fatherless homes are:
- 5 times more likely to commit suicide
- 32 times more likely to run away from home.
- 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
- 14 times more likely to commit rape.
- 9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
- 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances (become drug addicts)
- 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution
- 20 times more likely to end up in prison.
In addition, 3 million teenage girls have sexually transmitted diseases, and at least 1 out of 4 teenagers in the age bracket 14-19 suffers sexually transmitted diseases.
While there is ample evidence to show that children need both parents, Indian “family laws” have stolen the right of a father to love and care for his children, but impose unlimited financial responsibilities on the father. Giving unfettered right of access to children to the mother and little or no visitation to the father is the order of the day. Custody laws allow for passing of ex-parte orders to take away the custody of a child from the father on the sole basis of the self-serving affidavits of a complainant woman. In fact, false allegations of abuse are made and cases filed under IPC Section 498a and Domestic Violence Act as a means to strategically eliminate fathers from children’s lives.
The few fathers who succeed in getting visitation orders are left with just the paper orders which even the courts which passed them are unable to uphold if disobeyed by the mother. Fathers who try to make contact with their own children are labelled kidnappers and are constantly under the fear of being arrested unless they give up their desire to see their children.
Why this trend continues and who benefits?
The realization of the communist’s and feminist’s dream of female sexual revolution, responsibility-free relationships, and fatherless homes comes with a huge price tag, which includes the destruction of marriage and the family, increase in the number of illegitimate children, legitimate but fatherless children, juvenile and adolescent crime, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, and numerous abandoned and frustrated women. There is also an increase in the number of men committing suicide or murdered by abusive or adulterous spouses.
These dangerous trends continue because most common men are unaware of what is brewing in the name of women’s rights and empowerment. Many of those who are aware think, “I am a good person, and those who are complaining must have done something to deserve the suffering”. Most others think this hue and cry about destruction of the family is a joke. It is certainly no joke, and the thousands of men who have been jailed along with their families, rendered homeless and deprived of their children will tell you why. If not, you can be sure that before you realize it, your own family or a family you know could fall prey to the vicious agenda of radical ideologues.
These harmful trends prevail because people are ignoring the fact that marriage and monogamy are a result of social evolution with inherent benefits and costs to both sexes, involving a lot of compromises and adjustment. Many do not understand that partner violence is a reality but it happens because of three reasons (1) Psychological problems (2) Addictions and (3) Criminal tendencies. Many do not realize that majority of partner violence occurs due to the first two reasons, that violence due to criminal tendencies is very rare, and most importantly, that partner violence is not gender-driven.
Meanwhile, everyday, scores of marital discords are being escalated into criminal cases and legal battles. They give a sense of instant gratification, revenge or a false feeling of control to a disgruntled woman and her family, but in reality, the only people who benefit from this are middlemen – women’s organizations, police, lawyers, judicial officers and court staff – who are eagerly scavenging to get rich at the expense of the decaying family system, not realizing its consequences to their own families and the future generations.
The way ahead
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” It also states, “men and women,…, are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.”
The import of destructive feminist ideologies and anti-family laws has broken many Indian homes, depriving children of a healthy childhood. A report by the World Health Organization cited misuse of anti-family laws as a major factor contributing to the increasing abuse of the elderly in India. Many individuals have ended their lives unable to endure the humiliation of being arrested and the trauma of fighting false cases, which typically span 5-7 years. Many young men have lost the most productive years of their lives fighting false allegations of abuse. There are also an increasing number of unhappy single women and mothers, as the one and only institution that had served as the source of constant support and protection for the woman is now under severe threat.
Unless all responsible citizens rise up against the tyranny of anti-family laws and the system that implements them, there is no hope of survival for the Indian Family.
On the occasion of International Day of Families, AIFWA, IKPI, AIMWA and TEN-India will be passing a joint resolution to restore fairness in the family laws and their implementation, and also to stress on a Domestic Harmony Act, in place of all the family-breaking laws.
A Joint Action Committee will be formed comprising of all NGOs across the country working towards gender-neutral, family-friendly laws to draw up a detailed memorandum with our observations and recommendations to the Ministry of Law and Justice on all marriage and family-related laws including the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act, Guardians and Wards Act, CrPC Section 125, Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act and Domestic Violence Act.
We appeal to the Government, media and society to play a positive role in strengthening the institution of Family instead of precipitating its destruction. The Government of India should NOT allow radical, anti-family organizations or individuals to take part in making or amending laws. The media should stop sensationalizing family disputes and spreading half-truths either in the name of news or entertainment. Every member of the society should understand that the Family is our only system of social security, and must reject laws, policies and activities which harm our families.