Dowry death and bride burning: A look beyond the smoke screen

The phrase “bride burning” conjures up images of a cruel husband and his family members dousing a young woman in kerosene, flinging a lighted matchstick on her and gloating as the hapless bride goes up in flames. The term “dowry death” also sparks off vivid imaginations of a woman being taunted and harassed for money and finally, hanged to death within the four walls of her house. We also have watched movies and TV serials where a malicious mother-in-law poisons the unsuspecting daughter-in-law’s meal or quietly causes a gas leak and locks the new bride in the kitchen right before she lights the stove to make tea for the family.

There must be many families who burn their brides for dowry as a routine practice otherwise, why would there be so many news reports about dowry deaths? As they say, there cannot be smoke without a fire. Right?

Feminists would have you believe that every unnatural or untimely death of a married Indian woman is dowry death. Not only that, the feminist hyperbole on “bride killing” and “dowry harassment” makes it look like Indian men have an uncanny propensity to commit violence on their wives for money, while men in other countries commit domestic violence for other reasons.

In reality, it is the number of registered suicides of married women which are passed off as statistics of dowry death, and even these numbers are almost always exaggerated. It has become a custom to claim that all the women have been “driven to suicide” due to dowry harassment.1-6 The husband and in-laws are immediately arrested under IPC Sections 304B and 498A and incarcerated for a couple of weeks to several months without bail. They are promptly subjected to media trial and labeled criminals even before investigation or trial can begin.

Even if all the noise about Indian brides being “driven to suicide” for dowry is indeed well-founded, one would expect that the number of suicides of married women would be significantly higher compared to that of unmarried women. However, the National Crime Records Bureau’s statistics show that there is no significant difference in the rates of suicide by married and unmarried women.

Justice Saldana’s remarks (in Crl.A. no. 589 of 2003) are testimony to how anti-dowry laws are being misused to the detriment of innocent citizens:

…we need to sound a note of caution that the police and investigating authorities should not improperly and technically jump to the conclusion that merely because death has occurred that ipso facto a criminal offense has been committed . In as many as 44% of these cases prosecution is thoroughly unjustified. Unless there is cogent and convincing evidence and unless there is material to sustain these charges, it would be totally impermissible and completely unjustified to embark upon legal action. The consequences of these charges are extremely grave because the accused husband and invariably family members are placed under arrest. There are serious social and economic repercussions.

The fact that we do come across considerable number of instances where prosecution was unjustified seems to indicate that in every case of death of young woman or recently married women that prosecution and filing of charge sheet has become automatic. There does not appear to be a proper application of mind at the stage of scrutiny and having regard to this position we direct the concerned authorities to ensure that requirements of the law are correctly and responsibly followed.

It is important to note that more than 56,000 married Indian men end their lives every year. According to statistics obtained from the National Crime Records Bureau, every year, twice as many married men, compared to women, commit suicides unable to withstand verbal, emotional, economic and physical abuse by their wives and in-laws. 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”. 7-12

Thanks to the concerted efforts of the feminists, thousands of men are also becoming victims of “legal terrorism” unleashed through laws like Sections 498A and 304B of the Indian Penal Code, Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, adultery laws, laws against rape and sexual harassment, and even divorce, maintenance and child custody laws. Many men are ending their lives unable to endure the fear, humiliation and trauma caused by the legal harassment.13-18

While it is insisted that the death of every young married woman is a case of dowry death requiring immediate arrest of the husband and in-laws, accompanied by media-hype, male-bashing and breast-beating, driving thousands of men to commit suicide is considered social service in India.

Feminists have always wanted “dowry harassment” and “bride burning” to remain hot issues that fuel the Indian Domestic Violence Industry.

The feminist Taliban will surely burn in rage as we look beyond the smoke screen and call their bluff.

1.    http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/kem-doctor-suicide-police-register-dowry-case-against-husband/407514/
2.    http://www.thehindu.com/2007/02/11/stories/2007021114290300.htm
3.    http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/fivemonth-pregnant-woman-commits-suicide-3-held-for-dowry-harassment/275318/’
4.    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/woman-commits-suicide-husband-held/494150/
5.    http://www.hindu.com/2007/03/28/stories/2007032823500500.htm
6.    http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report_techie-held-for-suicide-of-wife_1252098
7.    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Husband-commits-suicide-after-wife-calls-him-ugly-impotent/articleshow/3781322.cms
8.    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Man-pining-for-separated-son-commits-suicide/articleshow/4382247.cms
9.    http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/kolkata/Man-commits-suicide-on-metro-tracks/Article1-475927.aspx
10.    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/Man-commits-suicide/articleshow/5276875.cms
11.    http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Man-commits-suicide-at-Delhi-metro-station/432125/
12.    http://www.kolkatamirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=13&contentid=2009111320091113132759296662d0415&sectxslt=
13.    http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/ministers-gunner-kills-self-fearing-dowry-charges-against-family/463274/
14.    http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/False-dowry-case-Man-kills-self/270124/
15.    http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=%E2%80%98Harassed%E2%80%99+husband+commits+suicide&artid=QlzZUAwpVaA=&SectionID=Qz/kHVp9tEs=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=UOaHCPTTmuP3XGzZRCAUTQ==&SEO=
16.    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/19204/treated-cruelly-wife-techie-ends.html
17.    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/PSI-shoots-himself-dead-with-service-revolver/articleshow/5249121.cms
18.    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?section=subcontinent&xfile=data/subcontinent/2008/february/subcontinent_february242.xml

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Rape Law: YES can mean NO

A woman in Chennai happened to notice a missed call alert in her mobile phone and returned the call. The recipient of the call was a man. What started off as a matter of curiosity quickly turned into regular phone conversations which, after a few weeks, culminated in a face-to-face meeting and, finally, a whirlwind romance.

A few months later, the man’s name and picture were flashed in a widely circulated newspaper, along with the news that he was charged of rape and arrested under sections 366 (Kidnapping) and 376 (Rape) of the Indian Penal Code. The woman’s version of the story was published in detail but her identity was kept secret for “security” reasons. The editor seemed to have run out of space or forgot to fill in the man’s version.

Nobody was surprised at the news. After all, we have been told, “a male is, prima facie, a rapist!”

According to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, a man is said to have committed rape if he has had sexual intercourse with a woman against her will and without her consent.

The definition of rape does not end there!

Even if a woman has given her consent for sex, the man would be deemed to have committed rape when

•    her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
•    the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
•    at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.

In addition, a male having sex with a female under sixteen years of age is rape regardless of whether the act is done with or without her consent.

What is striking, at the outset, is the inherent bias in the definition of rape itself. According to this law, rape is a criminal act that is committed by a man against a woman. Not only that, the crime is entirely in the mind of the female “victim”.

Another aspect that stands out in this law, as with many other “pro-women” laws, is the urge to protect the female AT ANY COST, even if it means innocent men are thrown into jail, the judicial system is taken for a ride, and public resources and time are squandered to satisfy the whim of a dishonest, criminal minded, depraved woman.

People often ask, “Why would a woman lie about being raped?” The answer is “Why wouldn’t she?” When a crime is so loosely defined and when the law is severely biased towards the woman, and when the sole testimony of the female “victim” is enough to charge or convict the accused, why would it not tempt a mischievous woman to misuse it?

There are innumerable cases of celebrities being threatened of rape complaints by fortune-hunting vixens. Successful businessmen, fashion designers, film producers, publishers, and many other simple, honest, decent men are among those who have been threatened and falsely charged of rape.

The judiciary, oozing compassion towards the “fairer” sex, has only helped in emboldening women to play both “Madame Bovary” and “Pavitra Bharatiya Nari” as per their own convenience.

The following excerpts from a judgment of the apex court of India illustrate the point:

“It is a settled law that the victim of sexual assault is not treated as accomplice and as such, her evidence does not require corroboration from any other evidence including the evidence of a doctor. In a given case even if the doctor who examined the victim does not find sign of rape, it is no ground to disbelieve the sole testimony of the prosecutrix”

What? The testimony of the victim is the gospel truth? What is the basis for such presumption of veracity? The judgment provides a simple answer to these questions:

“Indian women have tendency to conceal such offence because it involves her prestige as well as prestige of her family. Only in few cases, the victim girl or the family members have the courage to go before the police station and lodge a case.”

It is no wonder that former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani, said, “Before I could go to bed with a woman, I would have to call a notary public.’’

Legal experts have observed that rape complaints are often made by women who have been jilted, by minor girls who have had consensual relationships with older men, by commercial sex workers who have been shortchanged by their clients and by women who are just “caught in the act”. They have observed instances where women admitted to having consensual sex but claimed to have done it “out of fear”, thus, taking advantage of the loopholes in the law and the credibility they enjoy under the law. As the burden of proof is on the accused man, he has to produce evidence that he had consensual sex with the complainant woman.

Unfortunately, the sneering quips and serious observations by many legal experts and police officers have not been able to improve the situation with the rape law and its implementation.

The reason for this deplorable situation –

Radical feminists have successfully tied the hands of the police, gagged the judiciary and blindfolded the public to advance their agenda of hate and malice against the entire male gender.

Police officers claim that they are always under intense pressure from feminists and fear being attacked by women’s rights activists if they are not prompt in registering rape cases and framing charges.

While radical feminists over-zealously fight to make existing provisions harsher and demand more and more absurd laws, it is heyday for criminal minded women. News reports show that incidents of women extorting money from men under the threat of registering false rape complaints have become commonplace.

Despite having caused so much damage and creating so much fear in the society through the rape law, the female Taliban still feels that “Feminist Utopia” will not be achieved until they bring the legally wedded husband’s head under the guillotine too.

They claim that the rape law is not loaded against men. They, in fact, think that the Government should broaden the scope of the rape law by including marital rape.

We should not be surprised if our Government buckles under pressure and concedes to their outrageous demands, but we should not forget to ask the Government one question:

Which law is going to protect all the men, women and children of our country who are being gang-raped by the feminist Taliban?


About the Authors:

S. Krishnamurthy is a representative of the All India Men’s Welfare Association, and is working for the protection and welfare of men and boys.

And

Uma Challa is the President of All India Forgotten Women’s Association, a group fighting against the misuse of protections and privileges granted to women.

16 Days of Activism Against Global Feminist Terrorism November 25 – December 10

Radical feminist groups across the globe have declared a war against men, boys, marriage and family. Enormous sponsorship from various Governments and the United Nations not only provides legitimacy to this war, but also serves to drown the voices of reason trying hard to be heard.

Under the innocuous guise of women’s rights and women’s empowerment, radical feminists have systematically destroyed the institutions of family and marriage in most Western countries. During the last decade, they directed their attack at the so-called “developing” nations like India, which is known for its strong family culture and marriage values, and where the only means of social security is the extended family.

The weapons and tactics employed in feminist terrorism are:

* Hate speech against men and family
* Fabricated and false statistics
* Blatant lies
* Opportunistic arm-twisting, guilt-tripping and bullying
* Draconian gender biased laws

Through these weapons and tactics, radical feminists have successfully hijacked the concepts of fairness and equality under law, sabotaged the ideals and goals of democracy, slaughtered human rights and are insisting on a Taliban-like regime in every nation.

The victims of this global feminist terrorism, as with any other form of terrorism, are unwary men, women and children.

The fallout of this global gender war is steep rise in divorce rates, number of fatherless children, violence against men, number of men ending their own lives, number of “unwanted” pregnancies and juvenile crimes.

Feminist terrorism is one of the worst dangers faced by all nations today, and the threat transcends all social, economic and religious barriers. Civilized and respectable citizens of all countries, religions, and socio-economic groups should actively counter such feminist terrorism for the sake of the well-being of our families, communities and our future generations.

“16 Days of Activism Against Global Feminist Terrorism” is a campaign initiated by All India Men’s Welfare Association and All India Forgotten Women’s Association. Our 16 day internet campaign will involve publishing a series of articles, fact sheets and research findings by men’s rights, fathers’ rights and family rights activists across the world.

Through our campaign, we wish to:

1. Spread awareness on the perils of radical feminist ideologies
2. Emphasize harmonious gender relations
3. Protest discrimination and abuse of men and children in the name of women’s rights
4. Advocate equal protection for men, women and children from all forms of violence
5. Condemn all gender biased laws
6. Condemn male bashing and stereotyping of men
7. Promote gender equality in all walks of life
8. Protest the export of weapons of family destruction
9. Promote family harmony
10. Promote respect and justice for genuine victims of violence

Organizations supporting “16 Days of Activism Against Global Feminist Terrorism”:

* Save Indian Family Foundation
* Save Family Foundation
* Protect Indian Family Foundation
* Gender Human Rights Society
* Pati Pariwar Kalyan Samiti
* All India Mothers-in-law Protection Forum
* Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting
* Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association

Please stay tuned and visit the web site http://aimwa.in frequently for updates!