ByÂ Himanshu Chauhan:
Crime and exploitation against women is an inconvenient truth of India and many other developing nations as well as the developed nations of the world. One can customarily come across terms such as dowry, rape, female feticide and infanticide, declining sex ratio, social prejudices against women and many other troubles that a woman is subjected to. The other prominent item of discussion is the legal setup that is enforced to protect and empower women. It is a perturbing that even in the most prosperous sections of the society women face a lot of discrimination and exploitation, and definite harsh and strict measures must be taken against those who perpetrate and commit crimes against the creator organ of the human civilization. The struggle to help her achieve a stature of equality, security and ample quality of life is one of the most basic responsibilities of the civil world.
But then is it necessary that to achieve these objectives irrational powers can be given to women so that the other gender to be harassed?
In India, apart from the different directives, policies and measure created to ensure that the interest of women is safeguarded laws have been enforced so that criminal offences can be adequately handled. Section 498A of IPC (Indian Penal Code) that deals with the husband of a woman or the relatives of the husband of the woman subjecting her to cruelty are brought to justice and section 304B is deals with dowry death cases but they are criticized on the grounds that they have been widely misused and thus resulted in exploitation and crime against men.
Ironical finding show that these laws are largely being used to threaten and exploit men. Reports from Centre for Social Research (CSR) show that 98% of all cases filed under 498A go without conviction. It is the most abused provision in our constitution (Delhi High Court) and is one of the major causes of elderly abuse in India (WHO report).
These researches prove that even men are vulnerable and subjected to exploitation and legal harassment. Adding to the situation is the stereotypical biased mentality that men are violent and blameworthy beings when it comes to crime against women and are without much thought presumed guilty. Their issues are given meager and, even at times, sarcastic response.
Violence carried against men is at large emotional in nature which is considered more hampering and vicious than physical violence. The victims develop a negative bleak view towards the self and come at a greater risk of depression, suicide, eating disorder and drug or alcohol.
Men have to face the outside world which is not a cake walk to earn for their families and themselves and when they are subjected toÂ blaming, denial of psychological needs such as love and affection and humiliation by wives or any other female member their whole stability is jeopardized. Being subjected to such anomaly their sense of inner strength is degraded leading ether in withdrawal, agitation or passive behavior. The effect of emotional violence can be chronic and everlasting if not treated adequately and that seems to be a very bleak possibility considering the Indian social society.
3\4 of all suicides in India alarmingly occur in the productive social groups and men contribute twice or thrice in respect to different age categories as compared to women. In case of the married lot, the stats remain higher for men.
*All figure out of 1, 00,000
98% of all crimes happen against men (NCRB report). Ignoring and failing to protect the interest of males can never pave way for a harmonious culture. Equality and mutual respect are the very essence of a progressive and productive social setup. Injustice against anyone and of any manner should not be tolerated on the basis of any background. Lenient action against any type of crime (and that often happens in cases of women against men) irrespective of the wrongdoer’s sex will provide a sanctuary will only result in increment in the intensity as well as the figures of crime.
Section 498A and 304B need to be updated and amended so the reason of their enforcement can be holistically achieved and justice be provided. Bias temperament on legal grounds will always lead to abuse.