Decriminalize Dowry Act, demand Men’s Activists — Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF)

Save Indian Family Foundation
(SIFF)

Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) founded in 2005 is India’s largest Men’s Rights Organisation. It has thousands of members all over India and abroad. Over these years, SIFF’s activists has helped stop arrests under section 498a of IPC and backlash against movements like #MeToo.SIFF activists believe as per family courts, woman is a burden on her husband. If a woman quits her job and demands alimony, then the man has to pay alimony every month to her for next 40 to 50 years irrespective of duration of marriage.Demand for Decriminalization of Dowry Prohibition of Act. Rajesh Vakharia is president of SIFF. He says, ”When woman is such a huge financial liability on her husband, then why is it a crime if the man asks woman’s father to help share the burden? If husband asks any money to father of the woman, it is called dowry. It is a crime to tell woman’s father to share the burden.””It is time for decriminalizing Dowry Prohibition Act.” He says, Govt’s policies today are all about institutionalized discrimination of men. Kejriwal Govt in Delhi is giving free bus rides for women while charging full fare to men. Govt had made domestic violence against men legal in India. In fact, judges in courts are forcing men to stay with their abusive wives.

“Feminists as usual are cribbing about violence against women. Taapsee Pannu is acting in a movie called Thappad  and Women’s minister Smriti Irani has joined her to blame men, as if no woman perpetrates any domestic violence against her husband. 3 crore Indian men have faced domestic violence.” Says Hardik Patel of SIFF.

“Its a big myth that men and women are equal. Women are not equal to men. Women are burdens on men. Govt and Courts want women to remain as burdens on men.” He says. Hardik wants Women’s Day should be celebrated as “International Day of Burdens.” He says, “If women are a burden on husband, why is there a shame to accept this fact.”

”Every young man who is getting married must understand that as soon as he marries, his wife will be a burden on him. Whether she is educated or uneducated, he has to pay life long alimony to to her, if he and his wife face marital problems.” Says Anil Kumar, co-founder of SIFF.

Men in India suffer from biased and women centric laws as well as pressure from society. From the moment a man marries a woman, he is expected to work hard and provide for the upkeep of the family and kids, including buying or renting a house, paying for school, groceries, medicines and all kinds of expenses, without expecting anything in return. Additionally, he is in a huge legal risk if the marriage breaks down for any reason. The courts often force him to pay a good portion of his income as lifelong alimony and maintenance to his estranged wife, even if the marriage has lasted only a few days or months and even if he has married again and has a new family or old parents to support. This is why we say that “woman is a burden”. 

On the other hand, women face no pressure to work for a living, as they can simply depend on the husbands or their fathers or sons to work and take care of them. In case of a divorce, only the man gets blamed by society and has to bear the full financial costs. This state of affairs, in fact, fosters a culture of dependency and is harmful to both men and women. It also puts a burden on the economy, as one half of the population has an incentive not to work. The scale of the problem can be judged from the numbers: every year about 500,000 marriages are breaking in India and last year about 125,000 cases are filed under section 498a or anti-dowry law. In the younger age group of 25-35 years, almost 5% of couples are getting divorced now. 

Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) is a leading men’s rights NGO in India. It runs a helpline (+91 9278 978 978) for men facing domestic violence and false cases of section 498a. Thousands of these men call the helplines run by men's support groups like SIFF every year. SIFF also runs men's community centres in Delhi and Bangalore. To raise awareness of men’s issues, SIFF held the Men’s Rights Conclave in Delhi from 21-23 February 2020.

SIFF demands that there should be a fair procedure that takes into account factors such as duration of marriage and earning potential of the wife before granting alimony. 

”Any maintenance or alimony should be strictly for a limited duration of time and not be permanent. We also demand an end to biased one sided laws like DV and 498a, and demand gender neutral laws.” Says Anil Kumar.

We also demand the setting up of a single window to resolve marital disputes, so that young men do not have to spend precious years of his life fighting multiple legal cases in various courts. Criminal laws should not be used as tools to blackmail men to resolve marital disputes which are civil in nature. Only then can women stop being a burden to society and join as equal and productive members.

Demands of SIFF:

  • Immediate decriminalization of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. That will protect men from taking complete burden of the woman and the burden can be shared between both father and husband of the woman.

  • Men must not be made to pay life long alimony to ex-wife if they get divorced. Alimony (if any) must be less than half the duration of marriage.

  • Men must be allowed to share parenting of their children when they have a marital breakdown.

  • Men must be given protection from domestic violence by wives or in-laws.

  • Women who file false criminal cases against men must be punished.

  • There should be a single window system in courts to deal with all matrimonial lawsuits between a wife and husband. Today, they are made to run around 5 to 6 courts and cases go on for 6 to 8 years.

Statistics:

  • As estimates 3 crore men have faced physical violence (domestic violence) from their wives. Yet, Govt and Courts refuse to give protection to male victims of domestic violence.

  • Women initiate 67% or 2/3rd of all incidents of domestic violence.

  • The above figures do not include psychological or mental violence by women on their husbands. In India, lakhs of men face violence and abuse from parents of their wives as well. Its a big myth that people do not abuse or threaten their daughter’s husband.

  • Every year, 500,000 marriages are breaking in India.

  • Every 8 minutes a married man commits suicide in India.

  • Every year, 25000 married men and 13000 married women commit suicide due to family reasons.

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