May 31, 2010

How the Gender biased laws in INDIA are breaking families

Filed under: Press_Coverage — Fighting Legal Terror @ 9:43 am


How the Gender biased laws in INDIA are breaking families

30 May 2010 No Comment

By Suresh P , 29May2010, Bangalore : A NGO, called Family Harmony Society held Seminar on 14-May-2010 on the eve of International Families Day in Bangalore 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.
“Family Harmony Society” – FHS – http://www.498a.org.in is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) promoting the cause of “family harmony” and “gender equality”. It is registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” and is based in Bangalore.
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.
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.
On the occasion of International Day of Families, Family Harmony Society passed a 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 is 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.


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