Harassed’ husbands now take to the streets



They want Domestic Violence Act amended to include provisions for men

BANGALORE: The tables have turned. Husbands harassed by their wives have
finally realised the futility of taking things lying down.
Beginning with Bangalore on Saturday, they are taking to the streets under the
banner of Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF).
The largest group in India, SIFF was formed in 2000 and has 8,000 members who
have been accused of harassing their wives and have been slapped with cases
under Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and anti-dowry law (of 498a). According to
the group, the Act is being misused by their wives and in-laws.
The group, comprising mainly software engineers, is urging the central
government to
make the Act neutral by including in its ambit provisions related to domestic
violence against men. The members are holding protests in Delhi, Hyderabad,
Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata for this purpose.
Over 200 members gathered in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue near Cubbon Park
in Bangalore on Saturday. Armed with placards espousing their cause, they made
motivating speeches and narrated to passers-by their plight.
“Men are being portrayed negatively by exaggerated statistics on dowry
harassment or domestic violence cases. Women often use the Act to separate from
the husbands in lieu of an attractive alimony,” said Binoe, a SIFF member.
According to Pandurang Katti, one of the 12 SIFF founders and a senior
software professional, men face a host of issues due to lack of protection from
the law.
“The current Domestic Violence Act suffers from gender bias as it is only made
for protection of women,” he said.
Uma Challa, director of the US-based Protect Indian Family Foundation which
has opened a branch in Hyderabad, said:
“Women call me up just to ask if they can use the Act to bring around their
husbands or to separate them from their parents. They do not understand the
seriousness of the law. This is predominantly an urban phenomenon,” she said.
“We have websites and helplines that reach out to only internet-savvy people.
But we want to create awareness among those who do not have access to the net,”
she added.


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