“Liberte’! Egalite’! Fraternite’!”
(Freedom! Equality! Brotherhood! )
The slogan coined during the French revolution is pertinent even today. Over four decades of feminism movement worldwide has made everyone believe in some distorted facts, fabricated data and half-truths. This has led to ruining human relations for good. In a bid to understand the men’s rights in the country the author wanted to understand the movement and has spoken with the veterans of the movement for the same. Feminists have made people believe that Human Rights is synonymous to Women Rights and in the process, the rights of other 50% population who are male were taken away by bits and pieces all over the world.
India is also no exception. In the last four decades, the feminist movement has created a bias that has made all kinds of human relations bitter. Extreme forms of westernization have led to the collapse of our social system and hit our core strength of family system very hard. As a result, we see skyrocketing divorce rate, bitter court battles and at times crime committed by common people.
A section of Indians has started a new revolution to secure human rights in the country. They want to secure rights for Indian men. The rights that are taken away in bits and pieces every time a new gender-biased law is made.
The Men’s Rights Movement in India has crossed seven years and still in its infancy. Yet the leaders and veterans of the movement are continuously trying to shape the movement and to take it forward to the next level. To understand the men’s rights in the country and the future of the movement the author has spoken to different leaders of the movement. This gives clarity to everyone regarding the movement and its need to the general public.
There are many activities that Atit and his team undertake. These are –
a. Dharnas to protest against gender-biased laws.
b. Go to a different police station every alternate week (at least 30/35 weeks every year) to meet police officers there, educate them about men’s rights and implement CrPC 41a amendments regarding 498a arrest procedure.
c. Distribution of pamphlets to general people and officials on different men’s rights issues. So far his team has distributed over 2 lakh pamphlets in public.
d. Candle march for male suicide victims of gender-biased laws.
e. Celebrating International Men’s Day (IMD) on 19th November. His team went to different IT parks, and distributed IMD wristbands to other men and wished happy men’s day. This has created another reason for men to celebrate, and those employees, in turn, wished their other male colleague’s happy men’s day. Thus creating a reason for them to celebrate.
Short Term – (a) Fund Generation through CSR and from NRIs. (b) Full-time employment as Men’s rights activist
Long-Term – Establish a men’s welfare ministry in 10 years time.
Achieving his goal
1. Intensify lobbying with MPs and ministers and 2. Train new MRAs and have mentors for each one of them to turn victims into activists.
Message for new MRAs
Think beyond your cases. Don’t limit your activism only to your cases.
In the initial days, it was restricted to pamphlets, stickers, men’s helpline, weekly meeting in Delhi etc. A yahoo group is created to discuss different points and help victims online. Slowly as media started noticing and recognizing this group, journalists, politicians, IAS, IPS officers started calling him on various issues. Blogging and other online activities made this cause far and wide. He has coined the term ‘Legal Terrorism’ that was even used by Supreme Court later. This made the movement so popular that IBN 7 once came to Delhi weekly meeting to record the meeting procedure.
His team was called for representation in parliament on different laws and due to that misuse clause is added to workplace harassment bill. In draconian IPC 498a amendment, his team was successful in making suitable amendments in CrPC 41a regarding arrest procedure. Earlier simply on filing 498a the man and his parents would have been arrested for days.
His group is present in 44 different cities. Details of their helpline in different cities can be found on their website.
He feels that the biggest challenge to men’s rights in India is that 95% of men do not understand the need for men’s rights.
Vision about men’s rights in India
Short-Term – Each and every city in India should have one men’s rights NGO / group.
Long-Term – Ministry for men’s welfare.
Achieving his goal
A lot of young and talented men and women are joining this movement. He feels that training and recognition of new talents can create motivation for the young group who will be able to take this forward.
Message to new MRAs
1. Stop judging other men based on a complaint. This is called misandry. If you do so, don’t expect justice in future.
2. Share each other’s pain and create a sense of brotherhood. This will act as a support structure in future.
3. Encourage employment, education and property share with your sister and daughter. Empower them first.
For women victims
‘Injustice somewhere is a direct threat to justice everywhere !’
So women (groups) should promote gender-neutral laws and join hands with men’s rights groups so that only the criminal is punished. Any justice should come within 2 years and false complainants are strictly punished. All victims of false cases need to be compensated. Once that happens then everyone irrespective of gender can expect justice.
1. Creating awareness of overuse/misuse of laws by police, judiciary, and media. According to him, media portrays any male accused as the criminal whereas a criminal need to be decided after a fair trial and only after the allegations against one accused are proved.
2. Internet activities – creating awareness through Social Networking, Blogs, Forums, Groups. Google+.
3. Creating awareness through participating in TV debates, writing articles for print media, stage drama, radio programmes, writing for magazines.
4. Weekly meeting with victims.
5. Submitting memorandum to police, political personalities, judges, senior IAS / IPS officers.
6. Dharnas, Political Rally, Distribution of pamphlets.
7. Helping celebrity victims.
8. Websites and Publicity newsletters.
Present Situation of Men’s Rights
Men’s rights are deliberately neglected in India, due to onslaught of feminism, vote bank politics and vested interest in western countries and entities like USA, UK, UN and large multinational companies. He thinks that it is a communist agenda of nationalization of family function (state getting involved in all family-related functions). This is a part of the planned destruction of the family system and nationalization of the role of men.
The vision for men’s rights
There needs to be a political solution to the present issues of men’s rights. Else there will be increased violence against women and state. Unfortunately, the establishments are not able to see this.
Message for young MRAs
Please understand and accept the fact that men are biological, emotionally and physically weaker sex. In the name patriarchy, men are being enslaved.
1. Counselling of victims in his community centre. Provides guidance, coaching to victims, follow through in cases, help in risk analysis for damages (legal, economic etc.). Also provides emotional support to victims. These victims are mainly male victims in office, marriage or even in their own homes. His prime area of focus is men as he believes that once men in the society are empowered, women will also be empowered.
2. Spreading awareness of men’s issues through a) blogging, b) Media Debates, c) organizing awareness events, d) helping others to do so by providing content material, e) interacting with various govt. interfaces. He has submitted two research papers to Karnataka Law Commission to make an arrest as last resort in 498a cases after permission of DCP / SP and try to resolve such issues through meditation and f) Writing books.
3. Training new people at various levels. e.g. Understanding the ideology of the movement, understanding the concept of misandry (male hatred), empowering oneself to face crucial situations powerfully (live coaching).
4. Interacting with international MRAs to leverage global issues affecting men.
Spread and reach
Confidare is in Bangalore but handles cases from all over the world.
The present situation of the Men’s Rights Movement in India
It is still in the inception stage. Abuse of men is still unrecognized. “Studies say, the social problem of unrecognized abuse of men, trickles down in various forms”. The foundation laid in the last ten years of movement and more non-affected people becoming allies with men’s rights in the country.
The vision of men’s rights
1. Universal (global) recognition of misandry. Once it comes to a conscious level a reduction in social misandry is possible.
2. To have gender-neutral laws, national and state commissions for men, Ministry of men’s welfare, male study courses in universities, male study conferences, health programs for men, budgeting for male issues in Union budget.
Bridging the gap
1. Developing training programs for victims as well as common men. Holding seminars in law colleges, corporate sector for gender sensitivity training. Since the corporate sector is the most powerful sector, the benefits of these training will trickle down. Also, this will ensure a mechanism to raise funds for MRM. This will also ensure an alternate communication channel with the decision-makers.
2. Writing more books on male issues
3. Having more male-centric researches and surveys and getting them published in social media and academic journals.
4. Providing consultancy to Indian Govt. in cracking various male issues.
Message for new MRAs
Feel this movement as your home. Connect with your leaders in order to understand the ideology and use your skills to enhance the movement.
1. Help male victims of domestic violence.
2. Representing to the govt. about men’s issues.
3. Representing the issues to the society through rallies, dharnas, protests etc.
Presence in WB
Kolkata, Midnapore, Purulia, Cooch Bihar, Siliguri, Bolpur, Bankura, Durgapur, Burdwan. They have a weekly meeting at Jatin Das Park, Kolkata.
The present state of men’s rights
He feels society and govt. of India are slowly accepting different men’s rights issues and becoming open to men’s groups.
Vision about men’s rights
1. Every district of WB to have men’s rights groups providing help to men and empowering them to fight.
2. Gender biased laws to be scrapped and all laws to be gender-neutral
Message for young MRAs
Time to stand up for your rights and live peacefully.
So now that you understand the men’s rights movement in detail, it is up to you to decide if you want to be a part of this movement and work for justice. Because as Swarup Sarkar says – “Injustice somewhere is a direct threat to justice everywhere”.
For other interviews, see – here