Dawat-e-ishq is a movie that tries to justify the misuse of Prevention of cruelty by husbands and relatives act IPC 498a.
The movie starts with a flawed statistics that even if dowry is outlawed in India in the year 1961, still every hour one woman is killed for dowry. Movie shows an article from the Times of India to support the claim.
However, the movie fails to bring the truth to its viewers. It forces its viewers to misinterpret the number of filed cases every year as the number of true cases. Also the movie shows a crime statistics under a different section (IPC 304B) to justify misuse of IPC 498a.
There are approximately 8000 cases filed under Dowry Death section 304B in India. These are the cases where the wife died under unnatural circumstances within seven years of their marriage. This comes to around one case filed every hour. However, filing a case under this section does not mean the death was for demand of dowry by the in-laws. In fact many bride suicides within first seven years of marriage are also included in these cases. That is why we see that in 80% such cases the husband and in-laws were released. The movie fails to bring the correct aspect of this crime and propagates a wrong picture of Indian society in this way. In a way the movie tried to vilify Indian society by projecting wrong statistics in the first place which is violation of Indian constitution.
The movie also shows punishment under section IPC 498a as six years which is in fact three years. I am surprised to see that the makers of the movie made such blunders in the movie.
The movie showed how the marriage of an educated and established Hyderabadi girl Gullu iwas cancelled multiple times due to demand of dowry from prospective groom’s side. There was no respite for her even when the guy fell in love with her. It was shown that even when her father was willing to give dowry the groom’s side demanded more and hence every time she had to break the alliance.
Frustrated on her fate as an educated and independent girl she came across a high profile dowry case where the husband and his relatives were sent to six years in prison for demanding dowry under IPC 498a. The wife Mrs. Radha Reddy was shown cheering for IPC 498a and proudly saying on news channels that she has got crores of alimony and flat and maintenance. She cheered for the section and said that it was because of this section IPC 498a women like her was getting justice.
Gullu got inspired by watching the news and she decided to use IPC 498a to her benefit. The plan was to marry a rich guy and immediately after marriage file a false case under IPC 498a and get huge money through out-of-court settlement. This money could help her fulfill her dreams of foreign education.
To fulfill her dream and cheat on prospective grooms, she and her father travelled to Lucknow and called prospective grooms in a hotel suite for discussion. They secretly shot videos of all conversations as future evidence. Eventually she met Taru who was not as educated as she was but was a successful businessman in Lucknow. After meeting him for a few days before finalizing on their marriage she fell in love with him.
She was in a dilemma as to whether cheat that guy by filing false cases. But she went ahead as per plan as she was afraid of getting imprisoned for cheating instead. She received Rs 40 lakh as out of court settlement for her complaint and went back to Hyderabad. However, in the end she repented and wanted to give the money back to Taru as she really loved him.
When they met, she narrated the true story to him and returned the money. It was the climax when everyone was expecting to watch Taru’s reaction to false criminal complaint and related cruelty that had happened to him as well his family. To everyone’s dismay Taru accepted her apology with the logic that when guy’s family seeking dowry for marriage is not a problem in Indian society, why should her act of misusing the dowry prevention act (IPC 498a) to her benefit be seen as a crime. He in fact ended up marrying the same girl who filed false criminal case against his entire family and extorted Rs. 40 lakh from them.
This part of the movie made all the couples sitting in the theater uncomfortable. Men were made to believe that it was okay to get such false criminal cases and harassed by women centric laws and pay money for out of court settlement. The audience was also made to believe that it is humane to pardon such women to the extent that one should think of marrying them.
What this movie wrongly projected to support the crime of legal extortion was to show that it is okay for a guy’s family to seek dowry in marriage (Taru says so while accepting her apology) where in reality it is considered as a crime in India and hence the misuse of such laws is also need to be punished.
This movie is a criminal attempt to justify a crime. This movie comes at a time when misuse of IPC 498a is a grave concern for Indian judiciary and Indian civil groups. Every year more women get arrested in such false cases than the women who get justice. There is no limit to which these falsely accused families are made to pay huge extortion money to such unscrupulous women, their families, legal groups, advocates and women NGOs in the name of mediation and negotiation.
In short, this movie is a mockery of suffering of real victims of dowry harassment cases as it tries to justify filing of false cases. This movie is also a mockery of victims of falsely accused innocent families who undergo tremendous trauma and some of whom commit suicide due to such false allegations. This movie is a shameful attempt to keep the legal terrorism industry going and extorting innocent families. It makes us believe that the entire production team and promoters of this movie might be related to this legal terrorism industry or supported by them.
We demand rigorous punishment for the whole team of Dawat-e-Ishq for producing such a movie.
*Image – Google image