What do city boy Atit Rajpara, T R Partha from Hyderabad, Bangalorean Rukma Chary and Umesh Talwar, a Lucknowite, have in common? For starters, they’ll be meeting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi when Parliament is in winter session to protest the tabling of two ‘anti-men’ Bills — the Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage (IrBM) Bill, and the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill (SHWB).
|A Men’s Rights Association meeting underway on
Sunday in Sambhaji Garden
Already, men’s organisations are coming together to ‘combat’ what they feel will be an exploitative tool in the hands of ‘unscrupulous’ women as they feel there is little in the way of ensuring a voice for men accused of violations under provisions outlined in the Bills.
While the future of the IrBM Bill is still hanging in the Lower House, its members found enough time during the recently-concluded, chaotic monsoon session to pass it without changes.
Rajpara, a founding member of Men’s Rights Association (MRA), says his organisation has written to all 237 Rajya Sabha MPs urging them to consider the views of the Indian Male on the issue. MRA will join hands with men’s rights organisations from across the country, including Daman, Aadmi, Confidare, Save India Family Foundation, CRISP and the All India Men’s Welfare Association.
“The IrBM Bill, which is an amendment to the Marriage Laws Act, 2010 and the SHWB have been introduced in undue haste, without proper consultation and open public debate. If passed, the Bills will have serious ramifications on the Hindu family system,” Rajpara said.
The IrBM Bill, he added, contains a clause which says the husband has no right to oppose a divorce petition filed by the wife under this, but the wife can oppose a divorce filed by the husband.
“Another clause empowers courts to attach half the husband’s property, including his inherited property, and give it to the wife. This law does not consider men, their female relatives and and other dependants,” he added.
Rajpara said the Bill, if enacted, would also give courts the power not to grant the divorce until the husband pays a considerable sum under the ‘Financial Security of Women’ head. “ I feel this law will be heavily misused by women,” he said.
MRA, so far, has received acknowledgements from several Rajya Sabha MPs including Mani Shankar Aiyar, as well as the Prime Minister’s Office.
Chary, who is with Save India Family Foundation in Bangalore, said if the SHWB is passed in its present form, many corporates could change their way of working and hiring.
Umesh Talwar of Aadmi in Lucknow is calling for gender-neutral laws in line with the existing Hindu Marriage Act.
Save Family Foundation, New Delhi’s Swarup Sarkar said the words “husband/wife” must be replaced by “spouse” for equality, while T R Partha of Men’s Community Centre (MCC), Hyderabad felt both Bills are “extremely prejudiced against men”. “We’re planning on meet major corporates in Pune to discuss the SHWB because it will definitely affect workplace harmony,” Rajpara said.
• Men’s rights orgs from across India are uniting to protest ‘anti-men’ Bills
• Say marriage law amendment and workplace harassment bill ‘irrational’
► If the Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Bill is passed in the current form, many companies will change their way of working. It might lead to drastic changes in hiring processes — we may see companies hiring only either men or women. The govt should make all current bills and acts gender neutral
- Rukma Chary , Save India Family Foundation, Bangalore
► The word husband/wife must be replaced by the word spouse in this bill, otherwise it could lead to total extortion of men’s hard-earned money and property. With the word ‘spouse’, both get equal responsibility
- Swarup Sarkar, Save India Family Foundation, Delhi
► The GoI must not pass this law in the current form and must consult men’s rights organisations first, make it gender neutral and only then pass it. The current Hindu Marriage Act, for example, is gender neutral
- Umesh Talwar,Aadmi, Lucknow
► With bills like the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill (SHWB) and Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage Bill (IrBM), GoI is making no effort to hide its malice and hatred towards men. Both new bills are extremely prejudiced against men
- T R Partha, Men’s Community Centre, Hyderabad