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Idiocy of the 

Indian Protection of Women from Domestic Violence 

It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!

14. A critique of a Women’s Commission’s ideas

First let us go through the wordings of the Delhi Commission for Women website:

Quote One: The harassment of women ranging from physical beatings, emotional torture, mental abuse, sexual abuse, threat of violence, denial of basic necessity such as food and maintenance or where there are children, there is the additional blackmail that custody of the children will be denied to her if she does not fall in line….

Here what is wrong with this statement is that all these things equally true in the case of harassment of husband/men also. The wife and her relatives can resort to physical violence. She is in a very powerful arena to evoke emotional torture and mental abuse. Sexual abuse can in the form of denial of sex, or by simply threatening to lend sex to others, or by simply moving in the company of others who may be after sex from her. She can deny food and other basic necessities. The best part is the emotional blackmail of removing children from the presence of their father. In all these things, the women folk are also equally capable. However, there are men who are weak and women who are weak. Men, both strong as well as strong, when tormented have to just grin and bear it. Strong women strike back with equal force. Weak women are seen totally devastated. Usually all statistical count of victims of domestic violence is connected to the weak women. However, they are only a fraction of the total number of persons who are parties in it.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, has been written taking into cognizance only the plight of the weak women. However, the victims of this Act are not necessarily their detractors, or husbands, but all husbands, who are in a conflict with their wives.

Quote Two: It is no solace to be told that women can go to court for her rights. As going to Court itself is a long drawn process and torture, and very extensive often the women are simply abandoned and deserted with no means of sustenance.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act only proposes judicial remedies. The other remedies that can be affected can be violation of other laws prevailing in the nation. And will most probably be taking law into their own hands. As to women ending with no means of sustenance, it is the duty of the government to see that this does not happen to any women; nay, to any citizen of India. But then, who is really bothered? The members of this Commission?

Quote Three: Another very common form of violence is she (sic) taking of a second wife. It makes no difference that bigamy is crime, many men continue to believe that they have a right to home (sic) extra martial affairs.

Taking a second wife is not a common event. It is only as common as a wife having another male in her affection. Having another intimate relationship more or less signifies the failure of the first one. It can very well lead to divorce. There is no way to force a person to maintain an intimacy when their mutual trust and relationship have failed. Some people face this event in life, either because of their own non-commitment to their spouse, or due to other external events. However to make a draconian law that accuses all males of such behaviour and connects with so many other features of a married life is not correct.

Quote Four: Statistics indicate that women in this society do not own property or she (sic) matrimonial home, which belongs either to she (sic) husband or to his family members. The man is therefore literally the lord and master of the home and hence considers the women to be just a worker in the house mostly and more prove (sic) to violence.

The first is due to the fact that there is a factor of distrust in the persevering loyalty of the wives. Laws like the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act only add to the terror and tensions in a family life, and add to the distrust.

The second factor is not really connected to the husband’s culture, but to the total feudal, vernacular speaking Indian culture. The subordinate, in all type of relationships, including that of an employee is a bit like a slave. Changes should be made in the language and other communication systems. Enactment of draconian laws will not change the situation, other than make it worse. Maid servants in the Commission members’ houses also might be bearing the weight of Indian feudal behaviour. As such, it is not a husband inflicting enslavement on his wife, but what is generally seen in the Indian society.

Quote Five: (sic) However, there are also situations in which people have laid together in what has come to be described as common law manages for several years and such women too face violence within the relationship.

In any English nation, people in an abusive relationship can move out. However, in India, if a woman moves out alone, the first threat is from the police. They will corner her, use abusive words and lower indicant usages, and intimidate her. It is a terrorizing situation. She can even be picked up by the law enforcers and used for their own sexual antics. No one, not even the Delhi Commission for Women will come to the aid of the immensity of women in such dire straits.

Quote Six: It is clear that any law on domestic violence, which seeks to present it, must address all these problems and very fundamentally, must protect the right to reside in the “Shared household.” The term “(sic)shared household” is preferred over “matrimonial home”. Since the relationships protected are beyond matrimonial ones. It is the fact of being together in a common space, the intimate nature of the relationship, the privacy of the home and the unequal relations of power that provide the opportunity for the abuse of women.

Can’t understand the words exactly. However, at the fig end, the term ‘unequal relations of power’ is said. This issue is basically connected to the feudal Indian vernacular language words. It is not within the capacity of judiciary to correct. The change should come in the language of communication. A simple change to English will remove that issue.

Most of the wordings are simply blah, blah etc. with full grammatical errors. However, there is this line:

Quote Seven: (sic) We, in the women’s movement have a long battle ahead of us getting the government to politically commit itself to pass a law on domestic violence is a victory no doubt but an incomplete one.

Here the first thing to understand is the terrible situation of the woman, who is a wife, mother and also the housekeeper. Most of these women who suffer from family problems are essentially from the poorer classes. Here again the husband cannot be simply blamed. He is under so many social suppressions, and he cannot give more leeway to his wife than he can himself have. Otherwise, his wife will simply be seduced by a richer man or group.

What this Delhi Commission for Women does not mention is that there is an immensity of poor people on the roadsides of Delhi who do not get any governmental help for shelter from the heat or cold. Basic necessities are not there. Instead of clamouring for family feuds and fights, that can literally end up a family life, these women would do a better job by clamouring for better living conditions for the poor in Delhi. Also for good quality shelter for both women and also for the homeless. Once living conditions improve a major part of the domestic problems will disappear.

In cases, where there is irretrievable breakdown of family relationship, the woman or man can move to a homeless shelter without loss of dignity, if they are maintained at high quality. Why can’t the Delhi government and also the Indian government think of such things, instead of escaping this responsibility with a few pages of law writing?

Quote Eight: this proposed Bill does not cover violence against domestic servants. Thus, this proposed suggestion will entrance (sic) the coverance (sic) of the Bill and more aggrieved persons of society would be cover (sic) by this amendment.

Even though I can’t understand the words correctly, the issue of domestic servants is highlighted. This issues is not connected to domestic violence, per se. But then, domestic servants in India do suffer from the horrible impact of the feudal lower indicant pejorative words. In Delhi, they are terribly low paid, and in the rest of the nation, low paid. No Social Security, and hence no bargaining power.

An Indian domestic servant is nowhere near a similarly placed person in an English nation. Even an Indian who works as a maid in an English household comes back with personality elevation. In the case of an Indian maid servant, she literally goes into the abysmal levels. The cause and effect is in the Indian vernaculars.

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