Bangalore, Nov 18 (IANS) As the world celebrates International Men’s Day Thursday, a Bangalore-based group wants an end to stereotyping male gender, and says men too get hurt, both emotionally and physically. The group is demanding justice for various social abuses against men.
“Men are always stereotyped. They are considered as perpetrators of injustice against women, they are supposed to take financial care of the entire family and not cry even in harshest of conditions,” Kumar Jahgirdar, a senior member of All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA), formed to protect male rights, told IANS.
“We want to say that men do cry and they too suffer,” added Jahgirdar.
AIMWA is an initiative of Bangalore based NGO Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), working for protection of the Indian family system and values.
Main grouses of men’s rights activists are lack of legal protection for men and non-existence of any commissions for men or ministry dedicated for males’ rights, akin to women.
“If we look back, in the last 62 years of Indian Independence not a single rupee has ever been allocated for men’s welfare from the union budget. Not a single constitutional or quasi-constitutional body has ever been formed to study men’s issues, not a single study ever conducted to study men’s issues, and not a single scheme ever been envisaged for men’s welfare,” said Virag Dhulia, a senior member of AIMWA.
“Hence, in the backdrop of this emptiness, the government and the society have absolutely no locus-standi to deny accepting men’s issues or avoid addressing them. And it is this emptiness which has led to the formation of AIMWA, to study men’s issues and demand for a national commission for men and men’s welfare ministry,” added Dhulia.
International Men’s Day is an international event celebrated Nov 19, every year. It was started in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago and supported by the United Nations.
The objectives of celebrating an International Men’s Day include focusing on the health of men and boys, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.
It is an occasion for men to highlight discrimination against them and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care.
Members of AIMWA also stressed that expectations from men have skyrocketed and that is causing a lot of harm to the entire Indian family system.
“Today men are expected to take care of extended families of parents, siblings, wife, in-laws and provide for them, undertake the primary financial responsibility of the house even if the wife is well-qualified, well-earning and capable of sharing the financial load. Moreover, lots of men have of late become victims of misuse of Section 498A and Domestic Violence Act,” said Dhulia.
“However, men have no forum to address these issues. As a result, men find emotional confrontations extremely painful and most men contemplate suicide during emotional turmoil in their relationship and a reasonable percentage of them actually commit suicide,” added Dhulia.
According to statistics available with National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 52,583 married men committed suicide compared to 28,188 married women in 2005, 55,452 married men committed suicide compared to 29,869 married women in 2006, and 57,593 married men committed suicide vis-à-vis 30,064 married women in 2007.
“Statistics say that married men are a harassed lot and are forced to commit suicide more than married women. But, still nobody talks about men’s rights and we want a change in the attitude,” said Dipankar Dutta, a Bangalore based bank executive.
“Hope sooner or later government and the society realizes the problems of men and bring justice to them,” added Jahgirdar.