PRESS RELEASE – HINDI – NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MEN CONFERENCE

शीर्षक: राजधानी में उठीराष्ट्रीय पुरुष आयोगके लिए आवाज, सैकड़ों समर्थन के लिए हुए एकत्रित 

नई दिल्ली, 23 सितंबर, 2018: महिलाओं के लिए राष्ट्रीय आयोग की तर्ज पर “राष्ट्रीय पुरुष आयोग” के गठन की माँग लेकर पहली बार हुए सम्मेलन के लिए आज राष्ट्रीय राजधानी में सैकड़ों लोग इकट्ठे हुए, और इसे समान लिंग न्याय की दिशा में उठा एक कदम बताया। कन्स्टिट्यूशनल क्लब ऑफ़ इंडिया में आयोजित समारोह में वे सचेत नागरिक एकत्रित हुए जो लिंग आधारित कानूनों के दुरुपयोग के कारण पुरुषों के साथ होते अन्याय, घरेलू हिंसा से पुरुषों की रक्षा करने वाले कानूनों की अनुपस्थिति, और लिंग आधारित अपराध और प्रणाली की पुरुषों और लड़कों के मुद्दों की ओर घोर उदासीनता के विरुद्ध अपनी उपस्थिति दर्ज करवाना चाहते थे।  

सम्मेलन में ऐसे विभिन्न मुद्दों और विषय पर बात की गई जो भारत में पुरुषों और लड़कों के जीवन को प्रभावित करते हैं। आयोजकों ने कहा कि महिलाओं, बच्चों, जानवरों, शिक्षा, अल्पसंख्यकों और कई अन्य समूहों की समस्याओं की शिकायतों के लिए तो आयोग हैं, लेकिन एक भी ऐसा मंच नहीं है जहां महिलाओं द्वारा पुरुषों के उत्पीड़न की रिपोर्ट पुरुष कर सकें।

सम्मेलन के माननीय मुख्य अतिथि और मुख्य वक्ता सांसद श्री हरनारायण राजभर और अंशुल वर्मा थे जिन्होंने पुरुषों के आयोग की आवश्यकता, परिप्रेक्ष्य, इसके समक्ष आने वाली चुनौतियों और दृष्टि पर दर्शकों को संबोधित किया, ताकि आज के समय में इस तरह के एक मंच के महत्व को रेखांकित किया जा सके। दोनों सदस्यों ने इस मंच को अपना समर्थन देते हुए आश्वासन दिया है कि वे इस विचार को आगे बढ़ाने के लिए सदन में निजी सदस्य बिल ले जाएंगे।

मशहूर बॉलीवुड अभिनेत्री और लेखिका, विशेष अतिथि और सम्मेलन की मुख्य वक्ता सुश्री पूजा बेदी ने पुरुषों के आयोग के बारे में अपने विचार व्यक्त किए और कहा कि वर्तमान समय में ऐसी कई महिलाएं हैं जो अपने अधिकारों का दुरुपयोग कर रही हैं और ऐसी संस्था की आवश्यकता है जो पुरुषों की समस्याओं को भी सुन सके। उन्होंने जोर देकर कहा कि लिंग समानता का स्पष्ट अर्थ सभी लोगों के लिए एक जैसा व्यवहार और न्याय है। 

सम्मेलन में आए अन्य प्रतिष्ठित वक्ताओं में राजीव गांधी कैंसर संस्थान और अनुसंधान केंद्र में जेनिटो उरो-ओन्कोलॉजी सर्विसेज के प्रमुख डॉ सुधीर रावल थे। उन्होंने प्रोस्टेट कैंसर और पुरुषों की स्वास्थ्य समस्याओं के प्रति समर्पित प्रयासों के लिए एक मुहिम के बारे में बात की। उन्होंने श्रोताओं का ध्यान इस ओर आकर्षित किया कि सरकार को इन समस्याओं पर भी ध्यान केंद्रित करने की जरूरत है। बाल अधिकार विशेषज्ञ तथा स्वास्थ्य प्रबंधन सलाहकार डॉ राकेश कपूर ने सामाजिक, मनोवैज्ञानिक और कानूनी परिप्रेक्ष्य से पिताओं के महत्व को दुनिया भर से लिए गए चिकित्सा और कानूनी शोधों और अनुभवों के उद्धरण से रेखांकित किया। श्री शिवप्रिया आलोक, जो एक स्वतंत्र फिल्म निर्माता और वृत्तचित्र “गन्दी बात” के निर्देशक हैं, ने बाल यौन दुर्व्यवहार और इस समस्या के प्रति व्याप्त की उदासीनता के बारे में चर्चा की। 

श्री शोनी कपूर, जो एक कानूनी विशेषज्ञ और एक पुरुष अधिकार कार्यकर्ता हैं, ने पुरुषों पर लगाए गए झूठे आरोपों से निपटने के लिए एक व्यापक कानून बनाने की आवश्यकता पर ठोस विचार दिए और कहा कि इस तरह के उत्पीड़न से पीड़ित पुरुषों को क्षतिपूर्ति मुआवज़ा देने के लिए सरकार को विभिन्न उपाय ढूँढने चाहिए। श्री अनिल कुमार, सह-संस्थापक, सेव इंडियन फैमिली फाउंडेशन ने भारत में पुरुष आत्महत्याओं पर आँकड़े प्रस्तुत किए और पुरुषों के प्रति व्यापक उदासीनता को हर साल हो रही इन आत्महत्याओं का प्रमुख कारण बताया। इस सम्मेलन में अरविंद भारती नाम के युवा वक़ील के परिवार ने भी एक बहुत ही भावनात्मक एवं व्यक्तिगत अनुभव साझा किया, जिन्होंने पिछले साल इसलिए आत्महत्या की थी क्योंकि उनकी पूर्व पत्नी द्वारा लगातार उनका झूठे मुक़दमों द्वारा उत्पीड़न किया जा रहा था। आईपीसी 498 ए के दुरुपयोग पर दीपिका नारायण भारद्वाज द्वारा बनाई गई वृत्तचित्र “मार्ट्यर्स ऑफ़ मैरेज” भी सम्मेलन के दौरान दिखाई गए।

आयोजकों द्वारा संसद सदस्य को एक 15 बिंदु आधारित ज्ञापन भी सौंपा गया, जिनमें निम्न मांगें शामिल थीं:

  1. भारतीय समाज में पुरुषों के मुद्दों, पुरुषों के कल्याण, पुरुषों के विरुद्ध हो रहे अन्याय का सामना करने के लिए एक समर्पित निकाय “राष्ट्रीय पुरुष आयोग” का गठन किया जाए।
  2. संसद में प्रत्येक 19 नवंबर को अंतर्राष्ट्रीय पुरुष दिवस का आयोजन किया जाए और उस दिन पुरुषों के मुद्दों पर चर्चा की जाए तथा हर क्षेत्र में समाज के प्रति उनके योगदान के लिए पुरुषों के प्रति कृतज्ञता व्यक्त की जाए।
  3. पुरुषों के लिए एक राष्ट्रीय हेल्पलाइन प्रारंभ की जाए जहां वे अपनी समस्याओं बता सकते हैं और मदद ले सकते हैं।
  4. पुरुषों द्वारा आत्महत्या की रोकथाम के लिए विशेष अभियान चलाए जाएँ। आत्महत्या करने वाले पुरुषों की संख्या महिलाओं से दोगुनी है। सरकार को उन मुद्दों को हल करने की जरूरत है, जिनके कारण इतने सारे पुरुष अपनी जान दे रहे हैं।
  5. यौनिक, शारीरिक तथा आर्थिक दुर्व्यवहार और शोषण के खिलाफ लिंगनिरपेक्ष अभियान चलाए जाएँ, क्योंकि बड़ी संख्या में लड़के भी इस तरह के दुर्व्यवहार का शिकार हैं। ऐसे दुर्व्यवहार से बचाए गए लड़कों के लिए बेहतर जीवन वातावरण उत्पन्न किया जाए। युवा लड़कों की समस्याओं व उनके समाधान का आंकलन किया जाए।
  6. “प्रोस्टेट कैंसर” और पुरुषों की अन्य स्वास्थ्य समस्याओं के बारे में जागरूकता के लिए राष्ट्रव्यापी अभियान चलाए जाएँ।
  7. राष्ट्रीय परिवार स्वास्थ्य सर्वेक्षण तथा अन्य सरकारी वित्त पोषित आँकड़ा संग्रह उपक्रमों में लिंग आधारित समस्याओं का आंकलन करते समय “पुरुष” श्रेणी को भी शामिल किया जाए। अभी केवल महिलाओं से ही घरेलू, शारीरिक, यौन या वित्तीय दुर्व्यवहार के बारे में पूछा जाता है।समाज द्वारा निष्कासित व बेघर पुरुषों के लिए पुनर्वास, सहायता और कौशल विकास कार्यक्रम चलाए जाएँ।
  1. महिला केंद्रित कानूनों की त्वरित समीक्षा की जाए, ताकि उनके दुरुपयोग को संबोधित किया व रोका जा सके। झूठे आरोपों से प्रभावित पुरुषों के मुआवजे और पुनर्वास की व्यवस्था की जाए।
  2. इन अपराधों को हल करने के लिए पुरुषों के खिलाफ अपराधों और लिंग तटस्थ कानूनों के गठन से संबंधित आंकड़ों का संग्रह किया जाए।
  3. वे कानून समाप्त या संशोधित किए जाएँ जो पुरुष विरोधी हैं और पुरुषों के संवैधानिक अधिकारों का उल्लंघन करते हैं।
  4. तलाक की प्रक्रिया के दौरान माता-पिता को बच्चों का साँझा अधिकार देना ज़रूरी किया जाए ताकि पिता अपने बच्चों के जीवन से अलग न हों।
  5. विचाराधीन कैदी के रूप में जेलों में बसर करने वाले पुरुषों के लिए बेहतर जीवन स्थितियाँ निर्मित की जाएँ।
  6. भारत भर में प्रचलित पुरुष बाल श्रम के खिलाफ ठोस उपाय किए जाएँ।
  7. बेहतर स्वास्थ्य व देखभाल सुविधाएं तथा मानसिक स्वास्थ्य सहायता विशेषकर उन पुरुषों को उपलब्ध करवाई जाए जो विभिन्न उद्योगों में सबसे कठिन परिस्थितियों में नौकरी कर रहे हैं।

 

श्रोताओं, वक्ताओं, आयोजकों और कार्यकर्ताओं द्वारा सम्मेलन के अंत में इस आशय का एक प्रस्ताव पारित किया गया, कि ‘राष्ट्रीय पुरुष आयोग’ के अस्तित्व में आने तक यह गतिविधियां जारी रहेंगी, जब तक कि पुरुषों के मुद्दों पर ध्यान देने के लिए सरकार द्वारा कोई निकाय स्थापित नहीं किया जाता है।

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PRESS RELEASE: ENGLISH: NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MEN CONFERENCE

1st CONFERENCE FOR FORMATION OF

“NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MEN”

23rd SEPTEMBER, 2018 NEW DELHI

NCM Conference.jpg

 

PRESS RELEASE – ENGLISH

 Headline: Voice for “National Commission for Men” echoes in the Capital, hundreds join in support

New Delhi, September 23, 2018 : Hundreds gathered in the National Capital today for first ever conference about need for formation of “National Commission for Men” on the lines of National Commission for Women, calling it a step towards equal gender justice. Organized at the Constitution Club of India by a group of people who identified themselves as concerned citizens moved by the injustice on men because of misuse of gender based laws, absence of laws protecting men from domestic violence and gender based crimes and apathy of the system towards men’s and boy’s issues, the conference touched upon various issues and subject that impact lives of men and boys in India. The organizers said while there is a commission for problems and grievances of women, children, animals, education, minorities and many more, there is not a single platform where men can report their issues if they are victims of harassment and torture in domestic setup.

Honourable Chief Guest and keynote speakers for the conference were Member of Parliament Shri Haranarayan Rajbhar and Anshul Verma who addressed the audience on Need, Perspective, Challenges and Vision for Men’s Commission, underlining the importance of such a platform in today’s times to ensure that no one faces injustice because of their gender. Both the members have extended their support and have assured that they will move a private member bill to take this idea ahead. Mr. Anshul Verma had in past spoken in the parliament about misuse of IPC 498A calling its victims “Shaadi Ke Shaheed” aka Martyrs of Marriage.

Ms. Pooja Bedi, famous bollywood actor and writer, special guest and also a keynote speaker at the conference expressed her views about men’s commission, saying in current times there are many women who are misusing their rights and there is a need for a body that can listen to men’s problems too. She stressed how true equality means support and justice for all irrespective of gender. 

Other distinguished speakers at the conference were Dr. S K Rawal, Medical Director and Chief of Genito Uro- Oncology Services at Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre. He spoke about Prostate Cancer & Men’s Health and the lack of dedicated efforts to tackle these problems. As per data shared by organizers, while several questions have been raised in Parliament over government’s initiatives to combat breast cancer, only one question has been raised ever for Prostate Cancer though it impacts millions of men in India. Mr. Rawal enlightened the audience on how the government needs to focus on these men’s health problems too. Dr. Rakesh Kapur, Healthcare Management Consultant and Child Rights Expert spoke about Importance of fathers from a social, psychological and legal perspective and quoted research and experiences of medical & legal fraternity from across the world. Mr. Shivpriya Alok, Independent Filmmaker and Director of documentary “Gandi Baat” discussed a much ignored and socially unaccepted issue of Male Child Sexual Abuse and the apathy towards this problem. Mr. Shonee Kapoor, a Legal Expert and a Men’s Rights Activist gave concrete ideas over the need for creation of a comprehensive law to tackle false accusations on Men and various measures that the government needs to take to compensate men who suffer such harassment. Mr. Anil Kumar, Co-Founder, Save Indian Family Foundation presented the data on Male Suicides in India and immediate need for bridging the empathy gap for Men which is causing these suicides to grow every year. He shared how domestic disputes take lives of several men in India today but we don’t even recognize that men suffer domestic violence. Mr. Joginder Singh Jogi and Dr. Indu Subhash spoke about the need for each member of the society to come together and support the idea of Men’s Commission for a better and safe future for their son’s.

The conference also saw a very emotional personal sharing by family of Arvind Bharti, a young lawyer who committed suicide last year because of harassment and false cases by his ex-wife. Documentary film “Martyrs of Marriage” by Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj on misuse of IPC 498A were also shown during the conference.

A 15 point memorandum of demands was handed over by the organizers to Members of parliament which included demands like: 

  1. Formation of “National Commission for Men,” a dedicated body to look after men’s issues, men’s well being, men’s welfare and injustice that men are facing today in Indian society.
  1. To celebrate International Men’s Day in the parliament on November 19 and have dedicated discussion on men’s issues on that day and express gratitude to men for their contribution towards society in every sphere.
  1. A National Helpline for Men where men can also report their problems and seek help.
  1. Special campaigns for prevention of suicide by men. Number of men who commit suicide is twice of women. Government needs to understand resolve the issues because of which so many men are killing themselves.
  1. Gender neutral campaigns against sexual, physical, economical abuse and exploitation as large number of boys are also victims of such abuse. Better living environment for boys who are rescued from such abuse. Assessing problems that young boys face and their redressal.
  1. Nationwide campaign for the awareness of “Prostate Cancer” and other health issues faced majorly by men.
  1. National Family Health Survey and other government funded data collection measures to include “Men” too while assessing gender problems. Right now only women are asked about domestic, physical, sexual or financial abuse.
  1. Rehabilitation, assistance and skill development for men who are homeless and shunned by the society.
  1. Review of women centric laws to prevent and address their misuse. Compensation and rehabilitation of men who are affected by false accusations.
  1. Collection of data related to crimes against men and formation of gender neutral laws to address these crimes.
  1. Abolish or Amend laws that are anti-men and violate constitutional rights of men.
  1. Shared parenting a must during divorce battles so that fathers are not alienated from the life of their children.
  1. Better living conditions for men who are languishing in jails as under-trials.
  1. Concrete measures against male child labour which is prevalent across India.
  1. Better working environment, healthcare facilities and mental health support for men doing toughest jobs across various industries.

A resolution was taken at the end of the conference by audience, speakers, organizers and activists alike that the activities to make men’s commission a reality shall continue until a body is setup by the government to look into men’s issues.

 

ORGANIZER: BARKHA TREHAN

ORGANIZING TEAM: ABHISHEK DASGUPTA, ARNAZ HATHIRAM, DEEPIKA NARAYAN BHARDWAJ, GAURAVJIT SAINI, K D JHA, KIRAN CHAWLA KAPOOR, KUMAR S RATAN, LALIT SHARMMA, MADHAV ANAND, ROOPENSHU PRATAP SINGH, VIKAS MALIK

DESIGN PARTNERS: RACHNA DESIGNS, HATS OFF DIGITAL

ASSOCIATE SPONSORS: SAVE INDIAN FAMILY FOUNDATION

FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES CONTACT:

BARKHA TARHAN: 9311089946

DEEPIKA BHARDWAJ: 9911300336

ROOPENSHU SINGH: 8800844960

 

Lucknow court throws out false domestic violence case after 8 years, calls allegations false and unbelievable.

A court in Lucknow in case of Preeti Goswami/Giri vs Neeraj Goswami and others has dismissed a domestic violence case holding allegations made by wife as either unbelievable or concocted. It has rejected the plea for maintenance by the wife as well. Thread baring every allegation put forth by the wife, it cites reasons why they don’t withstand scrutiny of the court. The decision comes 8 years after the case was filed.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE ORDER

Wife files domestic violence case on husband, his old parents, uncle aunt and brother who lives abroad. Court takes into account that from evidence produced by the husband, it is the wife who actually inflicted violence on his family members. Other accused i.e uncle aunt never stayed with the couple ever and live in a far off city. Brother of husband stays abroad and had only attended the wedding after which he joined his job back abroad.

She claimed her father spent 14 Lacs in the wedding and gave dowry beyond their means. Court questioned her claim on the grounds that her father held a very small rank in police and spending such a huge amount on wedding couldn’t be possible. Moreover no evidence was put forth to establish this claim.

Wife claimed her in-laws tried to burn her by puring hot kerosene on her within few months of marriage demanding dowry. The court refused to believe this claim as no complaint was ever made in this regard by her in any police station. Moreover she continued to stay with the husband and his family for a long time after this alleged incident and also conceived for the second time despite this alleged cruelty. It also asked as to when the woman’s own sister was staying in the same city, why wasn’t any complaint made to her or a police complaint filed by her in case she got to know about it.

Wife claimed her family gave 3Lacs to husband’s family during wedding. Husband proved with evidence that out of the said amount, maximum was spent on purchasing things for the woman herself as requested by her family. So the amount was given to make purchases for the woman only and not as dowry.

Wife claimed that the husband and his family beat her up , forced her for abortion, after which she went to the hospital and her sister paid the bills for the same. Husband proved with evidences that the bill was paid by him and the instance as cited by her was false and malicious.

Wife demanded maintenance from the husband. Court rejected the same saying she is a well qualified lady who can earn and her claim for maintenance isn’t justified.

The court notes the fact that it is infact the wife who was cruel to the husband and his family. She had beaten up her mother in law , a complaint of which was also filed by the husband’s family.

Court threadbares every single allegation made by the wife and how it is either unbelievable or false and malicious in entirety. Finds the case to be dismissed completely in light of facts of the matter.

Now the reality put forth by husband:

The alliance was done through a matrimonial site where the couple mutually decided to get married. From the beginning, woman refused to take care of house responsibilities at all saying she is an educated, working professional and not made to do such things. Her first pregnancy was aborted by her own will and she went to a hospital with her sister and got the child aborted. In influence of her father who was in police, the woman used to threaten the husband’s family of implicating them in false cases and tortured them mentally. She pressurized the family to give 5-6 Lacs to her brother and accommodation in gurgaon for starting a business but when husband refused to do so, she fought with the entire family and left the matrimonial home and never returned after that.

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IMG-20180428-WA0010IMG-20180428-WA0011IMG-20180428-WA0009Editors Note: I, Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj was also impacted by the wrong conduct and false complainant  mentioned in this blog. Just because I was in touch with this family and asked them to take action on her wrong doing as well, she tried to implicate me in a frivolous criminal complaint. Police never pursued the case against me because they understood it was false and vexatious. A link to my story related to this case :  https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1706412826069137&id=812991898744572

Disclaimer: This is not exact word to word translation of court orders but a gist of the highlights of the case. Other litigations among the litigations are still pending in the court and this blog doesn’t intend to influence those as at all.

Martyrs of Marriage – THROUGH IMAGES

 

“QUOTES”

Alok-MittalAshwani-KumarHussainJitendra-KumarJustice-DhingraJustice-Dhingra-3Madhu-KishwarNausheenSwarup-Sarkar

 

FILM STILLS

 

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“WORKING STILLS”

 

Lawyer meeting Jhansi

Dilapidated courts

Reached Gorakhpur

When I reached Gorakhpur

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Meerut…The Beginnings

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Frame setting….Exposure checks

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Multiple times when I broke down

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Bangalore with Shafat Bhai

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Gulping the reality down

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Candle light march for Manoj Kumar

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Avadhesh Yadav’s home…The champ

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With the most respectable Justice Dhingra

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Train Journeys….

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Wearing the Work

Shooting

Sound Recordist sometimes

 

WATCH THE FULL DOCUMENTARY HERE: http://www.vimeo.com/ondemand/martyrsofmarriage

Series of assaults, false cases, threats, torture by wife, blind eye of system & suicide – The Story of Arvind Bharti

He left physiotherapy to pursue law when he understood that justice in India is meant only for women and until he knows the law, he can never rescue himself. Luckily he did rescue himself from a false dowry case when he was discharged from the fabricated case his wife filed on him. Little did he know that she will never let him be.

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PS: We are doing a peace march from Arvind Bhartis home, C5/17, Yamuna Vihar to Bhajan pura police station on 23rd December, Saturday 4pm onwards. Call 9891122555 – Nitin Bharti for any query. Join if you can.

Arvind Bharti, a young lawyer from Delhi committed suicide on 15th December 2017 by jumping on rail tracks, chopped by train who was as blind and deaf to his sight as the law and police enforcement of India is for a man. These are not my words but his own that he wrote in several suicide notes he left detailing his harassment over years by his wife and in-laws even after he got divorced from her. He planned everything. Conviction to end his life arose from series of atrocities committed upon him by his wife. First a false dowry case, then several Lacs to give him a divorce, then keeping him hostage naked for four days, then alleging rape on him , then beating him up wherever she saw him, then getting him thrown out of the job wherever he went, then ensuring that he never gets married again by ruining his alliance, then telling him that his only option was to commit suicide.

He DID. Because she used to tell him that no one’s gonna listen to him. That the law is handicap in front of her and he has no choice because she won’t let him live.

He wrote how system, law, police were her puppets and he of theirs and how ending his life was the only way to come out of those clutches.

It’s been seven days since Arvind died and not even an FIR has been registered so far. He was right when he wrote that even his death won’t change much. Apart from some hindi newspapers, no other media has covered his case. No debates. No furore. No prime time shouting.

If you’re reading this and wish to get him justice, send his suicide note to Prime Minister Modi and seek an answer. Tag PMO on Twitter and demand an action. Ask our law minister if he has answer for this student of law. Ask everyone a question – IS THE LAW AND JUSTICE OF THIS COUNTRY ONLY MEANT FOR WOMEN?

Read his suicide note here:

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Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj

Independent Journalist & Documentary Filmmaker

Twitter : @DeepikaBhardwaj

http://www.martyrsofmarriage.com

TESTIMONIALS….

TRAILER:

The most rewarding experience for a filmmaker is a good feedback from his/her film’s audience. This project has taken blood, sweat and my efforts of four years to complete. I would love to hear how did you like the film. Positive/Negative/Constructive – any comments are welcome. If you have seen #MartyrsofMarriage at any of our public screening locations , please do share with us your review and we would love to share them with the world.

Please mention your Name, your designation, where you saw the film, email/phone if possible and comments on the film.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR RESPONSE.

Warm Regards

Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj

Producer & Director – Martyrs of Marriage

http://www.MartyrsofMarriage.com

Martyrs of Marriage – PRESS NOTE

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THE FILM

Documentary film on misuse of section 498A of Indian Penal Code, also known as anti dowry law in India.

SHORT SYNOPSIS

Martyrs of Marriage is a documentary film that documents the injustice that has been perpetrated on people because of misuse of section 498A of Indian Penal Code commonly known as the Anti Dowry law in India. A feature length, first person account of those who have suffered at the hands of abuse of this provision, the film delves deep into the problem, the reasons behind it and the repercussions of the same. The film intends to wake up the society to the fact that MEN can be victims too in marital relationships and that the laws that have been made for protection of women have been and are being misused to harass men, women and their families too.

LONG SYNOPSIS

 “Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere”

Martin Luther King Jr

In Criminal Law, Blackstone formulation principle states “It is better that ten guilty persons escape rather than one innocent suffer.” It’s a principle followed under criminal jurisprudence the world over.

However, in India – a law that has been in place for three decades has been decried by many as an instrument of oppression, injustice and a reason for suffering of lacs of innocents in an endeavour to punish the guilty. Brought on the statute in 1983 to protect married women from dowry related violence within marital homes, section 498A of Indian Penal Code, also known as the anti dowry law has often been called as the most abused provision in the Indian jurisprudence. This abuse has been documented by the highest courts in India time and again through several judgments. In 2005, Supreme Court of India used the term “Legal Terrorism” to describe misuse of this law.

Martyrs of Marriage is a documentary film that documents various nuances of misuse of IPC 498A or the anti dowry law in India and the injustice it has perpetrated on several lives.

A feature length, first person account of those who have suffered at the hands of abuse of this provision, the film delves deep into the problem, the reasons behind it and the repercussions of the same. From why the law was brought in the first place to several suicides as a result of the abuse of the provision, this story that’s never been told before highlights plight of men and women who have suffered, suffering and those who have succumbed because of false allegations. No law intends to do Injustice to people. IPC 498A, however, has evidently become a tool and a weapon for harassment and extortion – a fact less stated but well known.

Martyrs of Marriage intends to inform and educate people about this issue and seeks intervention of lawmakers to save lives of many innocents.

The film interweaves personal stories of men and women who have faced trial or are undergoing trial under 498A on wrong allegations along with experiences of Judges, Advocates, Court Mediators, Detectives and Men’s Rights Activists with the abuse of this provision. It goes in detail of what happens, why it happens, how it happens and what the abuse of this provision is doing to lives of people. Several court observations on the issue make a part of the film to give the audience a perspective on the extent of the problem. The documentary presents data related to the law from 1998 till 2014 and raises some pertinent questions arising out of it after in-depth analysis of the same. Audio and Video evidences shared by victims have been used in the film to expose the proportion of this menace and the legal tactics used by those who have made the law a business.  Late Syed Ahmed Makhdoom, Late Manoj Kumar and Late Avadhesh Yadav give a face to the term “Martyrs of Marriage” as their families narrate the ordeals that they faced because of the most unexpected battle of their life called Marriage.

LOCATIONS

Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Gurgaon, Noida

FEATURING

Ashwani Kumar – Former Minister of Law & Justice, India
Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra – Retired Judge, Delhi High Court
Mamta Sharma – Former Chairperson, National Commission for Women
Madhu Kishwar – Professor – ICSSR & Founder – Manushi
Mrunalini Deshmukh – Senior Advocate, Mumbai High Court
Alok Mittal – Former Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon
Rashmi Bhushan – Senior Advocate & Mediator, District Court, Gurgaon
Swarup Sarkar – Men’s Rights Activist & Founder, Save Family Foundation
Amit Lakhani – Men’s Rights Activist, Save Indian Family Movement
Ranjana Kumari – Women’s Rights Activist & Director, Center for Social Research, New Delhi
Naman Jain – Managing Director, Sleuth Detectives
K K Bhati – Advocate, Noida
Devdutt Singh – Advocate, Noida
Sanjay Gupta – Advocate, Meerut
Satish Gupta – Advocate, Gurgaon
Victims of misuse of IPC 498A, families of men who committed suicide because of the harassment

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

It was in mid 2012 that I decided to make Martyrs of Marriage. There are moments that alter the course of your entire life. Being falsely accused of a crime I or my family had not done was one such moment for me.  When I got to know how easy it is to accuse someone of crime of dowry harassment in India, how easy it is to misuse section 498A of Indian Penal Code and how easy it is for a woman to destroy an entire family by false allegations, I decided to speak up against it. When I read stories of many who gave up life because of this abuse, I decided to make Martyrs of Marriage.

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Marriage is considered a sacred institution in India. This perspective stands true for most Indians until they visit Courts where this institution can be seen falling apart every single day. The bitterness, the lies, the power games, the helplessness, the cries for innocence can make you numb. I witnessed all of this and wanted to share this story with the world. For eons, we have been told stories of how women suffer. I saw the other side of the same coin – suffering of men in legal battle of marriage – and this documentary was born. I wanted to tell a story that most hesitate to hear or even if they hear, hesitate to believe.

Martyrs of Marriage is my first documentary feature and hence it took me several years to do justice to a film like this. When I started, I only wanted to tell a story. During the journey, I became an activist and a voice for those who weren’t heard because of their gender. I myself did not realize when I became an activist from a filmmaker but today, I am glad I decided to make this film. It is just not a film but life of those who have lived a harrowing time because of injustice perpetrated by the state on them in name of justice to a particular gender. It is story of those who could not take it anymore and decided to end it all.

The film is not an investigative piece but an extremely emotional story that raises a lot of pertinent questions on the way gender justice is being delivered in the country today. The film is a question on the efficacy of laws that have been made to protect one gender, the loopholes and abuse of the same with the help of the state. The film is a question on the psyche of those who think a man can never be a victim.

I am aware of the current social and political atmosphere around gender issues. I am aware of how politically incorrect this subject is. I am aware how the state is obligated by the constitution to protect women from gender based violence.  But I am also aware that that obligation was never intended to come at the cost of lives of innocents. If it is happening, it needs to be condemned and spoken against. Martyrs of Marriage is a result of that NEED.

I hope everyone who watches this film, sees it from the eyes of NEED for a balanced society and not a biased society since gender equality means gender equality and it includes both female and male!

DIRECTOR’S BIO

Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj is an Independent Journalist and a Documentary Filmmaker from India. Her first short documentary Gramin Dak Sevak based on employment challenges of rural postal employees was Jeevika All Asia Livelihood Film Festival 2009, student film winner. Her second short documentary Youth Count focussed on youth and its attitude towards voting and elections.  She has also worked on documentary projects for United Nations Environmental Program, USAID, Counterpart International, Sarthak covering issues related to women, people with disabilities and environment. Martyrs of Marriage is her first independent documentary feature which she has researched, scripted, produced and directed on her own.

While making the film, Deepika has written and spoken extensively on gender biased laws in India and impact of their misuse on people through platforms like TEDx and others.

 A software engineer turned Journalist, she was one of the ten media professionals selected from around the world for ‘Future Media Leaders Course’ conducted by Thomson Foundation, UK in 2010. A strong believer in documentaries as a powerful medium of communication, she draws her inspiration from Late Mr. Brent Hurd, her documentary professor at Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media.

She can be reached via: deepikanarayan@gmail.com  | Facebook | Twitter

TEDxTalks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_2gl7lz25E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSRTZ_q4RX8

 

SCREENINGS SO FAR

Public screenings of Martyrs of Marriage started on October 22, 2016 from New Delhi. Since then the film has been screened in several cities in India and abroad too including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune, Raipur, Bhilai, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Gurgaon, Kaithal in India; Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast in Australia and Indian Consulate, Dubai. Martyrs of Marriage has also been screened for Magistrates and Police Officers at Tamilnadu State Judicial Academy , Madurai and Maharashtra State Judicial Academy. The film has received standing ovations and an overwhelming response everywhere.

 

POSTER & STILLS

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WATCH THE FULL DOCUMENTARY HERE: http://www.vimeo.com/ondemand/martyrsofmarriage