August 26 is Women’s Equality Day. And this time it will see men crying for equal rights on the streets.
Hundreds of “harassed” husbands, including IIT and IIM grads, engineers, doctors, lawyers and NRIs, will gather at Jantar Mantar on Sunday as part of the countrywide protest against dowry harassment and the more recent domestic violence laws. "We are all victims of these biased laws,” says Swarup Sarkar of Save Indian Family Foundation, the organiser.
Men argue that these laws have exposed them to harassment at the hands of their wives. “A woman simply has to utter ‘dowry harassment’ and everybody she names is promptly put behind bars without any evidence, investigation or witness,” says NS Das, a product of IIT Delhi and IIM-A, who is now fighting dowry charges.
"Guilty until proven innocent — that’s the gist of Section 498A of the IPC, the dowry harassment law," says another IITian Ved Prakash.
Terming the protest a "malicious propaganda", Ranjana Kumari, director of Centre for Social Research, says, "Section 498A is the only provision under the dowry law that allows a woman to save her life. Other sections come into force after the woman is killed."