The family courts in India operate with extreme levels of anti-male bias. Most men have little hope from these courts. The Indian feminists openly call for discrimination against men by family courts. For example, they do not want men to be protected from domestic violence by women. More recently, feminists and communists together passed a bill in parliament for dividing matrimonial property during divorce. According to this bill, women’s self-acquired property and inherited property will be considered her personal property, while all property of s man acquired before marriage or to be inherited in the future will be considered as “marital property”, which will be divided during divorce.
Most often these Feminists argue that, under “patriarchy,” men always support other men, while discriminating against women. In the media, Feminists accuse the family court judges of practicing pro-male bias, even though Indian family courts are extremely anti-male. For example, a recent survey has shown that family courts take an average of 24 months to pass an order for child visitation for fathers, even though this is a simple and straightforward judgment. Often, the family courts send unemployed men to prison, because they are unable to pay maintenance to an able-bodied wife.
In last decade, we Men’s Human Rights Activists in India have used weekend meetings in parks and men’s community centers to organize ourselves, mainly to fight against discrimination in family courts and false domestic violence cases.
Most of these meetings focus on educating men about the laws and the behavior of courts and lawyers. Though no direct solutions are available for men’s problems, this basic education helps men protect themselves from the system and minimize their losses. This education then also reduces the possibility of being led astray by a lawyer. Many men facing domestic violence approach our men’s rights groups. Often, they are advised to move to a separate house so that they can recover first. In India, police refuse to take any complaint of domestic violence by wife seriously, though a lot of men record the abuse using audio or video recording devices.
One big benefit of the men’s community centers is that men feel that they are not alone and millions of other men are facing similar situations. So, they stop hiding as a solution and they stop worrying. The fear of going to a prison is much more painful that the real experience of being in a prison for couple of days. We often say to ourselves, our battle is 80% psychological and 20% legal.
Our motto is, irrespective external circumstances, a man must enjoy every moment of life. Only a man who can cherish every moment of life can be a real fighter against a discriminatory family court system.
In a way, we have no victims in our meetings. Victim-hood is just not allowed to pull us down. This victory over our minds in our community meetings has created a die-hard attitude towards life and the system.
The weekend community meetings are also used for planning and coordinating events for awareness of men’s rights issues.
We hope you enjoy this video about our issues and our activism. You can find more videos about men of India right here.