Formation of "NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MEN" in INDIA
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In India, a country of 1.3 Billion people, there is not a single dedicated platform, where half of the population of the world's second largest democracy - MEN, can complain and be heard in an impartial, unbiased and an empathetic way to solve their grievances. In a nation that's continuously striving towards Gender Equality and Gender Justice, the "male gender" isn't considered to be victim of any gender based crime whether any kind of domestic violence (physical, mental, verbal or financial) or sexual assault or sexual harassment or rape or stalking or physical/mental cruelty or verbal or physical assault outraging modesty. In any of these crimes, a man can ONLY be a PERPETRATOR and never a VICTIM.
While matrimonial cruelty, either physical or mental, committed against wife is a criminal offense, it is only a ground of divorce for a husband. While we have demanded and been provided (in case of minor girls) provisions of death penalty for rapists of girls and women, an adult male in India is not covered under legal definition of rape even by another male.
There are several accounts on record where when a man makes a complaint about any of these forms of harassment and torture, he is told by the police "There are no laws to protect you."
While there are several bodies at district, state, national and central level to protect the interests of women and girls and address their grievances, India doesn't have a single body or commission looking after issues of men and boys.
There are innumerable examples where men have been subjected to extreme domestic violence, harassment, torture, injustice and cruelty and scores of documented cases where they have been victims of false accusations under women centric legislations but none of these serve as "statistics" because there is no law and no body that can research, analyze, assess and "record" these cases of abuse to help form protective legislations around it.
There are many more issues related to Physical, Mental, Psycological and Personal Well being of Men today, which have remained ignored in the eyes of the lawmakers, judiciary and the system at large.
It is in wake of this, that I and several concerned citizens of this country, demand the Government of India to constitute a "NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MEN" which can look after the problems, issues, grievances and concerns specifically related to men and boys and take a step towards true Gender Justice.
Recently, Member of Parliament, Shri Harinarayan Rajbhar has proposed that a commission like this be formed so that justice can be provided to men too who are harassed, ill treated and victims of Injustice.
We urge that the government understands ground realities of a changing society and upholds basic tenets of our constitution - to not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, religion or gender - and constitute a body that can work towards building a society that's concerned about all its citizens including women and "Men"
Some of the demands put forth at the outset:
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.
2. 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.
3. A National Helpline for Men where men can also report their problems and seek help.
4. Special campaigns for prevention of suicide by men. Number of men who commit suicide is twice of women. Government needs to understand and resolve the issues because of which so many men are killing themselves.
5. 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.
6. Nationwide campaign for the awareness of “Prostate Cancer” and other health issues faced majorly by men.
7. 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.
8. Rehabilitation, assistance and skill development for men who are homeless and shunned by the society.
9. Review of women centric laws to prevent and address their misuse. Compensation and rehabilitation of men who are affected by false accusations.
10. Collection of data related to crimes against men and formation of gender neutral laws to address these crimes.
11. Amend laws that are anti-men and violate constitutional rights of men.
12. Shared parenting a must during divorce battles so that fathers are not alienated from the life of their children.
13. Better living conditions for men who are languishing in jails as under-trials.
14. Concrete measures against male child labour which is prevalent across India.
15. Better working environment, healthcare facilities and mental health support for men doing toughest jobs across various industries.
The issues are not but limited to these. Experts on these issues can be consulted should the government prepare to form a body called "National Commission for Men" with it's vision, scope and interventions neatly chalked out.
Every Individual & Organization who would sign this petition AND
Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj, Documentary Filmmaker & Social Activist
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