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PRESS RELEASE – Against Marriage Amendment Bill

PRESS RELEASE – Against Marriage Amendment Bill

PRESS RELEASE

Subject: Strongly condemning the upcoming Marriage Laws (amendment) Bill

Introduction:

Confidare Research is the education and research wing of Confidare Consultancy that specializes in dealing with problems of men.

Confidare Research strongly condemns the upcoming “Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill” that was supposed to be tabled today before the Cabinet.

This bill is a further evidence of the growing misandry (male hatred) in the society and how the society treats men as disposable entities. Even in this modern age when we talk of Gender Equality, the stereotypical patriarchal notion that the financial responsibility of a family should lay on a husband still prevails in the society, and this pervert social mindset is the root cause of abuse of men, especially husbands in a marriage.

In such a situation, where men are already burdened with so much of load, another law which makes divorce extremely costly for them is thoroughly unwelcome.

Highlights of the law:

  1. This law recognizes “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage” as a ground for divorce.
  2. While the law empowers the wife to oppose the divorce at any point of time if the husband has filed for divorce, it restrains the husband from doing so when the wife has filed for the same.
  3. This law also contains a clause by which courts will be empowered to snatch away half the property of husband and give it away to wife.
  4. This law only talks about women’s rights and has no considerations whatsoever for men.

Brief Background:

Due to demand from various quarters, this ground for divorce was introduced by the Govt. of India by way of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 which sought to amend the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act. However, the bill contained clauses that facilitated financial extortion of men.

The bill read that courts would have power not to grant the divorce unless the wife was paid adequate amount of money under the cute name of “Financial Security of Woman”.

And the bill also mentioned about special powers being given only to wives to oppose the divorce if the wife was unhappy with the money she received from the husband.

Such clauses being outright anti-male and gender-biased in nature were vehemently opposed by various men’s rights activists and organizations, who even deposed in front of the Standing Committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice. The panel, chaired by Shri Santaram Naik, was presented with the objections raised by men’s rights organizations who sought to make the bill gender-neutral and ensure that no man faced any kind of financial hardship because of gender-biased clauses in the bill.

Oppositions ignored:

However, the objections raised by men’s rights organizations have been conveniently ignored by the standing committee panel, that has gone ahead and recommended the very clauses to the Govt. of India for the bill to be tabled, to which the men’s rights organizations has raised objections against.

What will happen if?

  1. Husband purchases a property just 6 months after marriage out of his hard-earned savings earned before marriage and his marriage breaks and he loses half of the property. In that case the husband will be doomed.
  2. Men start fearing this law and stop buying real estate which adversely affects the economy of the country.
  3. Husband has dependent parents and owns a single property and if 50% of that goes to wife post-divorce, how will the husband take care of his old parents? Is the concept of family restricted to only husband-wife in the Indian context?
  4. What, if the family is a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) owning a single joint property? Will the wife get 50% of that? What about other sibling’s share in it?

Confidare’s objections:

  1. Marriages are tumultuous for men. This fact reflects in the suicide statistics that are published year-over-year by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and it’s the married men who top the list of suicide. Suicide rate of husbands’ increases 4 times the rate of wives’ and 6 times the rate they are bornEvery 9 minutes a married man commits suicide. This fact clearly proves how bad marriages turn out for men and if divorces are also made costlier by way of such laws, this will lead to further increase in suicides by men. Is the Government of India trying to facilitate the suicides of men?
  2. There is one more law in the pipeline – Matrimonial Property (Rights of Women upon Marriage Act), 2012 – which talks about making wife the co-owner of husband’s properties right at the time of marriage; then, why this law? Why is the Government hell bent on making redundant anti-male laws and convert marriage into an extortion industry thriving on men?
  3. In a democratic law making process, objections raised by a particular group or individual cannot be ignored without any proper justification. The panel has failed to give any just and proper reason as to why the objections raised should not be considered.
  4. As per Dowry Prohibition Act, any demand of cash/kind in relation to marriage is “Dowry”. Is not this law legalizing dowry to be paid to wife from husband under the cute name of “Financial Security of Wife”?
  5. Right to Equality is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India and cannot be disrespected under any circumstances. Current bill thoroughly violates it, as far as men are concerned.
  6. Feminists are claiming that nearly 80% of women do not have a place to live post-divorce. This is completely false because no such study has ever been conducted. India does not have any standard data collected as to how many divorces are happening, of those how many own a house and how many do not, how many are nuclear, joint and HUF families. Without any such data in place, any claims made are just airy claims without any data. Formulating a law on airy data is dangerous.

 Confidare’s demands:

  1. Marriages and Divorces should not be made a property-transfer-bureau.
  2. If property division is to be done then wife’s share in her ancestral property must also be considered and then division must be done.
  3. Duration of marriage must be a crucial factor of consideration. The difference between a 2 month marriage and a 20 year marriage must be clearly understood.
  4. Property division must take into account contributions made by both the spouses and also the fact that the property was acquired from wealth earned post marriage and not from previous savings.
  5. Any and all outstanding financial liabilities on the property like loan for property, loan against property, mortgage etc. must also be equally divided and wife must be made to be equally paid for it. If she is not working then she should get her share from her ancestral property.
  6. Both the partners should have equal and unbridled right to oppose divorce and there should be no gender-bias in this.
  7. There should not be any power wrested with the courts to decide upon property transfer or stalling of proceedings as the Indian judiciary is highly incompetent and has not shown positive trends favoring men when it comes to disposing cases. The Indian judiciary is highly anti-male and does not consider twice before ordering a man to either “sell his kidney” or “beg, borrow or steal” just to pay maintenance to his estranged wife. What is the guarantee that the same judiciary will make judicious decisions when it comes to this law?
  8. Institute a National Commission for Men, that can systematically collect issues, concerns and problems of men, study them and recommend to the Govt. about measures to be taken to address those problems.

If the Govt. of India does not take these considerations seriously then we have only one message for the hardworking Indian men, who think putting self before others, is a social norm –

Your hard earned property does not belong to you.