19th December, 2014
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi Ji,,
#7, Race Course Road, New Delhi – 110001
Sub: Marriage Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014
21st Century is undoubtedly the century of Asia: India and China, mainly! These two countries are in the path of exponential growth not merely because of its large population but essentially because of the family system that nurtures quality human resource. The unique opportunity that India has today of young and skilled youth is indeed because of its stable family system. Sanskar, Skills and Stability are fundamental to the society that solicits “Make In India”.
The suicide statistics over the years has been alarming. While the number of women committing suicide in the country has been more or less stable, the rate of Men’s suicide has kept on increasing. This is quite an indicator of declining emotional state of Married Men in India, “Family Causes” being at the top of the list according to NCRB (Home Ministry).
Last few decades have brought in many women centric laws like 498a, DV and more. The education and earning power of women in India has pleasantly increased and our women are enjoying much more freedom and self-reliance than ever in the history of our nation. This new empowered generation has unfortunately also brought many western pitfalls in Indian family system; increased divorce rate is one of them. Divorce is no more a taboo. A pertinent fact to this was revealed by a study that most of the divorces (82%) are initiated by women in India.
At this culture cusp of Indian society where the fundamental value of family system is already disintegrating, Government is willing to allow one additional ground to seek divorce among Hindus. The Marriage Law Amendment Bill 2014 is introducing Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as another ground for seeking divorce assuming that it would reduce the number of family litigations pending in the court. It is ironical that when government is trying to simplify law books and also repeal obsolete laws, this new ground would be a burden which would increase litigations of a warring couple even further as it brings property division angle of the Husband that also considers his pre-marital, inherited and inheritable property.
A similar law was passed in China in 2010 and was reverted back by SC of China as it not only increased family litigations but also made marriage-then-divorce as a property acquiring business for women. When women start marrying for money and not for family and love, that’s a shameful decline of our cultural values. Men, Hindu in particular, to protect their property from a risk of possible divorce would then either stop marrying or may never invest in property. Savings would lose meaning, economy would SLOW DOWN! With marriage becoming more of a gamble that it already is today, Family System would collapse.
The proposed Marriage Law Amendment Bill is a conspiracy by world feminists to damage the social fiber of India, Hindu Family System in particular. The present government does not believe in appeasement politics, whether it’s of a particular sector party, we hope that it would also be immune to the Indian Feminists.
Supreme Court has authoritatively pointed out that the anti-dowry law – IPC 498a is “Legal Terror”. The NCRB data for the past five years shows the reality of 498a cases. The conviction rates are as low as 2%.
Domestic violence laws all over the world, including Bangladesh and Pakistan, are gender neutral but unfortunately in India it’s available only to the women. Surveys in the west have shown that a significant percentage of men too are victims of domestic violence.
In the paper titled The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence, 2013[], by Nupur Bhutani, 93% of the men accepted that they suffered Verbal, Emotional and Physical violence from their wives. 76% stated that they had experienced Economic Abuse and 48% stated sexual abuse. Further, roughly 73% of men had experienced physical abuse at the hands of their wives.
(Source: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence, 2013 – By Nupur Bhutani)
Ground level situation of Men in family dispute is that of a destitute:
Men face a bouquet of misuse-prone women centric laws (IPC 498a – Dowry law, Domestic Violence, SHWB etc.). There are already existing 3 laws of maintenance and Alimony of a wife. The new law, in addition to the available reliefs (only to a woman) also offers property share as an incentive to divorce for Hindu Women. Hard to believe but an unfortunate truth is that the proposed amendments to the Hindu Marriage Law is a “No Fault” divorce law with punishment only and always to a husband.
Few unbelievable features of the proposed amendments are:
- Husband cannot oppose the divorce under this section while a wife can.
- Husband’s assets are only divided. Wife’s assets are ignored.
- Marriage duration is not considered: A wife can force the husband to part with more than 50% of his premarital, acquired and share in ancestral, inheritable assets even for a 1-day marriage.
- Wife’s earning capability and education is not considered while deciding Alimony.
- No settlement of other running litigations are clarified in this bill:
A wife would falsely accuse a husband and with this amendment get a no-fault exparte divorce, go ahead snatch share of husband’s property, get married to another Man and move on. Whereas, the Husband would’ve lost his property and would still be running around the courts proving his innocence in still pending false cases against him like 498a, CrPC 125, PWDVA etc.
Law Ministry doesn’t appreciate the gravity and impacts of the proposed bill:
Shocked by the provision of this amendment that we know from media reports and few RTIs, we met face to face to the Hon’ble Union Law minister Sri. D.V. Sadananda Gowda in Bangalore to convey our concerns about the ramifications of this half-baked bill, before the start of the winter session of parliament. He did not seem to appreciate the grave consequences and also happens to be under the mistaken belief that passage of this bill will greatly help in reducing the judicial backlog. He told us that he is very keen on bringing this bill in the winter session of the parliament.
We have written many e-mails to you on PMO addresses and through mygov.in and we have not been able to gather your attention therefrom. We have sent numerous postcards and other letters concerning the present issue, but have not got any response from your Hon’ble office. We hope that this open letter is able to take our prayers to you !
The new government has ignited the nation by giving it a vision, courage to dream big and to have faith in governance. But all this would necessarily require a healthy society where the mind is fearless and family values are conducive. We earnestly seek your immediate intervention since such half-baked hastily prepared formulations, needs due consultation and public opinion. These new bills that are based on unfounded prejudices are indeed an obstacle in “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”. These can grievously damage the fabric of Indian society which is our unique advantage on the world stage today. This is apart from the socio-economic impact it may cause.
For the reasons indicated above and the ground level situation of Men in India, we pray to you to kindly not consider and pass this UPA drafted bill, as it is, in haste and oblige us forever by giving us a chance to explain the matter in person.