Nowadays we see hundreds of NGOs who claim to be working for some or the other cause like uplifting the downtrodden, providing food and shelter for the poor, caring for the children of commercial sex workers and fighting against harassment of all kinds of atrocities against women.
Now another never heard before kind of NGO has surfaced which calls itself, Akhil Bharatiya Patni Atyachar Viridhi Sangh runby a Mr Dashrath Devda in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Mr Devda, I believe goes from door to door trying to find out if the husbands are harassed. And don’t laugh….atleast 600 + husband have accepted that they are harassed by their wives. Dashrath Devda is contesting from Ahmedabad east for a Loksabha seat and what is he promising the people of Ahmedabad if he gets elected? He’s assuring the dukhi patis some relief in the form of a law which would protect them from their bully wives. His argument is – when we have so many laws protecting the women, why not have some for men too? According to him, women are not the only aggrieved lot but men too are suffering. So, he says, like women have section 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code for their protection against domestic violence, he’ll fight to bring in section 498 (B) to protect men from patni atyachar, totally in favour of the husbands.
When we read about this news for the first time our immediate response is to laugh 🙂 But give it a little thought and we are bound to agree that there are quite a few dominating women in real life like Lalita Pawar and Bindu of Hindi movies and Ramadevi from Kannada movies. Harassment need not be in the form of hitting and manhandling but could be mental torture like it happens with most men. I don’t think any woman will try to manhandle her partner given the fact that men are physically stronger than women. So in most cases it would be mental torture in the form of constant nagging, taunting, comparing with others etc. apart from the many more reasons probably I am not aware of.
I’ve seen a number of women making it very clear as to who’s the boss of the house in the way they deal with their husbands or the way they talk about them while in a group of people, be it relatives or colleagues. They taunt them on some pretext or the other saying words to the effect of ‘good for nothing’. Many have the habit of constantly comparing ‘ghar ka murga’ with x,y or z and wailing in self pity that they are the unfortunate ones. One of my relatives makes her husband do most of the household chores while she makes excuse of diabetes and leg pain to keep sitting. This husband is not any lallu-panju but a central government officer who retired at a senior level. But the poor thing is laughed at by the relatives and called ‘henpecked’. I really don’t know the history of this word, but it’s a widely accepted name for hapless kind of husbands. I feel there’s nothing wrong if a husband shares the burden of domestic work and helps his wife. But it should not be a one sided affair as it happens in most of the cases-be it the husband or the wife.
I’ve also come across some women who take the credit, whole and sole, for any good thing happening in the family. They go to the extent of saying that if they weren’t there, their husbands would be lost, the kind of ‘good for nothings’ they are!! But I really wonder, why should a husband or wife be afraid of each other? Unless and until men and women learn to respect each other and understand that a happy family can exist only when there’s mutual respect, trust and love between the two of them, such things will continue to exist. If there’s love and understanding, is there any need to have a atyachar virodhi sangh either for the pati or the patni??
By the way, one last word. I’ve not told my husband about this dukhi pati sangh because I’m worried that he might just go and become a member, if he comes to know about it. Kiske mann mein kya hai, who knows? 🙂 🙂