“Vidhi seva samajik utthan samiti has successfully organized its 5th Webinar on 2nd August on the topic “MEN’S RIGHT MOVEMENT: A NEED OF COMPREHENSIVE SOCIAL ENGINEERING”. The aim of organizing this webinar was to seek answer of a major question that, Is India ready for the Gender Neutral Laws? The plethora of Indian laws, most are gender specific to women recognizes only man as the perpetrator and the woman as a victim. How far this is relevant is something which is debatable.
The session was started by Ms. SOUMI CHATTERJEE who is an ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF LAW at NOIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY. She spoke on the topic “Dowry related Laws and its mis-use”. She started with how the concept of dowry came into existence and with time the greed accelerated resulting into various criminal activities. As a result of that Dowry Prohibition Act was formed. She further advocated that the Act was formed for the good cause but unfortunately the legal provisions in the Act have became a tool for blackmailing and harassing the husbands and his relatives. She quoted, the Supreme Court has used the words ‘Legal Terrorism’ to describe the state in which the provisions are being misused in the case of Shushil kumar Sharma v. Union of India. In many cases , women try to rope in all the relatives of husband while she is filing a case against husband and also in-laws under the anti-dowry provisions. She explained (through various case laws) how the application of section 498A IPC by the police and court has become arbitrary, unconstitutional and void and therefore it violates article 14, 20 and 21 of the constitution. She added, the Criminal Mentality to misuse the anti-dowry laws spew up in society with the change in status of women. Lastly, she made the point that the existing laws are misused because of its pro-woman nature; they are deficient and inadequate and needs amendment.
The session was taken forward by the SIMRENJEET KAUR, RESEARCH SCHOLAR at PANJAB UNIVERSITY. She spoke on “Sexual Harassment of Men at workplaces”. Her main motive was to aware the participants about sexual harassment of men at Workplace. She pointed that Social thinking that men cannot be victim of sexual harassment has led men not coming forward and reporting. Constitution of India guarantees equality in Article 14 but it is disheartening to see that Indian legislation is silent on this issue. She added, the element that woman can sexually harass a man is still considered inconceivable in the society. She quoted that there is no exact data available on sexual harassment of men at workplaces in India because men do not come forward due to several reasons such as Embarrassment and humiliation about the incident, fear that the matter will be trivialized and disregarded , a sense of insecurity that they will not be believed, dread of becoming a subject of gossip and further humiliation, etc. She further added the sexual harassment of men invites Psychological suffering, physical suffering to men and at times professional loss as well if they come forward to speak. Lastly, she concluded with the idea that In India, Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, provides “right to equality” and henceforth there is an utmost need for amending POSH Act in order to make it a Gender Neutral Law.
The session was concluded by Advocate KUSHAL KUMAR, Partner, Erudite Legal. He spoke on “Feminist Media Vis-A-Vis Men’s Right. He started with the statement that to bring in social inclusion in the society, there is an urgent need of Social Engineering. Particular gender dominating the other is not to be accepted. Further, he added that with the modernization the concept of Feminism is being misunderstood. The unfulfilled desire of the women is leading them to file false dowry cases against the husband and relatives and false complains against men at workplace which is not the idea of making laws in favour of women. This is being done because the provisions are inclined towards women. The false cases are torturing and humiliating for the men who are innocent. Lastly, he suggested that there is an urgent need to amend the laws for making it Gender Neutral.
The event was moderated by Mohammad Taasir Ali who beautifully coordinated between the speakers and participants.
I, on the behalf of the entire organization extend my thanks to all the speakers for joining our virtual platform to disseminate their knowledge on the concerned topic.