A Daaman Counsellor shares his outlandish experience where he encounters some unheard & unthought-of grounds of marital discord. These are cases of marital discord where men get penalized for exercising their constitutional right of an individual’s choice to religious preference. They have even been extending up to penalization of men for standing against the detrimental programming of the country’s future citizens into orthodox religious thought. Men who are on the right side of the country’s interest are made to suffer for being true to their motherland.
Daaman is part of the Save Indian Family (SIF), a movement advocating Men’s Rights and Welfare in India. SIF runs counselling sessions for men in marital distress, through its free weekly meeting and also a Counselor on Call Service via its National Helpline 8882-498-498. SIF or Daaman, or any of our brother NGOs does not look into the religious, caste and professional identities of any person for extending its help.
Ever thought that issues like #ShaheenBagh or religious preference of an individual or standing up to the rightful cause of the country can be a reason for marital discord leading to a criminal case of 498A IPC?
Year’s of our learning in holding weekly meetings and running helpline for men, we have developed an understanding of possible reasons leading to marital discord and how they manifest in police FIRs culminating into court cases. Most of the time the reasons are identical and even have a predictable trajectory of events to come.
Recently, a Daaman Counselor came across that were due to unheard-of reasons, and not even connected to the marital or personal life of the couples. They warrant a discussion here.
Incident - 1:
Recently when I got to see the Divorce petition filed against a Daaman member which mentioned "…..he said that the child born in a muslim family we will not accept him...", I thought there must be a clerical mistake, or maybe an adventure of the advocate of the woman, that led to such a mention.
Some further probing the guy, disclosed that our member is also being presented in a bad light as a bigoted person.
Incident - 2:
In another incident, a Muslim woman has alleged in her DV petition that her husband beats her and threaten to kill if she does not stop meeting her school time friends. The husband was even called a bigot as most of them are Hindu.
Whereas the husband’s allegation in seeking divorce from this woman is of adultery. The husband even contends that as her paramour happens to be a Hindu, she is alleging bigoted behaviour against him.
Incident - 3:
But the most distressing incident came to light on our helpline recently where a Muslim husband seeks help to save himself and his five-year-old son's life who is being allegedly deliberately radicalized by his mother and maternal uncle. The maternal uncle happens to be a criminally minded person and has been to jail several times in various offences.
He narrated that the issue started before the Coronavirus lockdown began. One day when he returned from his work in the evening, he saw his son playing chanting slogans of #ShaheenBagh protestors. He immediately enquired his child about who taught him these slogans, the child said mamu and khala.
This man raised the matter with his wife, but she justified her brother & sister and said that the child is taught nothing wrong.
The concern of this man stand manifested in the safety of his son when he says "...अगर मेरा बेटा ये सब कट्टर पना सीखेगा तो बड़ा होकर किसी दिन वो किसी को मार देगा या कोई मेरे बेटे को मार देगा... तो मैं किससे कहूँगा"
This man again raised this matter with his wife and in-laws and asked about the wrong government had done. When they couldn't respond him to his satisfaction, he was told what all wrongs Hindus have done and how threatened is the Muslim community because of Hindus.
Having heard all this, just before the lockdown he arranged a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in Hindi and read it. But this worsened his position even further. After reading Gita, this man was impressed to the extent that he decided to embrace Hinduism. He even offered his wife to do so and declared that he'll convert soon after the lockdown is withdrawn.
When the wife came to know all this, she informed her parents and brother. Who not only beat him badly but also threatened to kill him along with his parents and brother.
Unleashing a stream of abuse they clarified their grievance that this man's opposition hardly matters as far as #ShaheenBagh is concerned, but him adopting Hinduism just not acceptable to them.
A case of 498A IPC was registered during the lockdown and the police is now threatening and torturing him repeatedly.
Searching for help online he and reached us.
This is an unprecedented & critical situation for the counsellor helping him where he could not think off, based on past experience.
The man is being penalized for exercising his right to freedom of religion and also standing up to the cause of being true to the country.
While I write this, the man remains committed to adopting Hinduism and resists the wrongful programming of his son.
The incidents mentioned in this post are actual life experience! Special thanks to Sachin Agarwal for his help in drafting.