Last week, 150 men from all over the country came together to take a dip in the sacred river Ganga in Varanasi. This ‘holy dip’ was an attempt to wash off the toxicity and negativity that was caused by their ex-wives. This activity was encouraged by a men’s rights NGO named Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), an organisation formed in 2007 to fight against misuse of Indian laws related to dowry harassment.
According to Rajesh Vakharia, the founding member of the organisation, the Indian laws are biased against the male population. “There is an Animal Welfare Ministry, but there’s no ministry for the protection of Indian men. Should men be treated worse than animals?” Vakharia asked. He added, “women who have ego issues can file sexual harassment cases.” The men also performed the ‘last rites’ or ‘shraadha’ of their wives, who are hale and healthy but are separated from these men.
This organisation has even motivated 150 men to conduct a ‘pishachini mukti puja’ (to free them from ‘demons’) for their former wives, to erase the bad memories of their past marriage, as reported by The News 18. Apparently, this event was organised to celebrate the tenth year of SIFF.
A men’s rights activist, Amit Deshpande, said that these men have been harassed for years by their wives and their peace of mind was taken away from them, and hence he came up with an idea to take a dip in the river and to perform last rites of the women who are still alive. “This is a sign to protest against female false rape accusers, they are not punished in this country. So this is our way to symbolically punish them,” Deshpande said.
About the NGO
SIFF is an organisation formed mainly to fight against Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, which protects women from the harassment of her husband and in-laws relating to dowry issues. The members of this organisation seek to scrap this law citing the ‘misuse’ of this section by women. In the past, this NGO has also opposed efforts to criminalise marital rape in India, arguing “No relationship will work if these laws are enforced.”
The organisation has now spread across the country with 200 centres and 4000 volunteers and they have been accused that they promote anti-feminism rather than helping innocent men.
The Logical Indian take
While it is true that in certain cases women have misused the law to file cases against innocent men, it is unwise and illogical on the part of SIFF to promote a culture which encourages men to perform last rites of their former wives despite them being alive. This act does not help as a counselling session for the men who have been truly harassed by their spouses. In fact, it misguides the men in dealing with their emotions. A more logical and matured approach could be adopted by the organisation in tackling the issue of false cases against men in the country.
Also, feminism is not about women being greater than men, but it is a concept of giving equal rights to both men and women. If a woman misuses the law by filing false cases against men it defeats the entire purpose of feminism, and strict legal action needs to be taken after investigating such sensitive issues, as there are high chances that an innocent man/woman could be victims.
Also Read: While We Argue About Feminism And Men’s Rights, Gender Violence Continues To Threaten Our Society