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How Effective Can A Mere Act Be For The Forever Supressed Gender?
So many cases of violence against the feminine gender have emerged since time immemorial. I say "feminine gender" and not "women" for many reasons. To begin with, the women have not been treated as anything but commodities since the birth of patriarchy. Patriarchy, by virtue, does not have any room for the women voicing their opinion or be overtly involved in the world of men.
To this, many women will say that it is not the case. There are so many self made women out there. Ms. Kiran Bedi is a living example of that. No doubt, she is. But, this is in terms of the urban picture. The remote parts of the country still have women who are passive victims of domestic violence. There was an instance of a certain neighbor who was married for about six to seven years and then a few days back news was received of her sudden death. The reason can be guessed easily. Before the mother-in law could grab the opportunity to burn the woman into ashes, the woman chose to take her own life and not only that, she decided to end the life of her very own daughter. The reasons for doing that to a little child are pretty bleak. But the woman left a suicide note saying that it was not her husband but her mother-in-law who was responsible for her desperate action. But what is disturbing is that in the six to seven years of marriage that the couple had, is it possible for the husband to be so blind to the traumatic condition of his wife? After all they were, what may be called, partners for life.
The Protection from Domestic Violence Act came to the scene as early as 2005. Many states had cases filed under the category with the highest cases registered from Rajasthan. But there are still very many pockets of the country which do not have similar cases registered due to the very fact that the individual concerned does not take the right step. Filing a case against your in-laws or your husband will bring shame to your family. Passivity leads to such measures. Here is where the law fails. When the woman concerned or others around her do not want to take the right step to protect their own honor and themselves at large then there is nothing that the law can do. Can it?
Ask any modern woman on the street if she would like to have a nuclear family or would rather be in a joint family with the in-laws. The answer will be in favor of the former. There are less hassles and more freedom. The idea of a mother-in-law is frightening for many.
But still domestic violence also involves the husband. Having a nuclear family in such cases does not matter. There are many children who have grown up seeing their mother or aunt beaten by their husbands. They know of the code that the Act provides but does that make them file a case against family or rather their own father? The answer is no. Can it help then, this Act when it does not have anybody volunteering to put their own relatives and family members behind bars?
The Act is a strong initiative taken by the Indian govenment, but patriarchy seeks to hold back the offended and instead of the iron hand of the law being upon the products of patriarchy, it is the latter that suppresses the women.
The answer to this problem is something that may take a long time. But how long is the question.
Something to think about.