Majority of Indian Men, who are in a patriarchal milieu think and consider that the women- especially  their wives- are mere chattels and have no dignity or mind of her own. They think they have an entrenched patriarchal right to bash their wives left  right and centre.

If she is more educated, and better employed drawing  lucrative salary and perks etc than them, the male ego in them gets thrashed and such husbands start nursing an inferiority complex and jealousy against their wives from day one of their marriage. This is not to speak of less fortunate housewives, who don’t have good education and a career of their own.to take pride in. They are financially dependent on their husbands for every small wish of theirs’. These poor housewives mostly bear the brunt of their husbands disappointments, false male  ego and workplace irritations  and wrath etc etc in the form of daily beatings and vulgar verbal abuse on their bodies and minds respectively.. In both these cases husbands think that their wives can’t be subjugated  to them or their families except through the weapon of indiscriminate  and mind boggling violence.

Thus, both the highly educated and financially independent and also their less fortunate economically dependent sisters who are mere wives are  constantly subjected to physical, psychological and emotional abuse at the husbands’ and their in laws hands. .

The fortunate first category of women can escape this kind of daily harassment and abuse of all kinds at their husbands’ and in laws hands,  by simply divorcing them through a court room battle. But, the less fortunate second category of wives/housewives are thrown lock, stock and barrel by their inhuman and cruel husbands, manytimes along with their children, and sometimes without children; in the latter case husbands and in laws prefer retaining the custody of children.

I strongly urge the Central and  all State Governments to create  Women’s  Welfare Funds inviting contributions from philanthropic minded rich persons including the upper middle class people.People contributing to such funds should be given tax sops as women, who constitute half of our population are the most discriminated lot. The disbursal of such funds to the needy women should be manned by persons with clean track record of public service and philanthropic services .These funds should be  utilized  for  imparting training to these hapless husband battered and  harassed wives in soft skills such as how to be more self- confident,   how to communicate more effectively, how to be self respectful, dignified and  be self reliant  through vocational or other educational training in accordance with their individual talents.They should be provided opportunities to get gainfully  employed or self employed. Right  now, although,  the Indian Domestic Violence Law, and Property Law and Family Laws etc are to some extent fighting this inequality, and  the menace of wife beating and other forms of Domestic Violence such as dowry harassment and dowry deaths etc with some success, the law is not fully geared up to meet fully,  this  cruel and dangerous menace head on. In most cases husbands’ try to escape the law by denying maintenance and custody of children  or paying a paltry sum as maintenance and come up with all kinds of false allegations and excuses to deny the hapless women of both these categories- their due  maintenance or compensation , custody oi children etc.,

My  suggestions  to curb this menace are the following:

1) Create a Women’s Welfare Fund both at the States level and at the Central Levels and meet the psychological, educational and  economical needs of the  hapless and needy wives..

2) Make all the existing laws to protect victims of domestic violence effective, efficient  and more potent in  every way  by removing the loopholes in women’s laws and strengthening them in every way so that these laws are given more teeth and become  more stringent, punitive and deterrent in the real sense of these terms.The entire machinery for the making/unmaking of these laws and their enforcement  should be composed of individuals with clean credentials and exemplary track record in public service.

3) The Women’s Welfare Funds should be utilized in making the victims of domestic violence self reliant, economically independent. through gainful employment in some organization or self employed

 4) Legal Awareness along with general education should be provided right  from primary school level by making it part of the academic curricula- as I see, still in many parts of India, Child Marriages and Teenage pregnancies etc are taking place leaving such hapless children and teenagers on the roads, after suffering domestic violence and other kinds of abuse..5) Every Girl Child should be given a Mandatory Free Martial Arts Training right from Primary School level so as to make her more  Self confident, and also use her self defence  training in these Martial Arts against perpetrators of violence against her body, mind and her property.6) Lastly, attitudinal and mindset changes in our Society  regarding  acceptance of  women being equal and having dignity on par with  their male counterparts etc would ultimately result in  the disappearance of all sorts of Gender Discrimination against women including Domestic Violence. The bottom line is that: :if such an egalitarian society is created, the currently prevalent  gender discrimination/bias and the resultant Domestic Violence etc would ultimately wane .I Welcome Such  a Society in the near future.Ms.Nirmala P.Rao
Legal Expert And Political Analyst
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