‘Men are not free ATM machines’
Several Bangaloreans welcome the SC judgment against maintenance for women in live-in relationships, say it’s high time government amended the Domestic Violence Act
October 28, 2010
Men’s rights groups in the city have welcomed the recent supreme court judgment that women in live-in relationships cannot demand maintenance from their male partners. They have also come out against additional solicitor general Indira Jaisingh who has criticised the judgment.
Kumar V Jahgirdar, a social activist fighting for gender-neutral laws and family harmony, said, “I welcome the supreme court judgment. The concept of women demanding money from men to maintain their lifestyles is completely unacceptable in this era. Men are not economic slaves that they have to keep giving money and gifts every month to concubines and part-time lovers for decades or their whole life even after the end of the relationship.”
Virag Dhulia, liaison officer (India) for the National Coalition for Men (NCFM), said, “It is outrageous that Indira Jaisingh argues in a non-government case and demands that a man pays Rs 500 every month to one of his sexual partners for many decades in future just like a free ATM machine. Given a chance, she can also push courts to order men to pay maintenance to their female colleagues at work, citing some imaginary office romance. We are heading towards a society where women are independent and men are no longer treated as free ATM machines.”
“Today, sexual relationships between men and women are mostly mutual. Lawmakers must put an end to this practice of maintenance, alimony and compensation to women just due to some mutual sexual or emotional relationships for short or long periods of time,” says Jahgirdar.
Women welcome judgment
Some women have welcomed the supreme court judgment which went against the Domestic Violence Act 2005. Roshni Mathan Pereira, family counsellor and mediator at Children’s Rights Initiative For Shared Parenting (CRISP), said, “The Domestic Violence Act is very biased. It does not include the role of husbands and children within the framework of a family. It reads like a set of rules on how to break a marriage. Jaisingh, who is one of the architects of the Act, does not look into the importance and role of the women in the family.
“The Act deals with jargon like concubine and is more worried about such women than the wife. It is not pro-family. The act has become a magic wand in the hands of dominatrix wives who misuse it to break their families because of their own intolerance and manipulations leading to alternative character roles like live-ins, keeps, concubines and spouse thieves.
Though the supreme court has said it is not for them to legislate or amend the law, the government should revamp the act as soon as possible.”
Letter to Rajya Sabha
The Save Indian Family Foundation has also come out against the Act. In a letter to the Rajya Sabha secretariat, it has called for its amendment, saying, “Although the name of the act is Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, almost all the cases are filed only by wives or daughters-in-law. The foundation has called for making the Act ‘gender neutral’, rewriting sections and punishing false complainants.