Liquor, mobile phone misuse marring domestic peace
Crimes connected to alcoholism, mobile phone abuse and dowry appear to be on the increase in Kerala as they constitute a vast majority of cases coming before the state Women’s Commission.
Nearly 80 per cent of cases coming up before the Commission are related to liquor, dowry issues and mobile phone crimes, Justice D Sreedevi, Chairperson of KWC, said.
“Though people of different social and economic status approach the Commission on various matters, basic problems seem to be similar — liquor and dowry. Nature of those cases may be different. But they will surely have a connection with both these menaces in one way or other,” she said.
Most of the complaints from southern districts like Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram were related to domestic violence, she said.
Mobile phone crimes, especially cases of girls being pushed into love traps through phones, taking pictures without their consent and creating and distributing pornographic material have become serious problems which require urgent attention of law enforcers, she said. “These days, films, advertisements and television programmes often have an adverse impact on the moral concerns of the society. Obscene ads and film songs and vulgar dressing of anchors convey wrong messages to younger generation. Many parents lose control over their children due to the overspread of mobile phones and internet,” Sreedevi said.
The KWC has initiated a campaign against the display of obscene posters in public places and the tendency to portray women in a “vulgar” manner in visual and print media. “Our recently formed Media Monitoring Cell is closely watching the trends in various media and their approach towards women. The basic purpose of the initiative is to check circulation of porno literature, blue films, obscene ads and films. We are organising awareness seminars and discussions with media persons to invite the attention of general public to the menace,” she said.
Justice Sreedevi, who has been heading the Commission for the last four years, said the spurt in cases being registered showed the increasing awareness of people of the existence of forums like these. “The increasing number of cases coming before us is not at all a negative sign but the reflection of people’s increased awareness about their rights. As their awareness level increases, they will surely approach us when they feel that they are denied justice,” she said.
The KWC has received a total of 25,761 complaints since 2007, of which 23,245 had so far been settled. “Besides liquor and drug which were the main source of domestic problems, emotional immaturity and financial dependence also contribute to the plight of women,” she said. “The ‘spoon-fed young generation’, both boys and girls, are not trained to shoulder responsibilities or face difficulties in life. This makes them weak and incapable of taking challenges thrown up by life as they mature’,” she said.