Interview with Suresh Pitchaimuthu (Author of Just Married: Have You Applied For Bail?) published as part of the Project Report Submitted by Ms NUPUR BHUTANI to UNIVERSITY OF DELHI IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (H) JOURNALISM
1. Tell me about your book “Just Married: Have you Applied for Bail?”
The book is based on a true and touching story received at our NGO National Family Harmony Society®, Bangalore of a software engineer Rohit, who is trapped into marriage to grab his father’s property. It talks about the frauds of the modern day marriages in India. Husbands are landing in jails after marriage and spend the most productive part of their lives fighting numerous false court cases in a failed marriage.
This story is of a bright, talented and ambitious software engineer and his parents in Bangalore who are victims of the matrimonial laws of this country which are totally biased in favour of women. It is also a reflection of the current state of Indian society where, in the name of laws, the complete institution of marriage is being challenged and degraded.
2. What inspired you for writing this book?
When I got trapped in a similar situation I found that I was not alone. There are thousands of families which are being destroyed by the Gender Biased laws of this country which are totally in favour of women and gives no room or option to husband and his parents and siblings who are being harassed and tortured by their wives.
3. In your opinion, what is domestic violence and why only women are believed to be victims of domestic violence?
Domestic Violence is nothing but a behavior when a member in a domestic relation is abused by any other member in the same house hold. The problem is that Domestic Violence is often misunderstood as a term for physical abuse. The truth is that as per Hindu Marriage Act lacks of husbands have been granted divorce till date on the ground of cruelty. That itself proves that Husbands have been subjected to Violence and cruelty. I will give an example. While going to office my wife used to tell me “While going you will die under a truck”. Now is it not violence? Mental violence and Mental cruelty by wife is known to exist from ages and mental cruelty is more severe than any other form of violence but husband who are subjected to such violence suffer from within and don’t report it to the outside world.
Another problem is that the laws are made only for woman. E.g. under The Domestic Violence Act there is no provision for the husband to file a complaint against the wife. So there is no way or mechanism to collect the violence occurred on husbands. So the society presumes that only women are subjected to Domestic Violence, which is false.
4. According to you, why men hesitate to tell people that they are victims of domestic violence and why is it difficult for the society to believe it?
We can’t attribute a single reason for this but the primary reason is MEN are ashamed in reporting such incidents to the outside world for the fear that they will be mocked. Another reason is that they think that if they report no one will believe them and also there is no law under which they can report such incidents. E.g. under Domestic Violence Act and IPC 498A, only a wife can file a complaint not a husband.
5. Can you tell us something about your own experience?
I was not only subjected to physical but also severe mental cruelty and I went into depression. It took lot of courage and several months for me to come out of the trauma. I gathered courage only after I realized that I was not alone and there are thousands of husbands who are subjected to such cruel acts and violence by their wives.
6. How and what helped you to fight and come out of your situation?
My self confidence was with me because I realized that I have been cornered and trapped in a planned way. My determination to not to succumb to black mail and other pressure tactics helped me to fight back.
7. At present, what all are you doing to help men who are experiencing domestic violence in their life?
I started a NGO called National Family Harmony Society®. In the capacity as president of this NGO, I am creating awareness about the heavy misuse of the Gender biased laws e.g. Dowry Laws, 498A IPC, Domestic Violence Act, Child custody related laws and maintenance laws. NFHS is promoting the cause of “family harmony” and “gender equality”. It is registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” and is based in Bangalore. We have branches in more than 16 states and in abroad too. We have approximately 16500 members all over India.
8. What all are you doing to let the nation know that domestic violence on men exists in our society and that to a large extent?
We are creating awareness in the society that Domestic violence on MEN is a rule rather exception. Our NGO has been conducting Protest March, Dharna, Public Interest Litigation, petition to various authorities, participating in the parliament law making committees proceedings, press conference etc to name a few activities.
9. What is your suggestion for the men who are facing such problems but are scared or hesitant to speak up?
Don’t succumb and don’t tolerate violence. Be brave and fight back and contact MEN support groups in your cities.
10. Any last comments
Don’t bring coward thought of suicide in your mind. Life is precious for your near and dear one.