Domestic abuse does not happen only to women. Men have been equally facing mental and physical trauma over several decades. However, thanks to social media, it is only now that few have started becoming vocal not just against harassment at home, but also about how gender biased laws can drive men to end their lives.
One such video was posted on Facebook by independent journalist Deepika Bhardwaj on August 18, who was alerted by The New Indian Express Journalist, Sreejani Bhattacharyya. The video belonged to a Delhi man named Saksham Grover, who narrates how his marriage took place, and all the happenings thereafter in detail. The video required urgent attention, since he left his mobile number claiming he was going to end his life, due to harassment by his wife and in-laws.
In the video, Saksham quotes:
No one will trust me, because all laws are meant for women and if men dare to say anything no one cares. I met my wife through Jeevansathi.com on June 1, 2020. She calls herself to be an academic professional. Since June 1 to June 29, we spoke regularly and I told her everything about me. I felt good talking to her and her parents and we decided to get married.
On June 30, we got married as per Arya Samaj rites in Delhi, and there was no exchange of Dowry. Few customary gifts were exchanged on this day. She came home on June 30 and since July 2, she started harassing us. She was on leave till July 7. I used to ignore her taunts against my parents thinking we shall get through this. She would taunt me daily about my lifestyle and I could barely sleep.
Through the month, we visited her home on some days and we were having a good time. In between, petty fights continued, but I ignored. Since July 2 to July 27 her parents visited our home 3-4 times and on one occasion they landed up at our place at 4am. This is when my wife locked up herself in a room refusing to come out until her demands were met. She would frequently chat on mobile late at night sitting in our drawing room.
On July 22, we found out that my wife was pregnant. I requested her to abort the baby, since we just got married and had to achieve few things before planning a baby.
Today because of me, my parents are suffering. They had warned me to do basic verification of the girl and her family, but I was rushing to get married. On July 29, we got our marriage officially registered and she left for her home for Raksha Bandhan. I couldn’t go to get her since I had work at office. I requested her to return home, but she hasn’t returned till date. I have been constantly messaging her saying sorry and asking her to return. I agree that I also said certain things in anger.
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On August 15, her parents came along with her to our home to discuss why we fight so much. I called her on August 16 again requesting her to forget everything to come home. She started abusing me badly over the phone and gave me threats of teaching me and family a lesson. This is when we decided to complain officially against them.
Before we could do anything, her cousin who also happens to be a lawyer came over and started threatening us again. We told them if she does not want to live together, then lets decide to part ways. On August 18, when I was not at home in the afternoon, I got a call from my dad that she had got police with her at home.
I immediately rushed and we went to Dwarka police station. The police told us that she had registered a 498A complaint against us saying we hit her and did not allow her to get inside the matrimonial home. The officer-in-charge told us that me and my parents can be sent to jail since this is a non-bailable offence.
Her cousin started talking about mutual divorce, however, later themselves went to police to register completely different version. I don’t want my parents to suffer because of me and my casualness in not verifying the girl’s background.
I just want to tell everyone to stay away from such women and their families who use these tactics to extort money.
Later, once the video went viral, men’s rights activists got in touch with Saksham and convinced him to calm down and not resort to any such extreme step.
Sumit Bindra and Gaurav Sisodia, who actively work in the space of Men’s Rights got in touch with the husband and visited his home to speak with him in person. Bhardwaj also shared an update later, stating that the man had been contacted and counselled. She wrote,
He says his wife Sujata Kaley has filed false dowry, beating case on him & his parents within a month of marriage & he thought he wud end life than see them suffer. My friends are with him.
Disclaimer: The above story has been narrated and published by the husband and this is one side of the story.