Gender Biased Laws in India are not just a menace for husbands for also their family members, be it old parents, siblings and often even minor niece and nephews. We came across a detailed interview of a man from Canada, who happens to be the brother of an Indian resident husband. The interview was conducted by Lok Awaz TV, where a group of people where sitting on a hunger strike outside SSP’s office in Bhatinda, Punjab.
Here are the excerpts of the interview translated in English.
Reporter: We have a protestor (brother of an NRI husband from Canada) and we shall discuss what kind of harassment he is facing that forced him to sit for this hunger strike:
“What is the reason for you to be here and why have you chosen this form of protest?”
Protestor: It has become common to implicate NRI Men in personal conflicts and instantly police files an FIR. Further, false statement/testimony etc..are added….you know how the system works.. Police will come and summon you, harass you mentally and also seek some money from you. This is not just my fight, this fight is for all the NRIs.
Anybody can just submit a false application (FIR) and after that you can’t imagine the kind of harassment the accused person faces. I have become an accused when I am not at fault and no where connected to any matter between my brother and his wife.
My brother’s wife has made several allegations against him, accusing him of being a drunkard. My sister–in-law and her family also told the DSP that we are demanding dowry from them.
My brother and his wife had an arranged marriage & the couple does not get along. How am I responsible for this mess? My only fault is that I happened to unluckily be the brother of an Indian husband. I did everything for my sister-in-law, from paying her university fees, EMIs for her mobile and also encouraged her for higher studies.
However, after all this, my brother’s wife and her family have included my name in the FIR stating I used to call my brother from Canada and incite him to beat her. They have also accused me of calling from Canada and instructing my brother to demand a car from his wife, when we already have 2 cars at home.
I am a hardworking NRI labourer and I have always helped people in need. I have also facilitated a library for poor children in Mandi, Punjab so that they can get easy access to books for education. If someone can randomly file a complaint against a person like me, no one will be spared from this menace.
This fight is not just limited to me alone, this fight is also of those NRIs who have lost their land, assets here after any woman from immediate family or relatives goes and submits their complaint against them. The system does not believe in any proper inquiry, else this harassment can be stopped at once.
Now-a-days, it has become a norm that family members of the man are also dragged between the fight which happens to be amongst husband and wife. My mother has no role/involvement in this, my sister and brother-in-law don’t even have much of a relation with my brother or talk to him. I have been in India since past two months, and our sister hasn’t even visited our home even once. Despite this, my sister-in-law has included her and her husband’s name in the FIR.
Our brother in law must have seen the girl’s (brother’s wife) face only at the time of wedding. My sister-in-law wouldn’t even recall his face and its a joke that she has added his name also in the complaint. According to me, it has become convenient to include NRI person’s name in false FIRs, get them involved in never ending enquiries where they need to constantly visit police station.
I don’t see this kind of harassment in Canada. Police will enquire and complete the investigation in proper time frame. Also, if the complaint is false, the falsely accused can sue the complainant and police will also fine them for filing a false case.
But here in India how many people are finned for filing a false case, how many such persons police has penalised? We NRIs are trapped for money…
Reporter: You are trying to say that NRIs get harassed because they came from abroad and system thinks that they have money and this why you all are targeted?
Protestor: Yes exactly, money is the only motive. What else is the reason? They think that he will definitely give money because he has to go back. Now, if there is a case pending here I can’t go back. If someone is trapped in such false cases for past 6-12 months and their work too has suffered back in Canada, they would prefer shelling out Rs 5-10 lakhs and get rid of the same.
These matrimonial cases have become a blackmailing tool against NRIs.
Reporter: This means that a NRI gets scared of coming to India, else he can be harassed?
Protestor: Yes definitely, there is a fear among NRIs. The situation was different earlier where there were NRI men who had exploited local women after marriage. But now the situation on ground has changed, what happens now is that the boy gets married, takes wife to Canada and girl flees from the Airport. Even now there is a fear there that if we get married in India, the girl will come with us to Canada and leave us in no time.
Reporter: Yes, False cases must be registered, but there is also a problem of Dowry where husband’s family is involved. What is the solution for this?
Protestor: See as I said earlier, whenever anyone submits the complaint, the police must investigate the evidence submitted with the complaint, and only then get involved. If the woman’s family registers a false FIR, it is the duty of the police to file counter FIR against them. Unless this happens, no one will be scared to keep doing so.
Reporter: What are your current demands for this protest?
Protestor: My first demand is a personal request to the system and all people who are watching this. All NRIs contribute for Punjab’s development, charity etc.. these are your brothers who come here to travel, enjoy, have good time with friends and families and if the system is exploiting you then we must raise our voice against it.
We must raise our voice against false dowry cases. In my own case, police has learnt about the matter in detail now and later they can tell me that I did not have any involvement in the issue between my brother and his wife.
They also informed me that the issue was about a drinking problem of my brother and not any dowry related matter. The police said that the girl herself confirmed this to them and that they will take action against false complaint.
I am sitting here today not for my case, but for my other NRI brothers who are facing false dowry harassment cases.
WATCH FULL INTERVIEW (IN PUNJABI)
“NRI RELATIVES OF HUSBANDS ARE BEING HARASSED DUE TO GENDER BIASED MATRIMONIAL LAWS“