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Updated: June 25, 2012 16:25 IST

The Aamir Khan Column: In homes, a menace whose victims fear to speak its name

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Aamir Khan.
Aamir Khan.

What kind of mindset makes us men believe that we have a right to hit a woman?

If one section of society were to start beating up and assaulting another section of society, the police would declare it a riot, the Rapid Action Force would be brought in, and the state machinery would swing into action to take appropriate steps to bring an end to the violence and protect those who need help. Thereafter the state might even set up refugee camps, etc. to rehabilitate those affected. Well, when we set out to do our research on domestic violence, this is precisely what we found. One section of society was physically beating up and assaulting another, there seemed to be a civil war like situation out there, only there was no Rapid Action Force to stop the violence. Two separate studies, one by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and another by the Planning Commission, showed that anywhere between 40 per cent-80 per cent of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Let's take a conservative middle figure of say 50 per cent. That's a huge percentage of women! And I'm afraid these figures don't speak very well of us men.

What kind of thinking makes us behave this badly? What kind of mindset makes us men believe that we have a right to hit a woman? And why do so many women accept this beating for years on end? Once again, it's good old patriarchy at work. It is alarming to discover how many different problems arise out of this strange animal called ‘patriarchal thinking'. In our two-year research work on the issues we chose for Satyamev Jayate, this is one factor that has repeatedly come up as the villain of the piece. And, as Kamla Bhasin, our expert on this particular issue, pointed out, women are as much a part of this thinking, products of the same society as they are.

Patriarchal thinking… men are superior to women! … men are the bosses! … they will decide what is good for their women… men will control women’s lives as they please and as they deem fit! And so we have female foeticide, female infanticide, the girl child is not fed properly, her health is not a priority, she is not sent to school, or less importance is placed on her education, instead she is taught to do housework. And while all this is happening, she is often beaten! This thinking also results in child marriages, dowry, discrimination against widows, and of course unequal share in property, that is, if there's any share at all. Leave alone empowering our women, we are specifically disempowering them and have been doing so for millennia.

Let us examine some of the excuses that men put forth for assaulting the women folk in their family:

“I am very short tempered”; “there’s a lot of stress and problems in my life so it comes out like this.” So how come you don’t hit your boss? Why only your wife? Well you don't hit your boss because if you do, your boss will take appropriate action against you. Are the women listening?

“I get violent with my wife because I love her so much”; “my love for her comes out in this passionate and violent way, it’s because I care for and love my wife.” Well in that case, there should be an equal amount of beating coming from the women folk.

“My wife asked for it.” Well she also asked for a diamond necklace, and guess what you are asking for?

There really does seem to be a civil war out there. Brothers hitting sisters, fathers hitting daughters, husbands hitting wives and in some cases, even sons hitting mothers. Our experts have explained how once domestic violence starts it gets worse with every encounter and never stops until the victim stops it! The woman has to say NO!

India has a fairly strong Domestic Violence Act and it is important for all women to be familiar with what the law says. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act specifically states that the woman has the right to reside in what is called the shared household. Often a common fear among women is of being thrown out of home. This Act protects EVERY woman in this matter. No woman — wife, mother, daughter or sister — can be thrown out of the house, even if the property is not in her name and is owned by some other member of the family. The Act also states that every State needs to create shelter homes for women who prefer not to stay in the shared household. And, that the State Government needs to provide any woman fighting for these rights with a protection officer who acts as a liaison or bridge between her and the courts. So, a woman does not need to spend money on legal fees in order to avail of her rights under this act.

Historically, as men have been a part of this problem, it is high time we men become a part of the solution. Men have to be proactive in putting an end to this illness in society. And, look at it this way: do you want to be a man who is feared and hated by your wife or other female members of your home? Or do you want to be loved, adored and respected? Do you want your children to run away from you or run towards you when you get home? Do you want to be a home maker or a home breaker?

By the way, what is the opposite of patriarchal thinking?

Jai Hind. Satyamev Jayate.

(Aamir Khan is an actor. His column will be published in The Hindu every Monday.)

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Satyamev Jayate is a show which inspire many people to do good to the society. First of all I would like to thank Mr.Amir Khan for organizing it. During the Rig vedic period it is being said that women were treated equally and no incidents like female infanticide, child marriage took place. But slowly from the later vedic period, subjugation of women propped. So in a marriage,the groom must be elder than the bride.The groom must have higher educational qualification, must be higher than the bride. Though these things look silly, these are the beginning to show male domination.If the reverse happens, you would very well know how the society reacts.There are lots of men who thinks that women should not be an intellect and speak out of box. If she does so, the results are violent. Always women must be brave enough to tackle the challenges. Inner determination and the will to seek truth, by our women are the need of the hour.

from:  Pavithra ShanmugaRaman
Posted on: Jun 20, 2012 at 13:50 IST

Domestic violence is a very serious problem and I fully agree with Aamir Khan's point. This has to be addressed through social and legal means. Regarding patriarchy, there are two points which he should take note of: (1) Patriarchy is also propagated through films, as someone else also pointed out. Many successful Indian films are explicitly feudal, casteist and patriarchal. Quite a few of them seem to at least implicitly endorse physical or emotional violence on women. There are also some other films which glorify women as devis (which remains only an utopian idea about some mythical glorious past); such attitude also does no good because it is an unrealistic view. (2)The film and fashion industries are also ways in which patriarchy asserts itself. In addition to deciding how women should behave and where they should work, patriarchy also tries to decide what they should wear, be it excessively or minimally.

from:  Jobin Mathew
Posted on: Jun 20, 2012 at 09:50 IST

Hi, one has to keep talking about the issues pertaining to our society that will in turn will bring awareness and when celebrities talk the world listens. Bravo aamir khan, need more of your tribe to address these issues. Jai hind

from:  Navin
Posted on: Jun 19, 2012 at 17:57 IST

Thank you Mr. Amir on writing on domestic violence on women.Personally I feel men who hit their wives were themselves subjected to physical violence in their childhood days or would have witnessed their mothers, sisters beaten up by their husband's who thought it was the only way of showing their dominance over women especially when their counterparts had a better solution for problems over which the the duel had it's origin.The educated class is also not an exception (not to mention the illiterates) The situation is worse when the woman is financially dependant or does not have a family backing.Some go on to counsel saying "adikara kaithan anaikum" what a hypocracy! If they suffer in silence it is only for their children and the so called social ethics and culture.

from:  parvathi
Posted on: Jun 19, 2012 at 17:05 IST

Pity the child who has to witness her father abusing her mother. Abuse includes physical violence such as punching, kicking, slapping. Equally damaging is the emotional abuse: shouting, verbal abuse, throwing things even food items at her, smashing things. When a child witnesses this pattern repeatedly, it becomes ingrained in her sub-conscious that this is what to be expected from marriage. If she has a family of her own in the future, she will sub-consciously seek to create the same pattern in her new family as well. A never-ending vicious cycle thus forms. See what permanent damage is caused by a momentary yielding in to an impulse. Men who are given to such frequent bouts of temper must firstly acknowledge that they have a problem and go for behavioral therapy instead of blaming the wife for causing him to loose his temper. Family members especially the man's parents should condemn their son's violence instead of justifying it or saying that he was never like this before marriage.

from:  preethy m
Posted on: Jun 19, 2012 at 16:21 IST

Kudos to Aamir Khan for bringing up this issue. Man justifies hitting the wife by saying that she did such and such a thing that was wrong and which angered him and therefore she deserved it. Another interesting (but highly condemnable) attitude observed is that when the wife complains about her husband's physical abuse to the husband's parents i.e. her in-laws, they react by saying that he was earlier never like this. As a child he never use to hit his younger sibling. Why has he now changed? (implying again that it is the wife's fault that she provoked her husband to hit her). Instead of condemning physical abuse as wrong ,reprimanding or correcting their son or giving an iota of sympathy to their battered daughter-in-law , the in-laws imply that the wife is the cause for their previously saintly son, now turning into a wife-beater. Other than punching, kicking and slapping these also come under abuse: Shouting, throwing things (splashing curry on her), cracking plates, foul language.

from:  l mani
Posted on: Jun 19, 2012 at 16:09 IST

Down my hat to Aamir sir. The society used to be inclined towards man.A single woman or mother was always being looked upon by the society.But the change has been evolved these days. The woman has been the victim of domestic violence since ages. It is the woman who has to revolve against her spouse/ father and get the issue to the notice of the police to seek help. Unfortunately, the woman is scared of defamation and insecurity . To every woman who is reading this, in case you become a victim of harassment, don't hesitate to walk up to the police and file a complaint. They are going to tear the abused into pieces under the Act 498a and women protection act, 2005.

from:  Sindhura
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 15:35 IST

Hello Sir, Thank you for you and your team sir. Now a days, not only rural people and also educated people torturing their wives for just very simple reasons because of lot of stress in office and somewhere. This is all because of without patience, thinking and angry. All are loving their sisters, mothers, wives and daughters. Angry is like you drink poison and want to kill someone. A person attitude definitely depends on his/her surroundings, by this also who doesn't know moral values insulting others. To eradicate this every woman must educate and know her rights and also having courage to stand on her own feet. Amir Khan, You are the real hero Sir. Thanks for your articles and discuss on college students needs. Jai Hind Satyamev Jayate.

from:  Madhavi
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 15:32 IST

Dont make it male vs female issue. A man is inherently violent & territorial animal. He will exert his will on all who are weaker to him & are ready to bend before his wishes. Are men not violent, dominant over other men who are docile by nature??? The key is why women tolerate violence & not retaliate. They should not hesitate a second to go to police station with help of her own family as laws favour women. Preserving family honour is not exclusive duty of woman. The courts must teach a lesson to such violent men by imposing severe penalty in terms of 10 year jail & unbearable financial costs. All their property should be confiscated & used to compensate the wife. During jail term of 10 years man should work as slave & his work should be used to finance the woman's livelihood.

from:  Anish Khindri
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 15:07 IST

At some point when a man is emotionally abused by his wife..about him and his family and it reaches a boiling point..even after you try to avoid a situation and the wife keeps nagging ..and throws abuses at a man and his family...what can a man do in such a situation..sometimes he might get really provoked..and indulge in domestic violence

from:  Rags
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 15:03 IST

I agree in many ways with this article. However I'd like to also point out something to those 'so-called-intellectuals' that they mustn't point fingers at the American or western family culture thinking our Indian families are far more advanced, or respectful. In the west, there is a basic recognition of all types of gender irrespective of color or caste. In our India - where I think racism exists much more than any other place, must try to mend our ways first.

from:  Sandeep Jayaram
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 14:14 IST

The shift in Bollywood towards more 'traditional' movies since HAHK and DDLJ has marked a watershed moment from the 60s and 70s where movies like 'Kanyadaan' and series like 'Rajni' tried to empower women. It's time to change that too. It is an abominable crime to beat our women because you think of them as somehow beneath you. I recall an incident when two friends of mine surprised at the long and unexplained absence of their female subordinate made enquiries to find that the person in question had been locked away in her house and beaten for days by her husband and mother-in-law, for dowry, what else! And both man and wife were highly educated. Luckily, the woman in question could be rescued and subsequently separated from her abusive husband, but I know of at least a couple more cases, where the woman was not so lucky and died under unexplained circumstances. In all these cases, the woman is alone, her own family will refuse to come to her aid. The law needs to do more, much more.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 13:51 IST

Though I agree with the problem cited, I strongly disagree with the conclusion that men are being the part of the problem. It should be both 'men and women'. And why didn't you mention anything about movies and daily serials?

from:  Pravimal Abhishek
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 13:36 IST

Aamir i really appreciate the effort and research you've done to bring out the sensitive and often 'hushed-under-the carpet' subject of Domestic violence. The statistics put our nation to shame. However Aamir i would have really appreciated if you would have also spoken and brought out both sides of the reality. The number of domestic violence cases against men are also on the rise (Specially in Metros) and for men its a double whammy because you also have in India the draconian Section 498c where on the basis on a mere complaint (And without much investigation )add to to that the general view that women are the weaker,oppressed section of the society (and that definitely is true in almost 60-70% of cases) however from a through (and i've come to expect unbiased) researcher like you it is sort of a disappointment when you do not (un)cover both sides of the coin, and given to the popularity that SMJ has i think your op-ed and your show only further reconfirms popular 'belief' about DV.

from:  Shubham S
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 13:34 IST

Monday again and another thought provoking article!! Well said Mr.Khan patriarchal thinking was infused in to the human mind from the time of evolution..Its the rule of the wild since we have evolved from the apes we are still carrying it ..I strongly think that its time for evolution phase II and including this social evil there are many other that needs to be thrown out. And the opposite for patriarchy is Matriarchy :-)

from:  Manas Chandran
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 13:21 IST

Thank you MR.AMIR. But you are one sided. Domestic violence by woman also a big issue. YOU always see a scenerio mother beating a child which is common.How about that? Some woman are abusive, foul mouth.What is solution for protecting from them. Some women are home breaker that is second marriage issue. Mental harassment, mental torture by woman is also happening. what is so called report saying about that.Thing is improving the mindset of the male/female member to reduce the domestic violence and not sheltering behind the law.

from:  vishwanath mahashabde
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 13:19 IST

Very well written Article.. I am totally unaware of this Domestic Violence Act.. Thank you Aamir for bringing out such an important information and discussing it in public.. Patriarchal Thinking is a social disease that has been prevailing in our world for centuries.. This Act should also give considerable punishments to every men who beats up a women.. But i fear, it can be eliminated only when Mens' way of seeing Women changes.. I hope it happens at least in some near future.. Jai Hind. Truth Alone Triumphs.

from:  Pradeep
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 13:14 IST

Thank you so much for writing about this! Womenfolk, even the educated and employed kind, often take domestic violence for granted. And it is not even just physical violence - emotional and verbal abuse should be acknowledged as equally unjust as well.

from:  Gayathri
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 13:01 IST

My husband and I watched your show this Sunday. And we fell in love all over again (or rather I did!). We realised there were so many less fortunate than me, whose husbands thought little of them. Thanks for also giving me a name to the feeling I have opposed since I was a teenager without knowing what to call it - patriarchy.

from:  Mallika
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 13:00 IST

This time Amir has choosen a topic on such a tradition,which is prevalent in almost all the hoseholds across the country, but never discussed in public. Violance against any body is not propermore so aginst the one with whom you have vowed to make a partner for your rest of life at the time of marriage. WE ALL ARE GUILTY OF THIS OFFENCE AS WE HAVE DONE IT ATLEAST ONCE OR SO MANY TIMES IN OUR LIFE.

from:  Vipin Bhatnagar
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 12:52 IST

well said Aamir. It has been ages since women has been exploited under so many pretexts. but she has to voice it out loudly and vehemently.doesnt she claim equal rights? In that case she needs to
start her journey all by herself.I think she needs to introspect and come to unfailing understanding about her strengths.

from:  bharathi rajmohan
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 12:37 IST

Hoping that. A TV show will bring chane? Lol lol... Sorry, we indians are too thic skinned for
tht. Its just TRP and crores per show for him. pessimist?

Sorry, realist

from:  Ajay
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 12:30 IST

Aamir bhai the episode was worth watching as always. These incidents i have been seeing around the society very largely and this episode will at least made Men (who are responsible for this) think what they are actually doing and how mature they should become in their activities after all age is not just a maturity doing and handling relationship and problems in life shows real maturity. Wonderful thoughts and well crafted episode. Thank you.

from:  Syed Kabeer Ahmed
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 12:13 IST

Aamir!! your efforts of bringing social issues to the society with the help of such a great national paper is really appreciable. Today's topic - major reason why women are accepting the harassment from men is that they are completely dependent on men, unawareness of how the society moves and independent living and also few women don't know what the further action need to be taken when such things happen to them especially the people who live in the rural areas. Even though awareness programs have been conducted, few women still hestitate to bring such issues to the public because of the fear they had for their further life as they are dependent. Atleast few programmes should come forward for knowing their problems personally and motivate them to have themselves as their strong force to defend and to protect.

from:  Lakshmi Sravanya.Ch
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 12:08 IST

Domestic violence is the worst form of violence perpetrated by so called family members. Children who witness this carry the pain through out their lives. They lose faith in the system called family, they develop fear for the opposite sex, and it’s a quagmire of emotional problems that they get sucked in to. The reason why women do not report such cases is because of the a) "shame" factor b) financial dependence. Most of them do not realize that by tolerating violence in the name of shame or money they are subjecting their children to worst torture. I think the government needs to blare out from every channel that domestic violence is a crime and pierce the veil of family that covers such acts at present. Education and awareness will play a key role to eradicate this scourge.

from:  Deepa Surendran
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 12:02 IST

I think article must have focused on general issues of domestic violence. Amir has taken for
granted that it's only men who are perpetrators. There are equal number of situations where
men are victims, who suffer in silence.
I think it's less to do with patriarchal thinking, more to do with strong will exert control over
weak. It's little to do with men/ woman.
If you think in western countries where the woman are well aware of their rights this does not
happen - think again and you will be surprised by the statistics.

from:  Aravind
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 11:47 IST

I m grateful to Amir Khan organizing such episode that help make aware the people of our society. He has rightly said that, father beats daughter... Brother beats sister... and a husband beats wife....but for all these act we can not always blame a male member of the family....the practical situation is this "a woman is enemy for a woman." In order to reform the condition we will have to watch all the factors inducing such resentment in the society. The biggest factor acting behind this is "egoist cultures & traditions" prevailing in our society. And the very fact is this, it is women who are adamantly firm of these cultures & traditions. The senior members basically mother are often not ready to go with the wish of the children basically of female children on the subject of study or of marriage or any others in order to save their ego and to give message to society that they r civilized. The woman is mostly responsible for the degradation of women having given more value to boys or men.

from:  Om Kumar
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 11:29 IST

A man beats a woman because he can! Hey if there is a sure deal of getting your way, why wouldn't you use it? A child will throw a tantrum. If he doesn't get his way, he will stop. This is not "patriarchical thinking". It is instant gratification.

Domestic violence is taught to a child whenever a parent hits a child for misbehaviour. Respect for democratic freedom of choice and responsibility for one's actions must start at birth.

We are taught respect the mother, father, teacher etc. What about the other way around? All you need to say is every individual deserves respect irrespective of age, education, work, gender whatever. Where it is not given by right to every person, then that person must demand it. No one has the right to force anything you are not willing to give or do by choice. Problem is when it gets so ingrained into the system, the person exploited does not even realise it. Someone else needs to point it out and say you do not deserve this. Bail out now.

from:  bhuvana
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 11:20 IST

lot of awareness is needed to overcome this sad story. nice episode n

from:  Sandra
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 11:07 IST

Its not only patriarchal thinking existing in our society,but also matriarchy.Woman beating other woman is also the most worst part of it.Before doing anything,why don't they think as a human being?Its really something we have to think about.Thanks to Aamirkhan for this excellent article which worths thinking.Its time to change.

from:  Sushma Patil
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 10:59 IST

I truly appreciate the concept of having only male members as the audience... most of the shows which have discussed this topic in the past but had only females as the audience... but its only when you bring the other party, they actually get a feel of what goes through a female member who is a victim of such acts..... and the impact is better...And yes, its high time the definition of masculinity gets changed in our dictionaries... :)

from:  manasi
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 10:58 IST

it was absolute pleasure to watch last episode of your show.kudos to you
and your team for this great service to heard fot the first
time that there is a law by the name of DV act.believe me people are
totally unaware about this law.because neither govt. nor any NGO has
ever made any effort to make people know this law.because money is the
big constraint for the said victims.hats off once again.

from:  bilal ahmad lone
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 10:26 IST

Very well written.Hats of to Aamir Khan for choosing such an important issue which seems to have been neglected and unnoticed. Its high time that this prevailing Patriarchal thinking is replaced by equality.I hope atleast now men start considering their wives not as slaves or maids but as life partners who are their equals and must be treated with respect.
Jai Hind. Satyamev Jayate.

from:  Varshitha Gokari
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 10:04 IST

Dear Mr. Khan,
its not patriarchy, its called feudalism. A feudal society believes
in power hierarchies where the physically/materialistically more
powerful person is entitled to all liberties of controlling the people
less powerful than them. This is the cause of all injustices
including gender based issues. Most men suffer feudalism too and it
doesn't show because men are not supposed to show it! We all know how
certain people even among a family of equals get special social
treatment either because of their political or monetary power.
Patriarchy is a very small part of this feudal disease and I hope we
all deal with this human disease in toto. I sometimes even wonder how
in the world can one prohibit gender selective abortions when 'other'
intentional abortions are legal and an issue of 'right to choose'? I
think we should get out of this selective gender focus and look at the
issues as a symptom of deeper malaise in the society, gender issues
one among them for sure.

from:  venkat
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 10:03 IST

No wonder, India was voted the least sensitive to women among G20

Western influence has metamorphosed for the good or worse, many of our
inherent traditions, practise, but has left untouched, caste, and
women, both the institutions, skewed to favour social hegemonies.

Ambedkar's "Castes in India: Their mechanism, genesis and
development", a paper presented at an Anthropology seminar at Columbia
University, sketches the issues of Sati, Child Marriage, in relation
to Castes, as that that emerged out of the Caste system.

It seems a twin problem of the Indian Society, and Aamir has rightly
hinted the women at para 5, Be the boss, and I understand that
political power to women should translate into her reassertion (Our
roots are matriarchal) of the cultural institution, the family, that
she very much headed.

from:  Hariprasad
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 10:00 IST

Wowww...mind blowing!!!Superbly articulated..
It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and expects love in return.Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars..

from:  Sandeep Konam
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 09:35 IST

Very nicely written article. Puts light on a relatively ignored issue of our society. Everyone needs to think of this domestic violence which we always see around us, but never bother to take any action against it. Women should get inspired by this article & must show the courage to get their rights.
Jai Hind. Satyamev Jayate.

from:  Vivek Patil
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 09:32 IST

Kya baat hi Aamir saheb You are the real hero.The view of you on everything is very very good.You are the only one who changed my opinion on film-stars.You are the responsible citizen of our country.
Now a days every one told that men and women have same rights and they are equal.But it is only for talking purpose not for applicable purpose. No men give equal right to the women(she may be her mother,wife,daughter,sister).Why??? They think the society is men dominant.And they think they do what ever they want.If they forgot these words and give equal priority to her women then only the society should be change . Thank you.

from:  Sravanthi
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 09:13 IST

See,the laws can be empowered .But,can the laws stabilize a family?I think it always breaks,and women have to lead a lonely life.Thus,the respect of society towards them decreases.So,women always accept domestic violence.

from:  ayesha tabassum
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 09:12 IST

Sir,Your program is really nice, it will help to change the human thinking, please discuss about teenager mind sets and how parent have to take it.

from:  Geetha
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 09:09 IST

Amirkhan sir you just awesome.Johaar for your attitude sir.Keep continue this.

from:  rama
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 08:30 IST

The perception that domestic abuse happens only in poor families with little or no education is completely wrong. In my own family I have seen my sister abused by her husband both physically and mentally for years and he has double degrees from Indian and American universities. I work in the USA and have seen cases of domestic abuses that are mind boggling and revolting, as recently as last year I saw a woman being punched by her husband in front of their children near a shopping complex. Thus Education or Wealth can NEVER stop domestic violence.

This can only be stopped by inclucating and teaching values from childhood. Our culture and scriptures have given the greatest respect for women and are full of praise for Men who have honoured and respected their wives, but instead of teaching about those great figures we fill our text books with biographies of useless poeple and the result is a daily dose of barbaric killings of innocent women by her husband and mother-in-law. What a Shame

from:  Bhaskar Rao
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 07:42 IST

Women are also part of the problem of domestic violence portrayed by Aamir Khan. The mother in law daughter in law syndrome with the son becoming a willing accomplice to his mother's machinations is a factor which cannot be ignored. There is always a tendency for the boy's mother to control the daughter in law from day one and subject her to hard labour and torture. The problem is further accentuated if the daughter in law does not bear a son in the first few years of marriage and further compounded if daughters are born. There are signs of improvement with daughters are also getting the benefits of education and going out for jobs but the basic attitude is still to be transformed. Unless social consciousness is awakened the problem would remain in spite of all laws and safeguards available. What is required is a change of heart after introspection by all irrespective of age or sex. Even children become willing accomplice to their grandmother's schemes in certain situations.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 06:03 IST

Aamir, Thank you for Satyamev Jayate, and thank you for these articles. Thank you for bringing awareness. It's time women fight against this, and it's time Men act sensible.

from:  Latha S
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 05:38 IST

This article is something that stands very personal to me as I am have
got out of such a situation and I have a four year old boy too. The
bad part of the so called issue is the kind of treatment a woman gets
once she decides to get out. As of now I can assure you that now woman
in aware of any kind of groups that will come forward to help them to
find a complete solution including a safe place to stay, a job to make
them stand on their feet and so on. There are government funded orgs
that are being run by ladies who does not event have 1% of
understanding of the suffering a woman has to go through. The other
part, legal side. The law does not car if the man has hit the wife and
kids, had taken away all the gold that the women had and ran away when
asked to face the issue. No matter what he gets visitation right for
the kid every month and the case drags 2,3 ---5 years. Who cares, no
one except the women and kids who are falling victims again.

Oh India, please change.

from:  Naina
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 05:17 IST

Being someone affected by this culture, I must painfully agree it is so true. Unless we make every attempt to break this cultural cylcle of violence, there is little hope for a family in our country! That need not be a seachange, but a one-step-at-a-time change in individual mindset. Not easy but possible!

from:  A Katragadda
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 05:14 IST

Physical violence is one aspect of the power-play. Emotional abuse,
that's more prevalent than physical abuse (and seldom captured in a
research study) is a far more powerful weapon that men use. Not to say
that some women do the same too, except the numbers are small as men
still have a trump card - physical strength, which in most cases
outweighs that of women. One way is for women to not fear the
society's jeers of walking away from a relationship. This is one of
the biggest reasons why women continue to stay in an abusive
relationship, with little support from their own family, friends and
the judicial system of the land. Women are often forced to say in a
relationship to please an outdated, ill-conceived idea called
'culture', 'family honor', when there is every indication of a failed
relationship (a.k.a a marriage). This is also the basis on which many
Indians often mistakenly claim that Indian marriage system is more
'stable' compared to that of the 'west' with "low morals"!

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 03:07 IST

I am surprised mr. Amirkhan has completely ignored the role flms play in displaying violence against women.Patriarchal thinking is mostly propagated through the media to the younger generation through media sereals.

from:  krishna k. raman m.d
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 02:47 IST

In this Op-Ed ,Mr. Khan is spawning awareness about the Domestic Violence Act,which is really admirable.Hitting a women is a utter contemptible act. If we mull inside upon its consequences,it can ruin our glued relationships and can convert a disaster in other dependent relations too.When a Innocent child look his battered and bruised mother,it really dwells a deep disdain inside his/her mindset against the tyrant, and he began to reckon his/her father as a dictator in family.In such surroundings, child often feel dishearten and dreadful in major circumstances.Regretfully,This is a dense segment of Mal-society in our rural areas where men are the bosses & are framed to obligate their patriarch that obsess them pathetic entitlement in dominance over Women. Is that really acceptable in today's era where Women are leading ahead from the man in all segments!!!

from:  A Awasthi
Posted on: Jun 18, 2012 at 01:52 IST
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