Karnataka

Activists highlight rise in suicides among married men

‘Section 498a of the Indian Penal Code is being misused’

The incidence of men committing suicide due to alleged harassment by their spouses or women-partners is on the rise. According to Ponappa, Men’s Right Activist, Mysore, and Kumar Jahgirdar, president of the Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), a non-governmental organisation, a married man commits suicide every nine minutes in India due to alleged misuse of Section 498a of the Indian Penal Code against them, taking the toll to a whopping 64,000 a year.

Reasons

Talking to presspersons here on Tuesday, Dr. Ponappa and Mr. Jahgirdar said over 1,57,000 men had committed suicide, compared to 1,26,000 women, owing to family disputes and harassment by their spouses in the last few years.

Bureau statistics

The National Crime Records Bureau statistics reveal more instances of married men committing suicide than married women. In 2012, approximately 64,000 married men committed suicide when compared to 32,000 married women, they said.

Incidents of women misusing Section 498a had been increasing, they pointed out and urged the government to amend the Act to ensure that innocent persons are saved from harassment.

Concern

Expressing concern over adverse effects of parental alienation on children due to single-parent families on account of divorce or separation, they said it was the right of each child to get love and affection of both father and mother.

However, owing to misuse of Section 498a, many women were separating from husbands and depriving children their right to the love and affection of parents.

Mr. Jahgirdar said the CRISP was striving to bring together separated couples with the prime motive of ensuring their children get the love and affection of their parents.

The CRISP organises Fathers’ Day on June 15 every year in all major cities across the country, including Bangalore, demanding justice for fathers deprived of their children, thanks to what it described as biased laws against fathers in child-custody cases.

The CRISP stages dharnas urging the government to modify the laws appropriately to protect men from misuse of the prevailing law. It would also urge the government to grant immediate and equal access to child or children to both the separated parents. It demanded that a separate Ministry be opened at the Centre for children and de-link it from the present Women and Child Development Ministry. Chaya Nanjappa, women’s activist, who was present, said that unfortunately the divorce rate was going up substantially in the last few years, particularly among educated and urban people. Even though children constituted about 40 per cent of the country’s population, they were voiceless victims. There was an urgent need to guide the couples suitably to ensure that they continue to stay together, in spite of misunderstandings, in the best interest of their children.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 3:41:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/activists-highlight-rise-in-suicides-among-married-men/article6056181.ece

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