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A woman’s quest against misuse of anti-dowry act

Published : May 20, 2017, 1:38 am IST
Updated : May 20, 2017, 1:38 am IST

The documentary, Martyrs of Marriage, features suicide cases by men due to domestic violence & harassment through false cases.

Poster of Martyrs of Marriage
 Poster of Martyrs of Marriage

Jaipur: For decades, dowry was seen from a single perspective of atrocity against women. Once a woman filed a case under Section 498 (A) of the IPC, there was no escape for the accused husband or in-laws from going to jail and getting a bail was tough.

Between 1998 and 2015, more than 27 lakh people have been arrested under 498A alone, higher than any other crime under the IPC, except theft, hurt and riots. Women tota-lling 6.5 lakh among them sisters, mothers and relatives of a man were arrested under the same period even if many of them never stayed with the couple sharing a domestic relationship.

Now, a young documentary filmmaker, Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj, has made a feature-length documentary film highlighting the misuse of anti-dowry act. The documentary, “Martyrs of Marriage”, goes into the depth of misuse of the IPC 498A (known as the anti-dowry law) and suicide by men because of domestic violence and harassment through false cases. The film is a plea to the legislators to ensure delivery of justice irrespective of gender, bring laws that are gender neutral and aims at legal amendments in 498A to curb its misuse.

Made over a period of four years, Deepika has captured perspectives of legislators, judges, advocates, social activists, etc., on the issue, and presented real life stories of victims of “false” 498A cases and families of men who committed suicide because of this harassment.

Addressing the media regarding the screening of the film, Deepika said, “When I personally saw misuse of 498A, I decided to speak up through a documentary.”

Tags: dowry, harassment, martyrs of marriage