Men's rights activists to protest against proposed divorce clause
Men's Rights Association (MRA), an NGO working to address various issues faced by men, will be protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on August 18 against the proposed irretrievable breakdown of marriage clause.
The clause is set to be a part of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 soon. “It is true that we as MRA are using the same venue at Jantar Mantar where Anna Hazare had held his agitation. We are sure that our agitation will receive a good response, just like Hazare’s. We expect at least 40 NGOs in the country to join us in the cause of fighting for men’s rights and removal of the irretrievable breakdown of marriage clause from the Marriage Law Bill,” MRA, founder president Atit Rajpara said.
Kedar Ambekarm, an MRA member, said under this clause, a man seeking divorce from his wife would be forced to do away with half of his property. “It (clause) only talks about a wife’s rights, but has no consideration for the man, his mother, sister and all those dependent on him,” Ambekarm said. He said a man would have no right to oppose a divorce filed by his wife under this clause. However, a woman can oppose the divorce filed by her husband.
Like their agitation at Jantar Mantar, the MRA activists have planned to hold a similar rally in London in front of the Indian Embassy on August 18. “We expect over 50 Indians to join us in our demand for removal of the unjust clause in the Marriage Act Bill 2010,” Dinesh Khanna, an NRI who will be a part of the protest in London, said.
Mangala Samant, a social activist and a scholar on women’s issue, said she had studied the Marriage Act and is against the views expressed by the MRA members about the new clause. “I agree that the law is in favour of women because there is no equality in our society. Men can’t do the same a woman or wife can. Before opposing the new clause in the Marriage Act Bill, these men should first study our uneven social condition,” Samant said.