New Delhi: Stressing the need for change in the mindset among males, who over the years have dominated the weaker sex  and indulged in domestic violences, Bollywood  actor, Aamir Khan is raising voice through his serial ‘Satyameva Jayate’ which aims to bring social change in the country.

In his seventh episode it all starts with the domestic violence data of two different surveys. Government survey shows 40 percent of marriages have witnessed domestic violence whereas surprisingly the data increased significantly to 84 percent in the other survey conducted by a private organisation.

Aamir brings two victims of domestic violence, both from different family backgrounds on the show to discuss gravity of the matter. The first victim continued with the marriage for 15 years and endured violence just with the hope that her husband’s behavior will improve someday.  Although, jittered by what has happened with her, she reasoned that life is precious and everyone should enjoy it. 

The other lady participant on the show narrated her experience and revealed how her husband threw her off the stairs when she was three months pregnant.

During the first few domestic violence encounters, the husband, however, regretted for what had happened but it continued unabated. The violence began to affect her children as well. It is then when she decided to come out of the hell and broke the relationship.

She also narrated the sordid tale of being labeled by the society when the wife decides to part ways from her husband.

During the talk, it also came to the fore that sometimes the victim expects her son to intervene in the fight and take on his father for beating his mother. But this was not endorsed by the lady on the show as she explained that by doing this violence will automatically become his inherent attitude and he will also do the same as and when situation will get out of hand.

Kamla Bhasin from the South Asian Network of Gender Activists and Trainers (SANGAT) was brought to the show. She told that it is not only males who are to be blamed. It has become a mindset. Patriarchal mindset has been with all of us irrespective of the gender.  It is also evident that literal meaning of “Pati” is owner and it is just like we call lakhpati or crorepati. She also talked about the male dominance in the family and says that in order to rectify it, equality should be promoted. She also said that “Love happens only when there is equality. “ The activist was visibly upset with the way this problem is prevalent. She urges parents to empower the girl child. In place of dowry, property should be given to the girls. The government should give shelter home and 24 hours helpline should be opened to protect the rights of the women.

To counter with social menace like domestic violence, there are quite a number of laws to protect the rights of women. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was explained on the show. It was reminded that women cannot be thrown out of the home where she is living irrespective of the owner of house. However, it was also brought to the notice that most of the policemen handling complaints are males and it is very difficult to erase the genetic memory.

Initiatives to protect the rights were also shown to boost morale of the victims. Divorcess are getting proper care, opportunities to earn their livelihood at the foundation was shown in the serial.

However, the vox populi on the show endorsed that the definition of “mardangi” (Masculinity) should be changed. Mahatma Gandhi was remembered for his daring acts from the virtue of non-violence.

Ashish Ranjan/JPN

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