As the world observes the International Men’s day today, intending to promote basic humanitarian values, let look into the reality of what men go through. With nearly 8 out of 10 suicides being men, and the tragedy of young men in particular making suicide, it is crucial to address the issues of men as well.
Being a vital part of human existence, men’s role in keeping the generation rolling can’t be ignored. Though Internationally Men’s Day was celebrated since 7 February 1992, worldwide, it took nearly a decade and a half to reach India. In 2007, India celebrated the International Men’s Day for the first time. Since then, International Men’s Day is celebrated every year on 19 November.
The main focus of this day is the health of men and boys, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality and highlighting male role models.
However, it is a fact that this day is not that popular in India, but gradually the importance of celebrating this day has started catching up. Private organizations, NGOs and civil societies are encouraging people to come forward to raise their voice for the rights of men.
Despite this, the question remains, how many unheard voices of men are out there while we put an outcry for the right of women.
As far as time we can remember, our nation was always said to be a male dominating one with 2020 sex ration statistics proving that India has 48.04% female population compare to 51.96% male population. However, does this mean men of our nation is free from all inequality, abuse (yes you read it right), domestic violence, rape?
No, this answer might be shocking to at least a few. When it comes to equality, men always have had a back seat, as it is not something common we get to read in India. Surprisingly men refuse to voice out their issue, and thus it remains unnoticed. Even the Indian laws are not so supportive concerning the crime against men. Therefore, such matters remain unreported and unsupported.
Indian legislation has neglected the fact that men, too, can be a victim of sexual violence and assault. So, where is the existence of equality? For example- We have a seat reserved for ladies in public transportation, what about a man?
Indian law has been more inclined to women, wherein Section 375 of IPC which deals with rape and legal provisions against it but mentions nothing against men. Nonetheless, it impersonates that if a rape occurs, then women is the victim and men is the culprit. Also, Section 354 A, 354 B, 354 C, 354 D, dealing with sexual harassment, stalking, undressing, voyeurism, and others accepts women as a victim and men as the perpetrator.
Though Section 377 of IPC deals with crime against men, but that too is negated as it only incorporates penile sexual intercourse and thus non-penile abuse victims are not presented before the law.
In a nation where the mind is such that men don’t cry, we can’t expect a man to come up and open about an incident where he had faced some undesired sexual attitude from a person of his opposite gender. Well, this stereotype mentality is not only seen in India; it is universal. The only fact is that, in India, it is of a much-rooted belief that men are meant to “macho”.
According to a survey of Insia Dariwala which studied 1500 male out of which 71% of men surveyed said they were abused, 84.9% said they had not told anyone about the abuse. The primary reasons for not disclosing was due to shame (55.6%), followed by confusion (50.9%), fear (43.5%) and guilt (28.7%).
A Government study in India to touch on the issue which was carried out in 2007, showed that when 53.2% of children reported having experienced some form of sexual abuse. Of those, 52.9% were boys.
Not only sexual abuse, men do face forced marriage, false rape accuse and many other harassment in their daily life.
All these issues drastically affect the mental health of men. According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, India reported an average of 381 deaths by suicide daily in 2019, totalling 1,39,123 fatalities over the year. So if we consider 100 suicide deaths, 70.2 were male, and 29.8 females.
Just because men don’t show it or bring their pain and tears in the limelight, doesn’t mean they don’t go through any. With the least support from society and law, men are also the victim of various abuse and the reality that it remain unnoticed or unheard is causing severe damage to the balance of the society itself. Silence be it from the victim, or the society is dangerous.