Divorce In India Today: Woman’s Paradise, Man’s Hell

| July 24 , 2015 , 19:39 IST
Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj-banner (1)“I tried everything possible to make my marriage work for three and a half years. In that duration, she left me multiple times after bitter and ugly fights, where she abused me, my family (even though they lived separately) and everything that was about me. She was extremely controlling, possessive and I often felt like a slave. I was abused not only verbally but physically too. She used to throw fits on tiniest issues – as irrelevant as – why did you not hold my hand in the mall? And then I had to explain. I was tired of making up every time. She used to say sorry and come back and expected me to forget everything as if nothing happened. When she left me this time, breaking every possible object in my home, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I thought of filing for divorce. In my mind, a divorce was something as simple as filing a document in the court and the only way to get away from this abusive marriage. Little did I know that the real hell, worse than what I was currently in, would start only after I filed DIVORCE… A hell where me and my family were falsely charged of cruelty on her under section 498A of IPC… A hell where I was dragged and pushed inside a police van, treated like a hardcore criminal, kept on watch under their instructions and not allowed to say a thing… A hell where my mother suffered a heart attack… A hell right here on earth… Just because I filed for Divorce.” This is the real-life story of a man in India who is now a good friend of mine. I can never forget those days when we initially met and every time he shared his story with me, he cried. [caption id="attachment_90579" align="aligncenter" width="700"]divorce-(featured) (Imaging: Shivam Agrawal)[/caption]
Stories like my friend are in plenty but rarely discussed. Here are excerpts from a recent Judgment passed in favour of another hapless husband who committed the sin of filing for divorce - “Before parting with the instant case it is apt to mention here that PW1 (wife) has equivocally stated in her evidence that she has lodged this case as a counter-blast to the matrimonial suit lodged by her husband. Had he not sent such notice of divorce suit she would not have lodged this case. Thus, in such circumstance and the poor way in which she has fared cross-examination, it appears that DC (de facto complainant) has intentionally and in a motivated way, to settle a civil dispute (divorce), abused the process of law and set the criminal law in motion against the hapless husband and his poor family members who happens to be his married elder sisters with an impression that if a person could somehow be entangled in a criminal prosecution, there is a likelihood of imminent settlement by applying pressure through criminal prosecution. ALSO READ: ‘Selfie With Daughter’ Controversy, Shruti Seth And The Gender Alibi The DC has cited the divorce suit filed by the A1 as a mental cruelty u/s 498a of the IPC. A free citizen of India enjoys a civil right to marry off his choice or being aggrieved, seek divorce through dissolution of the marriage. Such exercise of civil right to seek divorce cannot be construed as a criminal offence. Any effort to settle civil disputes (divorce) and claims, which do not involve any criminal offence, by applying pressure through criminal prosecution should be deprecated and discouraged."
When a husband even thinks of divorce, not just his wife, but police and the judicial system make his life hell
This judgment in entirety is a threadbare of every lie spoken by the woman (wife) on oath. She disgustingly implicates her married sisters-in-law in a criminal case claiming they “interfered” in her life, only with a view to ruin their marriages too. Investigation Officer investigates nothing in the case. Judge, despite calling it abuse of law, orders no action against the complainant. So, it is fairly evident that when a husband even thinks of a divorce, not just his wife but the entire system including police and judiciary partner with her to make the hell even more hellish for him, if she wants. In 2013, I covered suicide case of a software engineer, Manoj Kumar, in Bangalore. He hanged himself in a PG, where he was staying, after his wife threw him out of their home. He had gone to cops several times, but they laughed at him and never took any action against his abusive wife. He filed for divorce and just a day after, his wife created ruckus in front of his mother and brother’s home, called police, got them dragged to the police station and threatened a dowry case. This man hanged himself the same night. He wrote this on the tee shirt he wore last – “Sorry Son.” ALSO READ: Price You Pay For Talking About Men There is no empirical study as to in how many cases of cruelty filed by wives, had the husbands already applied for Divorce on grounds of cruelty – a right granted to them by law (at least on papers.) But I have met numerous men who have undergone the same plight. Even in cases of adultery by wives, as soon as a man complains or files for divorce, he is prone to volley of cases on him. Whatever be the reason, filing for divorce by a man in India can in all possibilities mean – more than a dozen court cases as counter blast, alienation from child, loss of job, money and also mental peace.
Filing for divorce by a man in India can in all possibilities mean – more than a dozen counter-court cases, alienation from child, loss of job, money and peace
As per several news reports, Indian women are initiating divorce much more than men. Women Rights Activists often look at this as sign of women empowerment and freedom to exert their rights and choose happiness over abuse. However, they often remain silent on being asked if the same is not the right of a husband too in case he is unhappy or wants to get out of an abusive marriage. To be honest, no one thinks of him as the one abused anyways! Divorce is never easy either for a man or woman. I am not undermining anyone’s pain here. But, in my opinion – given the maintenance, alimony, gender biased criminal and civil matrimonial provisions in India, while a woman can find her paradise after divorce, getting her ego satisfied by punishing the man in every possible way, making her future secure with his money, it can be hell for a man. ALSO READ: ‘Womanhandling’ Of Men And The Eerie Silence A person who is already abused and victimised should not be further harassed by false litigations. Supreme Court has cited false 498A as cruelty and ground for Divorce but what happens when it is filed when a man has already initiated divorce on grounds of cruelty? I hope legal luminaries can find some solution to this problem, lest many more men waste prime years of their life just because their marriage did not work. If they can’t, then perhaps make it official that It’s a Crime for a man to file Divorce in India... (Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj is a documentary filmmaker and a social activist working against misuse of women-centric laws.) ***The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Focus News. The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.

Vishal Gupta

Indian men are itself responsible for own critical conditions, they always fight for women but not for own (Men) rights and formulation of Acts/Laws. Women have lots of tear but men have not. After Indian marriage or divorce: Women gets- every rights, property of husband, money of husband, children. Men gets- Duties for wife, loss of property, loss of money, loss of children, dowrry case, domestic violence case, rape case, harassment case, threatening case, as hell and just get JAIL & DEATH.

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This is very similar to what is happening in the west, and I've heard stories about ICLEI and U.N. Agenda 21 using feminist influenced family courts as a means of population control via social engineering. The idea is to poison relations between the sexes until men avoid marriage altogether. That and eliminate due process, the presumption of innocence, possibly even reduce the male population by 90%. Feminism is the perfect vehicle to create a totalitarian society.

Hitesh J Thakkar

I have gone through the hell of section 498A in October,2004. But keeping in mind the future of my daughter i let it go and we resettled again. But, look at the destiny, in November,2013, my wife asked me to leave the house and she and my in laws forced me for divorce by mutual consent and one of the condition therein that i shall never meet her. Our divorce got ordered in August,2014....I had to give up my flat, all the ornaments which my family had given at the time of the marriage, Rs 15 lakhs and am paying monthly maintenance of Rs 10,000. My pain is my daughter is in not touch with me, she is 15 now. In February,2015, i sent a gift to my daughter on her birthday, but the same was returned back.


Feminists tried that in Austria.

Someone who has also seen this first hand

This gender imbalance against males now not only exists in India but also in many other countries - middle eastern countries, pakistan etc may be an exception. The fact is the laws over the years have become imbalanced in the bid to give women "equal rights" and protection against exploitation which undoubtedly happened in the past and still does happen. BTW there are lots of men who have NOT filed for divorce yet due to one reason or the other and are silent sufferers of verbal and mental abuse by their wives. I have seen several friends - husbands who are being mentally "tortured" and really have nowhere to go. Women also get abused as we all know. This is not to say all wives are bad or all husbands are victims but there are lots of them out there. Ultimately each human has a duty to stand up and fight either by complaining or exposing the abuser and not stay a victim. Money becomes a weapon and cause of a lot of these conflicts and the poor children if any are always the victims.


I wouldn't be surprised if a married man seeking divorce who is aware of how these laws work decides to just kill his wife instead of file for divorce. The consequences seem less severe doing so.

Somnath Pal

Deepika, this is very well written. Appreciate that you understood and expressed this, in spite of being a woman. Thank you!! Its rare today. Innumerable urban men are victim of this Gender Terrorism. Supposedly, most of the 498A cases are false. I think we are passing through an era of male suppression and vulnerability. But this era will also give rise to alienation of men from women. Many, many men already prefer to avoid women for peace and dignity in life. This gold mine (men) will eventually dry out for gold diggers (women); gradually but surely. Marriage, living-in or even being in a relationship with a woman would be avoidable for men - only in order to protect their own safety and dignity. While corporate houses are screaming gender equality, but a victimized man might be averse to hire a woman, albeit discreetly. This will come back heavily on women; may be not immediately, but gradually for sure. Till then, let more men die actually and psychologically. Here's the suicide note of men....


This is so true. Indian man if trapped in a marriage with a wrong girl, will forever remain trapped. What we say in India during marriage.."Till death do us apart" has been made true by Indian laws and courts and is valid only on men.

Innocent Victim of Indian Judiciary

"Filing for divorce by a man in India can in all possibilities mean – more than a dozen counter-court cases, alienation from child, loss of job, money and peace" - Truth! Truth! Truth! "Hat's off to Author!" Filing for divorce by a man in India ...also get experience of a lifetime.. which will change your into either a saint or a bloody criminal.

Anisha Bhat

I never thought of grievances of men and used to think only the women are oppressed until recently my cousin whom I knew since childhood and a sober person and working in a respectable position in a MNC was charged with domestic violence for denying his wife's request to sell his apartment and buy another one near her parents home. Its just a 7 month marriage and she is claiming 65 thousand temporary alimony every month, 60 lakh compensation and his apartment in divorce settlement. He was very simple straight forward guy and now totally broken . Indian legal system has no protection for men. If men dont have protection from law, then its not far they will fall to alcohol , drugs and what not and will also resort to illegal ways to get the justice just as it happens in western countries which is harmful to the society in the long run..


Wonderfull and truth article Deep madam!!!


A very good article highlighting the facts and realities of life in India. Lawis very much biased against Men in India. Judicial system has not been of any help to most men. They suffer. Nobody pays attention to the fact that most Indian men sacrifice their life for the security of their families. Fat alimony is being taken after harassing husbands purposely. There is no way a common man can get justice in India. Judicial System in India needs complete overhaul. Family bonds are breaking and current generation who will know the realities will be reluctant to marry in India.


Indian men should stop marrying indian women......Let these women enjoy their freedom and power....But i feel in that case also they will cry to make a law that an indian man should compulsarily marry indian woman only and the law will be made...