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24 Mar 2019, Edition - 1349, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Men are supposed to be ‘Mard’ and not react to harassment in our society

Indrani Thakurata

Image credit : illustrative image

The Hrithik Roshan Kangana Ranaut fight has been going on for sometime now. Everytime we think it has hit its closure, we are proven wrong. Although, it is usual for industry insiders to take sides and comment, but in this case, they are refraining. Even Karan Johar, who is known to have an opinion on everything–and who has been rubbed the wrong way by Kangana is refraining from making any statements.

But, last week we saw Farhan Akhtar speak in favour of Hrithik. He, in his open letter raises many questions that are important and needs to be considered. Farhan expressed that there have been a few cases where men were stalked, harassed and falsely accused. He also says that Hrithik has been treated in an unfair manner in this debate and large sections of the media have discriminated against him. “I do believe that more often than not, it is the woman, who is harassed but it doesn’t mean all the time.”

Besides the affair, the saga draws our attention to something more important– that–men are harassed too. The fact that, many a times, a woman gets the benefit of doubt because of her gender, and therefore she can misuse, abuse this advantage point. “The fact of the matter is that women are more harassed than men. Therefore, laws are more sensitive towards women, which they need to be. But at the same time, they can used to harass an innocent man, riding on the sympathy wave,” says Shreya Dutta, Lawyer.

She adds, “Here we aren’t talking specifically about the Kangana Hrithik fight, we are talking in general. Most of us were on her side when she gave her side of the story. But when Hrithik spoke, many found reason in that as well. It is quite confusing and complicated. We can wait and watch for the end result, but there is no doubt that laws are abused by women just as any other law is abused in this country.” Crime against women are so rampant that the laws to protect her are necessary. But these very laws can be used against an innocent man. “My close friend who got married last year was falsely accused of dowry and harassment.

The girl took advantage of her gender and threatened the family of severe punishment if they don’t’ comply to certain unreasonable demands. When her words didn’t work, she filed a case. We all know what the family is capable of. But in such cases, the law is blindly in favour of women, and rightly so,” says Munmun Chakraborty, a Teacher. Putting it in social perspective, Manjary G, social scientist says, “Men in our country are supposed to be ‘Mard’. They are not supposed to shed tears, they are not supposed to be intimidated by harassment. We all feed the stereotypical.”

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