Monday 4 November 2019

‘SECTION 375’ writer-director Manish Gupta speaks about gender inequality in Indian laws.

What inspired you to make this film SECTION 375? 

I personally knew rape-accused actor Shiney Ahuja and his wife. I’d met their maid too - the girl who'd accused Shiney of raping her. When I studied their case, I could not conclude what the truth was - whether Shiney had raped the girl or was the intercourse between them consensual? Intrigued by this ambiguity, I started researching the subject. 


Why should people watch Section 375? 

To understand how a false allegation of rape can destroy the lives of a man and his family and to understand that every man accused of rape, molestation or harassment may not necessarily be guilty.

Multitudes of men in India are battling false rape/molestation/harassment cases registered against them. Such cases destroy the man’s reputation and his life even if he’s later proven innocent. How can this scenario that’s so precarious to men be changed?  

Mens' Rights Activists must join hands with Human Rights Activists across the country and create pressure on the Govt. to revamp the laws around sexual crimes with a view to making such laws gender-neutral.

When a woman is allegedly exploited by a man, both men and women start demonising the accused man. But when a man is falsely accused, few women come forward in support of the man. How do we change this?

Men and women across the country must be sensitised to the issues faced by men due to the gender-bias in the Indian mindset about sexual crimes. A similar gender-bias in Indian laws makes such laws prone to misuse.

Today, with each gender pointing fingers at the other, how do we retain the sanctity of the institution of marriage in India?

By sensitising both genders about the issues faced by the other gender.

Many laws apart from Section 375 are also biased towards women, e.g. child custody, DV, 498A, etc. Do you have any plans to make a movie on such laws?

I've received an overwhelming number of requests on my twitter handle @ManishMGupta from men facing fake 498A (Dowry) cases to make a film on this issue. So, I'm seriously contemplating the subject now.

Why is every politician only pushing the agenda of women empowerment and completely ignoring mens’ rights?

India has a history of being a patriarchal society where women have been for centuries exploited, marginalized and ill-treated. Indian laws written 200 years ago were drafted keeping in perspective the social standing of women at that period of time in India. But in today's scenario, educated women in cities and towns are very independent and do not suffer the same oppression that their counterparts from 200 years ago did. Hence, these archaic, outdated laws give today’s liberated women a free hand for misuse and manipulation. However, the women in rural India, women in smaller towns and lower-class women who reside in slums still suffer the same oppression and misogyny at the hands of men. Such women form a much larger vote bank as compared to men suffering from gender-biased laws. Hence, every politician talks about women empowerment since it’s beneficial to their vote-bank politics. 

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