Inequality In The Mask Of Equality (with reference to Bois Locker Room)
Ujjwal Shikhar, Student, Lloyd Law College
Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. Basically, it talks about equality on various basis. When we talk about equality on the basis of sex, it is mostly in respect to women and their rights to be considered as an equal, which is absolutely fine and good, but why does it happen that we do not recognize the rights and the problems men face in everyday life. Neglecting the male gender has become quite normal these days.
The recent controversy of “Bois Locker Room” gained everyone’s attention towards it. Bois Locker Room is an Instagram group of Delhi’s school going students. In this group, they used to discuss girls, shared vulgar and intimate pictures of girls and they also made plans in the group to rape girls. The matter turned into controversy when a girl shared the screenshots of the chats of the group on her social media. The members of the group were said to be the students of class 11 and 12 from some of Delhi’s top schools. Swati Maliwal, the Delhi Commission for women called for the arrest of those associated with the group. Captions such as “Men will be men”, “All men are the same” began to trend on social media. The controversy was becoming more and more intense day by day. Hatred against the boys involved in the controversy along with all the male community as a whole started increasing. Police identified 10 members who were part of the infamous group. While most of them were school boys, a few were found to be in college. Meanwhile, a new angle to the controversy has also come out on social media. One of the girl who had initially blamed the group has had her old conversations leaked which show her sexualising men and using homophobic and misogynistic language. The girl had created a fake ID posing as a boy to suggest gang raping another girl during her conversation with another boy. The screenshot of the conversation had gone viral with it being wrongly attributed to the Bois Locker Room chat group on instagram. According to the investigations, the girl had done so to test the moral values and the character of the boy engaged in the conversation.
After this point, the controversy ended as soon as it could just because the culprit was a girl, And in our country, this type of crime or activity can only be done by a boy, as believed by most of the people and even the law of our country. If the culprit in this case had been a boy, the controversy must have gone as far as it could. Just after this controversy, a teenage boy of Delhi committed suicide because a girl falsely accused him of molestation. But, the society did not react aggressively because he was a boy. A victim or a culprit should not be measured in sex. If a boy does something wrong and is proven guilty, he must get punished and the same applies in the case of girls as well. But in Indian society men are mostly supposed to be culprit and women as the victim. Is it equality in real sense? Before proven guilty, a women’s identity is hidden as much as it could be but in the case of men, their names and photographs are shown on every news channel and social media. “A girl is innocent until proven guilty and a boy is guilty until proven innocent”. This has become the mind set of people and the law makers of our country.
Even the laws in India are gender biased. There are several rules and laws made for the protection of women in India but there is no law for men. The Sexual Harassment of Women at workplace (Prevention , Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work. Section 498 of Indian Penal Code is a law that was made to protect the married women from the violence by her husband and his family members. This law is believed to be the most abused in the history of Indian Jurisprudence. More than 5 lakh women have been arrested under this law because of falsely accusing their husband and in-laws. Around 15 percent people are found guilty under this law. A wife can file a case of domestic violence against her husband if he shouts at her but a husband cannot file the case against her wife if she shouts at him because there is no such law made which favors men. It was found that Section 498A of Indian Penal Code was used more as weapon rather than shield. It is scary for men and scarier for women because if they continue to misuse it no one would trust them when the actual problem would occur. After noticing that this law was being misused much more than it was being used, the Supreme Court, in the case of Sushil kumar V. Union of India released the statement that “ Merely because the provision is constitutional and improvised does not give a license to unscrupulous person to unleash harassment by misuse of provision, a new legal terrorism can be leashed. The provision is to be used as a shield and not as a weapon, If cry of a wolf is made too often, assistance and provision may not be available when the actual wolf appears”. Moreover, a lot of evidence is required when the problem is of men and in the case of women we do not actually need to give evidences. In the cases of divorce, most of the times it is believed and assumed that it is the male and his family members who is at the wrong side. This is something which really needs change or else the whole male community of our country is going to face a lot of problems. The list of the changes is not so long. The changes that need to be done are mentioned below:-
1) Gender Neutral laws,
2) Strong misuse clause under all laws, and
3) Jail term for false cases.
The rights of men really need to be considered or else equality on the basis of gender will just remain one-sided. Equality in real sense, on the basis of gender, will only come when men and women will not be differentiated at all. We have always been listening that male dominates female and if the present condition of men continues then the day is not so far when female will start dominating men. No one needs to be dominated. Everyone should be on equal parameter.