Hyderabad: “Don’t promote violence against men by presenting it as bravery. Violence must be condemned whether it’s against women or men,” demand the men’s rights activist groups. A nationwide distress call centre launched by a group of 40 NGOs last year for men has received around 1,500 calls from the two Telugu states. As per the organisation most of these calls were either about abuse of law or violence by women against men.
“A semi-nude poster” of a man is one of the most popular way of mainstream advertising. It shows men in ads for perfumes, jeans or a soft drink or a vehicle. “This is a form of violence as it outrages a man’s modesty. Whether due to ignorance or deliberate, it is wrong. When we can’t accept such an advertisement about women how can we do the same in the case of men?” asks Uma Kiranam who launched a month-long campaign called Violence Against Men and Boys Month (VAMBAM).
The campaign which will hold awareness sessions, Twitter, Facebook campaigns and other programmes aims at sensitising people about men's issues and spread the message that it is "important to identify violence, what constitutes violence and identifying the root cause correctly." There are generalisations like "all violence is male generated" and we intend to break this, the activists say.
Condemning the abuse of women-friendly laws like the Domestic Violence Act and demanding a gender-neutral act, Ms Uma added that "laws are just a part of the problem." Ms Uma Kiranam is the founder of the All India Forgotten Women's Association, All India Men's Welfare Association and True Equity Network. Equity is good, but equality doesn't make sense, the organizers say. "You can do a lot of some things similarly and some things differently. The bottomline is that we should be proud of ourselves and mutual respect is important," Ms Uma added.