Indian husbands want protection from nagging wives

LUCKNOW, India Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:08am GMT

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LUCKNOW, India (Reuters Life!) - Shrews, beware: a group of Indian husbands tired of being harassed by their wives are demanding the local government create a male protection society to address their grievances.

The men, who said they had enough of their "nagging" wives, dressed up in clothes traditionally worn by grooms and paraded through the northern city of Lucknow this week to ask for a National Commission for Men.

"We are asking for equal rights. We want somebody to listen to the grievances of men," said Subhash Dube, a medical doctor who described himself as a victimized husband.

The president of the All India Welfare Committee for Husbands, Indu Pandey, said statistics showed abuse of a section of the penal code meant to protect women against their husbands.

"Demands to amend this law have been put forward a lot of times. Therefore, we oppose this law," Pandey said.

Most of the misuse of the law has been related to dowry issues, with women and their family members registering false claims that they have been harassed by their husbands or their families about not paying enough, Pandey said.

In India, dowries of money, jewelry or other assets are given by the parents or the family of the bride to the groom.

This tradition was banned by law in 1961 but, even today, dowries are common, and if the groom or his family are unhappy with them, they often physically and emotionally abuse the wife.

Indian police receive hundreds of complaints of harassment related to dowry every day from women, and are required to investigate deaths of women within a few years of marriage as possible dowry deaths.

(Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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