Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Behind Domestic Violence - empathetic Solutions Needed

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Behind domestic violence

Last week when the family was watching the early night news programme on the local TV channel I was shocked to hear the news reader say a software engineer hacked his wife in her office a few minutes ago. The desperado cut his own throat after doing his wife in and was battling for life.

The site of the incident, it was reported, was Sholinganallur, the hub of IT offices in Chennai, the state capital. Though my eyes were still on the TV screen what the news reader rattled on registered only partially on my mind. My imagination was racing on a separate track visualizing what could have happened before the gory incident.

What made the husband mad? Was he disappointed not to find her at home when he returned from office? Had she rang him back about her urgent work at office against his strict orders to be back home early?

Was their kid ailing and needed the mother’s care? Was he inept or impatient to be the kid’s nurse?

Or, had they planned previously to spend the evening somewhere to which her sudden assignments put a brake?

Was she habitually returning home late in spite of his dislike for it? Have they had too many fights over the matter? Was he unfair in not understanding the deadline tensions of his wife? Was she deliberately disobeying his reasonable conditions?

Was he under the effects of spirit? Was he a suspicious Othello? What was his problem? What could have led to this ghastly culmination? Who deserved more blame? Who is really guilty?

Such sensational stories are on the increase in our media. This happens in all the strata of society – from the slum-dwellers to residents of posh bungalows.

Domestic violence has many faces. Besides plain, blind rage that leads to brutal murder there are numerous modes of torture which are very cruel, nerve-chilling, soul-bruising and mind-numbing.

Men can act like wicked Machiavellians, scheming, unscrupulous sadists who love to see the lady of the house in tears. It is inexplicable but it is a misconstrued sign of mastery, I presume. The Stone Age man who broke the woman’s bones with cudgels lives on in the modern, civilized man, I fear.

It is not the uneducated alone who taunt their wives with ugly names but the so-called intellectuals are not lagging behind in hurling loathsome, foul words on their wives. These are more deadly and painful than the poisoned darts of the aborigines.

Are the men not using this technique of verbal violence too long? Yes, I think they are. Women are successfully cultivating a thick skin against this cheap, easy trick of men.

Education, emancipation, economic independence and the government’s judicious policies and laws are helpful in hardening the shells of women and they are beginning to slug on with more confidence and productivity.

In spite of the giant leaps we have taken in modern life with completely changed lifestyles, customs and concepts it is undeniable the male psychology has not budged an inch from the luxury of a bygone era: he expects a cheerful wife greeting him with hot chai and fresh samosas, a smiling wife sitting by his side watching his favourite TV programmes, a brisk wife who hushes the kids to sweet slumber, a talented wife turning into a multi-cuisine chef serving him a delicious dinner.

Men of the past generations were grooved to this one-way traffic, never for a moment thinking of changing roles once in a while and stand upon his lady as she always stood on him, her lord.

A lot can be done to hasten women’s progress and their complete liberation from domestic violence.

Charity begins at home is the saying. So does basic training in manners and culture/refinement. Inculcation of values is the proper solution to this disgusting problem. ‘Catch them young’ is what I advise. It is the duty of the parents, esp. the mother, to teach the kids to respect all human beings irrespective of sex.

It is painful to still see the vestiges of the bad custom of treating male children better than female children. Even among siblings the superiority of the male child still exists. This has to be relentlessly eradicated.

Next comes the proper understanding of the nature of both men and women – the fundamental differences in their way of reasoning, reacting, emoting and perceiving. There is cent percent truth in saying men are from Mars and women are from Venus. They are completely different as two different species. Yet they are created as complementary to each other.

With perfect understanding they can overcome all hurdles and live a meaningful, fulfilling life. How we bring up our children makes a huge difference in the amount of compatibility they are capable of acquiring in later life.

Men before tying the knot should pledge to give equal rights to his wife and strive to keep the pledge. The question of ego has no place in the husband-wife relationship.

The couple should try to solve the disagreements between them through calm discussions and reasoning-outs. Arguing upon the pros and cons is not bad but obstinate sticking to one’s views is. Each must put oneself in the other’s shoes and realize how it feels. It is only fair to do so.

When desperate seeking counseling can be more helpful, esp. in the present nuclear family scenario. In the good old days elders in the joint family acted as buffers and forestalled big storms. Their wise and kind counsel came a long way in maintaining domestic peace and decorum.

One thing that the men must understand is that it is not at all difficult to please women. Woman is not at  all a greedy wretch. Her expectations/desires are unbelievably simple! The popular belief that men must spend heaps of money on diamonds to please women is utterly untrue. Just a pat on the back, a peck on the cheek, a kind look, one word of appreciation – these will make her your willing slave.

Be generous – forgive and forget. No one is flawless. Practically no good comes out of harping on old hurts and grudges. Bury the past’s grievances and welcome each day as a new, fresh page in the novel of marital bliss.

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6 comments:

  1. I do not agree with the first part of the essay where you mean to say that the victim might have provoked her husband." who deserves more blame? Who is more guilty? " do not empathize with a criminal. The rest of the essay provides sound advice.
    Janakijanar

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment! There can be no second opinion about the condemnability of the murder committed! It is a heinous, unacceptable crime under any circumstances, planned or done in a rash mad moment! But the next step is, to me, to analyse how much the wife was responsible for bringing it upon herself. Such an analysis is only fair and it will be useful for everybody to be more careful and thoughtful about the consequences of one's words and actions.

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  2. Good read. Congratulations! Though so much is being said and written everywhere, the percentage of men who applaud their spouse's victories is still miniscule! It does look like we need to wait for the next generation to grow up and see how they treat their women!

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  3. hemravi@sify.comMarch 4, 2013 at 5:37 AM

    In spite of the giant leaps we have taken in modern life with completely changed lifestyles, customs and concepts it is undeniable the male psychology has not budged an inch from the luxury of a bygone era: he expects a cheerful wife greeting him with hot chai and fresh samosas, a smiling wife sitting by his side watching his favourite TV programmes, a brisk wife who hushes the kids to sweet slumber, a talented wife turning into a multi-cuisine chef serving him a delicious dinner......These lines sum it all!

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