HC judge tells abused wife to ‘adjust’ #WTFnews


Justice K Bhaktavatsala cites example of ‘wife-beatingactor Darshan to advise the 28-year-old woman to reconcile with her husband

S Shyam Prasad

Posted On Sunday, September 02, 2012 at

The victim refused to live with her
husband because he beat her

Justice K Bhaktavatsala of the High Courtof Karnataka is clearly cut from a different judicial cloth. Where other judges may well see an abusive marriage as sufficient grounds for granting a divorce, he considers it a moral obligation to play peace-maker in the matrimonial cases that come before him.

On Friday, he went out of his way to counsel a young woman whose stated reason for not living with her husband was that the latter used to beat her.

The 28-year-old woman’s 37-yearold husband had approached the High Court, stating that she had deserted him and taken their two sons. On August 17, both the parties were asked to be present before the court on August 31.

The bench of Justice Bhaktavatsala and Justice BS Indrakalaweretoldthat the woman’s husband used to beat her and had thrown her out of the house. Upon this, Justice Bhaktavatsala said, “Women suffer in all marriages.

You are married with two children and know what it means to suffer as a woman. Why are you still talking about his beatings? I know you have undergone pain. But that is nothing in front of what you undergo as a woman. I have not undergone such pain. But madam (Justice BS Indrakala) has.”

The court asked the woman if her parents were present, at which her father walked up to the bench. The judge remarked, “Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” When the woman’s advocate produced photographs showing her swollen face, the court said, “You have to adjust.

There is nothing in your case to argue on merits. Have you read about actor Darshan. He spent 30 days in jail after beating his wife. But they are living
together now.”

The case was to be heard again in the afternoon, but was adjourned to a later date.

Duped by Pak husband, Indian woman yearns to return home #VAW


Karachi: An Indian woman, who left her country and religion to marry a Pakistani man, claims that her husband has locked her up in a small room on the roof of their house here for the past 13 years.

Shirley Ann Hodges married Gul Muhammad Khan, a Pakistani money lender, after meeting him in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, in the summer of 1997. She changed her name to Shabnam Gul Khan and came to Pakistan in 2000 with her new-born daughter. At the time, Khan said they were going to Pakistan to meet his family and that they would return to India within six months.

However, as soon as Shabnam landed in Karachi, she was abruptly introduced to Khan’s first wife and their six children, she told The Express Tribune.

 

Shabnam’s Indian passport was seized and she was given a burqa and locked away on the top floor of her in-laws’ home.

Shabnam has been confined in the top floor of the house for the past 13 years and is not allowed any visitors.

Her only contact with the outside world is through the internet and her mobile phone, the Tribune reported.

“I am a prisoner and this is a hell. For years, I have not gone out from my room. I want to go back to my family in India,” she said.

Shabnam’s sister-in-law, who lives in the same five-storey house in Landhi area of Karachi, said, “Shabnam observes purdah. She cannot meet anyone.” The woman, however, said she was being forced to remain indoors.

“I don’t know why my husband did this to me, why he fooled me. What was my fault? My daughters are not allowed to go to school. We are beaten with sticks and hurled abuses. Our life is very suffocating,” she said.

For years, Shabnam was forced to hide her husband’s cruelty from her family as she could only speak to them in front of him.

A few months ago, Shabnam managed to get through to her family independently by using Skype.

Speaking from Ahmedabad, Shabnam’s brother Noel Hodges said he was shocked when he saw her after all these years. “She weighs

100 kg now. She keeps crying all the time. We are very worried for her,” he said. Shabnam’s family has made frantic efforts for her release.

Letters have been written to the Indian Home Secretary, the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad and Pakistani human rights campaigner Asma Jahangir.

In Karachi, Abdul Hai of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said his organisation had received letters about Shabnam and was seeking legal help.

After police questioned Khan about his wife, he filed a petition in Sindh High Court last month and accused police of harassing him.

“We observe strict purdah in our family, which is why Shabnam is not allowed to go out,” said Khan, who owns an electronics shop.

He claimed that he had done a “great deed” by converting a non-Muslim to Islam.

“I am a heart patient. When I become alright, I will take her to India but for now she has to take care of me,” he said. Shabnam claimed her husband’s promises of taking her back to India will be broken again.

“I regret marrying him, and the day I come out, I will file a case against him and make him suffer the same way,” she said.

From homemaker to labour leader


Published: February 14, 2012

Party’s first female worker talks about throwing off her burqa, taking to streets.

LAHORE: “Take off your burqa (veil) and accompany me in the hunger strike tomorrow.” Those were the words with which Shamim Qayyum 

was invited by her husband, Mian Qayyum, to join the Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM) in a hunger strike in Faisalabad in 2005.

Shamim, speaking at Café Bol on Monday about organising women workers, said she had previously never imagined leaving the house.

“I was a home-maker. All I knew was that things were not going well for the labourers and that my husband was planning a hunger strike,” she told the audience.

On the third day of the strike, she recalled, her husband asked her and her three children to join him. She said she was the only woman in the strike that day. Other women and children joined the strike later. “It raised my spirits to see women coming out of their houses and supporting their men in the cause.”

After a nine-day strike, Shamim said the labourers were called in for negotiations, which were successful. She said during those nine days, a rally was led by Dr Farzana Bari, but with growing concerns of the labourers, she said, another rally had to be organised, this time led by her. Formed in 2003, the Labour Qaumi Movement aims at addressing the issues of labourers, especially those working in the power looms of Faisalabad.

Previously, Shamim’s husband, Mian Qayyum also delivered a talk about the role of women in the Labour Qaumi Movement at Cafe Bol.

Shamim said she was thankful to her husband for his support.  “It just didn’t change my life, it changed the lives of several women I would go out and talk to,” she said while talking about her decision to take off the burqa. She said at first it was difficult to convince women to stand up for their rights. However, with time these women realised that it was for their own benefit, she added.

The current energy crisis, she said, had increased the number of home-based workers. Shamim said there was a dire need to address the difficult conditions the majority of these home-based workers were working in.

She told the audience about an incident where four workers were illegally detained by the Faisalabad police and how she mobilised women workers to rally towards the police station in protest.

“On the fourth day of their detention, the workers were released,” she said. She said despite having similar skills, women labourers in the textile power loom sector were given less wages than men. She said she had organised a strike in which women refused to work at the looms unless they were paid an equal wage. Within days of the strike, she said, their demands were met.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2012.

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