#VinitasPune: Tackling Familial Bonds That Are Turning Nasty

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You have all the comforts and luxuries around but no peace of mind. Wondered why?

Because, each one is giving the other his or her piece of mind! This is unfortunately a general trend, highlighted nakedly in this lockdown period as all family members are huddled together within the four walls of their homes and are under stress.

While Palghar was under the national radar for brutal killings of sadhus last week, the week before that, the police announced stern punishment to any man (read as husband) who indulged in wife beating. The police threatened to quarantine him in the COVID-19 ward of a local hospital.

Last fortnight, a top United Nations Organisation’s (UNO)  secretary-general, António Guterres, appealed to all governments to find out solutions quickly for domestic violence by fast tracking cases against wife-beating husbands and temporary shelters for women victims during this lockdown phase.

Gutteres had tweeted:: “Peace is not just the absence of war. Many women under lockdown for #COVID19 face violence where they should be safest: in their own homes.’’

On Sunday, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) tweeted: “Kudos to #Sakhi #OneStopCentre team in #Nainital, #Uttarakhand. Not only did they rescue a woman facing domestic violence during lockdown but also reunited the lady with her parents within a week.’’

On Sunday, Maharashtra Times in its Sunday edition carried a news story on the increasing cases of domestic violence in the State due to the lockdown.

It also mentioned about a social organisation called `Mala bolaycha ahe’ (I want to speak) which is helping distressed women, online from 10 am to 7 pm. Their contact numbers are: 7767909222; 8692034587; 9970161988; 9870217795; 9833263606 and; 9284748109.

Last fortnight, Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, announced in his public address, that due to increased domestic violence during this lockdown period, any distressed woman can call on police control room 100 or dial the helpline number – 1800 120 820050.

Last week two advocates have knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court to appeal for setting up of special shelters immediately for women who are likely to be vulnerable to domestic violence during the lockdown.

Adv Madhugita Sukhatme, former judge of the Consumer Court in Pune and presently consulting at the Social Security Cell of the Pune Police Commissionerate (called Bharosa Cell)  which tackles cases of domestic violence gives an interesting and convincing overview. She states, “Domestic violence is not confined only to physical assault. 

Due to the lockdown, the mental assault is leading to serious conflicts between spouses. This is because men and women in the modern society interact with a number of people in number of directions, on number of subjects and on a number of interests. Suddenly, they are confined with their spouses who may have contrasting interests, bringing frustration and intolerance between them.’’

Sukhatme elaborates on this aspect when she says that, “the woman is more accustomed to staying in the house as compared to the man, so she is likely to keep more calm in this situation. Being a patriarchal society, the man tends to dominate and is used to giving orders around, which gets accentuated and irritable to whoever it be – wife, mother, son or daughter – whoever is at the receiving end, within the four walls during this lockdown. 

So, he inadvertently indulges in this habitual crime and causes pain to his near and dear ones. Nowadays, women have become increasingly bold and decisive and have realised they are equally powerful so they do not take things lying down. Man realizes he cannot survive in this lockdown position without his wife but would not like to admit so and tries to pin her down. His ego gets bruised if his demands and commands are not met as expected and he gets aggressive.This is the crux of domestic violence.’’

In Pune, Sukhatme points out that there are three kinds of situations – urban localities, rural localities and slums. And this domestic violence is seen in all three situations, only the contexts differ. In slums and rural areas, the unavailability of food, country liquor and cramping of big families in small spaces is taking toll on family peace.’’

She says domestic violence of varying degrees can be found in every other home. However, till the lockdown, there is no other way than to build up tolerance, be calm and peaceful.’’  

If the husband and wife maintain calm, all will be will with the family. That reminds me of the legendary Lebanese-American Poet, Kahlil Gibran who scripted this wonderful piece on marriage. 


….But let there be spaces in your togetherness.

And let the winds of heaven dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but each one of you be

alone–even as the strings of a lute are alone though the quiver

with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not in each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the Cyprus grow not in each other’s shadows

– Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet

.Let’s get inspiration from it.


#StayHome #StaySafe

#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and/or individuals quoted and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same. 

Vinita Deshmukh

Vinita Deshmukh

Passion for the written word that comes alive, not only to tell a story, but to speak out loud about all that's good, bad and the ugly in society...

That's Vinita Deshmukh, Senior journalist and RTI activist who believes in journalism that reflects the views and needs of the common man.

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Vinita Deshmukh