By: Lalit Garg
International Men’s Day is a global awareness day for many issues faced by men, including parental alienation, wife neglect, abuse, homelessness, underemployment, suicide and violence, observed every year on 19 November. The purpose of this day is to celebrate the lives of boys and men, their achievements and their contribution in building family and society, especially in nation, union, society, community, family, marriage and child care. This day is not just a celebration, but an event which is necessary to promote achievements of men on social, economic, political and cultural fronts, as well as to convey their struggles to the general society. The day aims to focus on men’s health and well-being. In light of this, the theme for 2023 is ‘Zero Male Suicide’. On the lines of Women’s Day, International Men’s Day is also being celebrated all over the world. This day started in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago. The United Nations has also recognized it and emphasized its need and has given strong appreciation and support. Today International Men’s Day is being celebrated in more than 80 countries. According to other information, Men’s Day is also said to be celebrated for the first time by Thomas Oster on 7 February 1992, but this Men’s Day was celebrated only in Malta.
Now in the world, the need to make Men’s Day as effective as Women’s Day is being felt. Now men are also raising the issue of being exploited and harassed. There is also talk of more incidents of neglect, harassment and injustice being faced by men as compared to women. Today, in the rapidly changing world, definitions for every category are also being created and changing. On one hand, while women are becoming empowered, on the other hand the image of men is also changing in the society. If we talk about a few years ago, there were many conservative views in the society regarding men; they were accused of exploiting women and giving them secondary status. In which rapid changes are taking place now. This day is also a day to discuss the physical and mental health of men, and the misconceptions related to them. In every country except China, the suicide rate among men is higher than that of women.
Man is a word without which one’s life cannot be imagined. While woman gives completeness to life, man is its basis. Till now, ignoring all the characteristics of a man, he has been declared an exploiter, oppressor of women, cruel and tyrannical, but it is not so. Woman is the giver of birth and man is the creator of life. In childhood, when a child learns to walk, he first holds the finger of his father. The small child finds great solace in holding his finger and being in his arms. As soon as they speak, the children start insisting and the father fulfills all their requests. From providing them chocolates and toys in childhood to providing bikes, cars, laptops and sending children abroad for higher education, they keep fulfilling all the demands of their children, that is, the role of men is in no way less than that of women.
To run the vehicle of society properly, it is very important that women become its allies, instead of its opponents. They should not face any discrimination. In human relationships, the biggest place in the world is given to women as a mother, but the contribution of a man as a father in making a child grow up and civilized cannot be underestimated. When a child gets scratched, a father also feels the same pain as a mother feels. The father remains strict after seeing his son’s injury, so that he learns the lesson of fighting the problems of life becomes tough and fearless and is able to face the problems of life. Woman is the ocean of love, but man is its shore. A house is built only by the woman, but the man is the support of the house. Heaven is from a woman, heaven is from a woman, all four abodes are from a woman, but the door to all these are a man. Men’s Day is celebrated in the honor of those men.
A few years ago, the All India Men’s Association active in India made a special demand to the Government of India that a Ministry of Men’s Development should also be formed like the Ministry of Women’s Development. Similarly, some MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party in UP had raised the demand that a constitutional institution like the National Men’s Commission should be formed on the lines of the National Commission for Women. These MPs had also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding this demand. Harinarayan Rajbhar, an MP who wrote the letter, had claimed at that time that many men who abuse their wives are in jail, but due to the one-sided attitude of the law and fear of being laughed at in the society, they are not raising their voice against the domestic atrocities being committed on them. The question is, why are men feeling such expectations? It seems that the man now wants relief from the traumas and neglects him. Various types of laws have blurred its existence and identity.
Whereas today, with changing times, men have now become more responsible and sensitive. Many young men are taking up big responsibilities for society building and are proving it with their ability and passion. Today’s man moves forward not only with himself, but also with women. He is ensuring that they also get equal opportunities to move ahead and do not have to face any discrimination. This change is clearly visible today in all industries like media, hospitality, banking, industry, trade etc. where women are working in top positions. Not only this, men now do not feel hesitation in working under the leadership of women.
Like other countries of the world, India is also struggling with the problem of domestic violence. Strict laws have also been made to prevent violence against women, but men are also victims of domestic violence. There has been no government study or survey in India yet to find out the number of men who are victims of domestic violence, but some non-government organizations are definitely working in this direction. A study by NGOs named ‘Save Indian Family Foundation’ and ‘My Nation’ has revealed that more than ninety percent of husbands in India have faced domestic violence at least once in a three-year relationship. It is a fact that now, likes women, men are also victims of violence, harassment and neglect. They also want to raise their voice for the security and respect of their existence. It is a big truth that whenever the voice of creation will be raised in life, the torch of masculinity will be lit, the eyes of truth will be opened, then we, everything of ours with which we are connected, will all be a precious gift of man, only by making this realization alive, we will become men. Will we be able to find meaning in celebrating International Men’s Day? (The author is journalist, columnist who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)