Martyrs of Marriage

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere”
Martin Luther King Jr

In Criminal Law, Blackstone formulation principle states “It is better that ten guilty persons escape rather than one innocent suffer.” It’s a principle followed under criminal jurisprudence the world over.

However, in India - a law that has been in place for three decades has been decried as an instrument of oppression, injustice and a reason for suffering of lakhs of innocents in an endeavour to punish the guilty. Brought on the statute in 1983 to protect married women from violence within marital home, section 498A of Indian Penal Code, also known as the anti dowry law has often been called as the most abused provision in the Indian jurisprudence. This abuse has been documented by the highest courts in India time and again through several judgments. In 2005, Supreme Court of India used the term “Legal Terrorism” to describe misuse of this law.

Martyrs of Marriage is a documentary film that documents the injustice that has been perpetrated on people because of misuse of section 498A of Indian Penal Code.

A feature length, first person account of those who have suffered at the hands of abuse of this provision, the film delves deep into the problem, the reasons behind it and the repercussions of the same. From why the law was brought in the first place to several suicides as a result of the abuse of the provision, this story that’s never been told before, highlights plight of men and women who have suffered, are suffering and some who have succumbed because of false allegations. No law intends to do Injustice to people. IPC 498A, however, has become a tool and a weapon for harassment and extortion – a fact less stated but well known.

Martyrs of Marriage intends to inform and educate people about this issue and seeks intervention of lawmakers to save lives of many innocents.

The film interweaves personal stories of men and women who have faced trial or are undergoing trial under 498A on wrong allegations along with experiences of Judges, Advocates, Court Mediators, Detectives and Men’s Rights Activists with the abuse of this provision. It goes in detail of what happens, why it happens, how it happens and what the abuse of this provision is doing to lives of people. Several court observations on the issue make a part of the film to give the audience a perspective on the extent of the problem. The documentary presents data related to the law from 1998 till 2014 and raises some pertinent questions arising out of it after in-depth analysis of the same. Late Syed Ahmed Makhdoom, Late Manoj Kumar and Late Avadhesh Yadav give a face to the term “Martyrs of Marriage” as their families narrate the ordeals that they faced because of the most unexpected battle of their life called Marriage.

Martyrs of Marriage is a first person account of those who have suffered, fought and finally won the most unexpected battle in their lives – the battle of marriage. It is also a journey of those who are currently fighting for their rights, their innocence and their life.

Martyrs of Marriage is a story that needs to be told to change the mindsets that only a woman can be a "victim".

Martyrs of Marriage is a story of countless women who have suffered due to those very laws that are meant to protect and empower women against any abuse.

Crime does not know any Gender. Martyrs of Marriage is a movement for equality, a movement to save the innocent and a fight for punishment of the guilty irrespective of Gender!