NEW DELHI: Dressed in a tricolor tracksuit that says India on the back, and wearing a cast on the left leg Dr. Santosh Kumar Bhagwanaji Potadar, has travelled on foot and bicycle to cover a distance of 2,500 Kms from Telsang Village, Belagavi district of Karnataka to Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

The 7-page long 'Press and Public note' that he is distributing informs that this "2500 kms historical longest walkathon peaceful protest march, is to impress the Prime Minister and Rashtrapati to implement amendments to prevent misuse of CrPC 124,IPC 498A and DV Act".

"I am fighting because there are others who are suffering like me and my family did. This law needs to go away. It is a blot in the name of justice." said Dr.Potadar.

Potadar who is a social activist, an academician and consultant in Medical & Psychiatric social work, and a victim of IPC 498A talks about his 'harassment'. "I married in July 2005. On our wedding night my wife told me that she loves somebody else and wish to be with that other man. She had been in a live-in relationship before. She did not wanted to marry me but had to. So she told me that I must stay out of her way. She used to openly meet her boyfriend. For two years I tried to save our marriage and hope that this may work out. I tried to counsel her. In Jan 2007 I finally decided to get a divorce as all my efforts had failed to save our relationship. Next month she charged me of section 498A and ever since everything changed. The kind of trauma and harassment that me and my family members had to go through is dreadful. But we were right and so in 2011 I was acquitted. Next year, in 2012 I married again."

The leg cast he is wearing he says, is because of an attempt of his ex-wife who sent thugs to beat him recently. "She lost the case. She was humiliated in the society. Now she wants revenge." Dr.Poatadar quotes.

Even though Dr.Potadar won his case, he decided to take his fight further and launched a campaign against the biased laws and create awareness regarding the violence and harassment that men face in a marriage and in a society. His second wife Geeta, too travelled with him. It is Geeta's first marriage and an arranged one. She knew everything about how Dr.Potadar's first marriage ended. "I asked him what is the use of all this. The case is over. We live happily now so what is the need to fight. But on our journey from Telsang to Delhi, I've seen so many men who have suffered like my husband did. I now support his cause. I understand now why we need to talk about Men's rights too", said Geeta.

Section 498A of Indian Penal Code says ”Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.—Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine."

Pertaining to this, Ravi Vaishya, coordinator of Save Family Foundation (SFF), asks several questions, "This law believes that only a wife can be a victim and always a husband will be the perpetrator. Why? Can't a woman be a culprit? Can't she ever harass a man or other woman; the other woman in this case can be the mother-in-law or the sister-in-law. Why is it that only a daughter-in-law has the right to report her parents-in-law if they harass her? What if the daughter-in-law is making the lives of her parents-in-law a living hell, perhaps torturing them more psychologically . Where are they supposed to go for help? Can they report the inhuman treatment at the hands of their daughter-in-law? No, they can't. They just have to suffer, and how is that democratic ?

The fight Ravi explains is not against women. The issue is about how laws are being misused. "In a live-in-relationship, a woman can decide to leave. But if a guy decides to end the relationship then a woman can conveniently use section 376, rape and sexual harassment clause. If they have been living together for last 6years, she'll say this man is raping me for last 6years, even though they might have been living with mutual consent. Yes, not all women are doing it and neither every case filed is a fake. But there are a large number of cases that have been filed with the sole purpose of exhorting money- we need to acknowledge these legally", explains Ravi.

Two major demands of SFF are that, First, Section 498A of IPC should be scrapped and Second, a 'Men's commission' should be established. Ravi says, "There is a Women and Child development Ministry, Department of Animal Husbandry, Department of Forests, Ministry of Environment, Ministry for Chemicals, then why not a Ministry for Men ?"

Explaining the two demands further, Deepika Bhardwaj who too is fighting against the 498A says that, "This can't be ignored. Fighting for men is not only about laws. There are men who do most difficult jobs like fighting on a border or working in mines but they have no emotional assistance and this is wrong. A man too has emotional needs. He too needs help."

She elaborates that setting up for of a Men's commission will help conduct research and studies based on the issue. "A Men's commission will be the place where a man can go and seek help against the harassment he is facing. Health Care, Child Labor-where boys are a majority victims, Sexual Abuse- where again young boys are victim but are not deemed so, Male acid attacks victims who go unaccounted and thus cannot claim compensation....all these will be acknowledged, so that we can devise a systematic approach to deal with this problem. But the first and foremost requirement is to acknowledge that a problem of 'Male Harassment' exists in our society." says Deepika.

But isn’t asking for a 'Men's Commission' is contradictory to their fight of Gender Neutrality Laws? "No it is not. Nobody wants to listen the other side of the story", she says.

To say then that finally Men are admitting that patriarchy has now come back to bite them too, would be right? Deepika says, "Yes. Patriarchy is not doing good to either men or women. But his is not about Patriarchy Vs. Women. You haven't created a framework where Men know that they can come out of Patriarchal notions. This is not about Men-ism. This is about Human rights. Why is it that the burden of earning a living is solely on a man, when a son is born parents feel great full that their bread-winner has born, who says that women can't work, that a women who is completely fit and fine can't share the burden of a family?"

Citing Ramayana, Sattu Jatav who works with SFF says, " Even the society during the time of Lord Ram knew better. When Lakshman cut-off Shuparnakha's nose, people knew that Lakshaman was not at fault. He did so to protect his integrity."