Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj is a renowned Indian journalist and a men’s rights activist. She also works as a documentary filmmaker. She came into the limelight after making a documentary titled ‘Martyrs of Marriage (MoM)’ that was based on the dowry abuses by the brides and their families, which is punishable under the criminal section 498A (Anti-dowry law) of Indian law. She was also involved in covering the conspiracy of the viral video of alleged dowry victims ‘Rohtak sisters’ by arranging the proofs and interrogating the witnesses.
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Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj was born on Thursday, 4 December 1986 (age 35 years; as of 2021). In 2006, she completed her B.Tech degree from the Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences (TITS), Haryana. In 2009, she earned a post-graduate Diploma in television journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Karnataka.
Height (approx.): 5′ 2″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Her parents’ names are not known.
After completing her education, she worked at Infosys as a software engineer from 2006 to 2008. In 2009, she produced a documentary titled Gramin Dak Sevak. After the release, this documentary won the student film award at Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival. Since November 2010, she has been working at Exchange4Media as an editorial consultant. Deepika claims that she and her cousin was charged by her ex-sister-in-law in a false case of section 498A after her marriage. She further alleges that the case was resolved out of the court that involved a large amount of money. These false allegations led her to join the Save Indian Foundation Movement, and since then has been working with them for amending the law to a gender-neutral version or to revoke the law. However, the women rights group have already accepted that this law has also been decriminalised to a large extent. Her personal real-life situations motivated her to make a documentary on this issue. In 2017, she produced and directed a documentary ‘Martyrs of Marriage’ that exposed the misuse of IPC 498A which is an anti-dowry law that fights for the rights of both men and women who were made the victims by the law abusers. She exclaimed in an interview about the success of her documentary,
Since the documentary was released, I have received endless messages expressing gratitude and appreciation for the same.”
In July 2019, Deepika Bhardwaj protested against the forged sexual harassment cases. In the same year, she stood in support of the #MeToo movement in India. She also penned an article titled,
How the me-too movement turned men into disposable or collateral damage, sacrificable at the altar of the idea of protecting women.”
In 2019, she also exposed the Rohtak sisters viral video controversy that was held in 2014. She interviewed and consulted several witnesses for the case, and later, she released the video that held the accusers untruthful. In the same year, Deepika Bhardwaj protested for the initiation of a law that would work for the issues related to men in India named the ‘National Commission for Men in India.’ These laws are specifically demanded to curb fake domestic violence cases and sexual assaults. In an interview with DNA, she was asked that how she felt when the women activists blamed her for supporting men victims. She revealed,
It is ironic that the same women’s rights activists, who call themselves feminists, say they stand for gender equality, but as soon as it comes to men’s victimisation, they dismiss the conversation citing numbers. It is sad. I don’t think it has to be a men vs women war. I think it is about justice, irrespective of gender.”
Deepika Bhardwaj is a public motivator. She is often seen delivering motivational speeches on various public speaking platforms including TEDx.
Several Indian news channels often invite Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj to their debate shows.
Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj stated in an interview that her family became the victim of false accusations in 2011. She narrated,
In the year 2011, my family became a victim of false accusations of dowry and domestic violence. Even though no case was filed against us because we settled the matter, albeit on our terms, succumbing to the blackmail due to fear left a huge impact on my mind and my life because I saw my most loved ones suffer.”
Deepika Bhardwaj stated an incident when she was indulged in trouble while helping men in need. She further added that she had an FIR against her while helping a man and his victim father. In an interview, she disclosed,
I had an FIR registered against me by a man’s wife in Lucknow because I asked this guy to take action against her as she had morphed his father’s photo on a dog and posted it on Facebook. I had tagged that man publicly on Facebook and I guess his wife saw it and felt enraged.”
In a conversation with the media house, Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj stated that she did not care for the feminists who spoke wrong about her as he fights for the rights of innocent men who were accused by their wives of false allegations. She narrated,
The day I started in this space, I knew I was doing something which was politically incorrect, risky, unpopular and looked down upon. I started my journey in a year when the entire country was boiling because of the brutal assault and rape of a young woman. Who on earth would think of talking about men in those circumstances? But I did because it was necessary.”
Deepika Bhardwaj is the recipient of the Purushath award.
Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj claims that everyone should have listened irrespective of gender. In an interview, she accepted that she chose to be the voice for the men. She said,
The wrong needs to be spoken about irrespective of the gender. As a woman I decided to be the voice for men as I know that if a man voices for his rights, he is generally mocked at in the society.”