Feminists bully, India Times succumbs!

India Times ran an informative poster campaign about men’s issues on International Men’s Day, 19th November, 2015.

Feminists have exposed their intolerance for any discussion about men’s issues and the celebration of International Men’s Day. They bullied India Times into retracting the article from their website and forced them to issue an apology. Here’s the apology note by India Times:

India Times apology

Ironically, India Times only recently updated its cover photo to one which says, “Not afraid”.

Not afraid

Of course you are, India Times! You are just plain afraid!

Thanks to the internet and social media though…Truth can be deleted from a website, but cannot be completely erased!

img-20151122-wa0008img-20151122-wa0007img-20151122-wa0006img-20151122-wa0005img-20151122-wa0004img-20151122-wa0001img-20151122-wa0002img-20151122-wa0003img-20151122-wa0000

Thanks to https://legalfighter.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/indiatimes-bows-down-before-feminists/#comment-3258 for saving, reproducing the posters and making them available for download.

 

Sree Krishna Janamasthaanam

Sree Krishna Janamasthaanam

The state of our prisons and the making of our Prison State

by Uma Challa

(Published by MyIndMakers)

IMG_1254-2

Media sensationalization of crimes against women is not new to India, neither is the diversely vociferous public response. Just within this decade, starting from “youth icon and female role model”, Nisha Sharma in 2003, all the way to “braveheart”, Jasleen Kaur, in 2015, we have witnessed several cases in which the media has held trials and pronounced “guilty” verdicts against the accused as soon as a complaint was lodged or an FIR was filed. We have witnessed the bloodthirsty lynching mob mentality of a sizable section of Indian public. In each instance, we have also heard quite a few sane voices on various forums, pleading the media and the public to exercise self-restraint and to allow the law of the land to take its course.

In the recent times, especially in the wake of the Rohtak sisters’ and Jasleen Kaur’s cases, enough has been said about the perils of media trials and ignorant demands for extrajudicial punishments. However, little has been said about what “law taking its course” means today, how it impacts the lives of the many who are accused, whether or not they are guilty of a crime. Much less has been said about how we have become a prison state by approving virtually every possible draconian law in the name of curbing crimes against women, condoning arbitrary arrests of ordinary citizens, and imprisoning them in deplorable conditions.

Here is the data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) showing the number of arrests made under cognizable and non-bailable offences against women, the number of accused who were pronounced guilty by the end of year 2013 and the number of undertrials under the same laws, in prisons all over India at the end of year 2013.
PrisonData-2

As seen in the above table, a total of 3,90,038 people were arrested and jailed in one year, only under the above mentioned crimes against women.

There have been a total of 15,075 convictions in one year, which is a mere 3.86 percent of the total number of arrests made only within that year, under these specific crimes against women.

Ironically, a large percentage of prison population constitutes undertrials, meaning, they are in prison without being pronounced guilty. Most of them are under detention not because they might tamper with evidence nor because they are convicted (pending appeal or otherwise). Repeated adjournments of bail hearings due to an overload of cases in courts, poverty and the resultant inability to furnish the required surety, illiteracy and ignorance about legal procedures involved in obtaining bail, shoddy investigation and corruption are the main reasons which contribute to the indefinite detention or delays in release of the accused under bail. Every year, the largest number of undertrials spend upto 3 months in jail, and the number stood at 1,05,457 in year 2013 alone. In the same year, the number of undertrials who spent between 3-6 months in jail was 59,344 and the number that spent between 6-12 months in jail was 49,155. (NCRB statistics, 2013)

The total number of undertrials specifically under crimes against women (mentioned in the table above), in prisons all over India at the end of year 2013 is 40,739.

In essence, among the 55,814 inmates imprisoned for these specific crimes against women, 73 percent are undertrials. This is in accordance with the overall picture, whereby 68 percent of all Indian prison inmates, under every crime listed in the Indian Penal Code, are undertrials.

While the total available prison capacity in India is 3,47,859 inmates, the actual total occupancy of prisons in India is 4,11,992. Thus, there are an excess of 64,133 inmates in our entire prison system, and the total occupancy rate of Indian prisons stands at 118 percent. Not only are the prisons overcrowded, but they are also understaffed.

As a result, prisons, which are, in principle, meant for isolation, and if possible reformation of socially dangerous elements, have now become places for confinement of ordinary citizens accused of all sorts of crimes regardless of their nature or gravity. Unnecessary arrests and imprisonment, and overcrowding of jails, combined with insufficient prison staff and unbearable living conditions have made prisons breeding grounds for depression, anger and violence, not to mention infectious diseases too.

Due to the overburdened judiciary, there are thousands of undertrials who stay imprisoned for periods longer than the term prescribed as punishment for their crimes. Here, it would be useful to note that of the total number of cases pending during year 2013 (including cases pending trial from the previous year), only 15.2 percent of cases have been disposed off by courts (this figure includes cases which were compounded or withdrawn and cases which have resulted in convictions or acquittals). A whopping 84.8 percent of cases remain pending at the end of year 2013. (NCRB statistics, 2013)

Under these circumstances, taking advantage of legal loopholes and biases to have men thrown in prison merely based on a complaint, without evidence, investigation or trial, is one of the easiest methods to harass them. Viewed from the perspective of radical feminist masterminds behind women-centric laws, immediate arrests and incarceration provide instant “justice” (read revenge) to “victim” (read disgruntled) women. The widespread and growing tendency to get men jailed by hook or crook probably also reflects the Indian public’s loss of faith in the legal system, the police and the judiciary. In other words, we probably have extreme faith in the slowness and inefficiency of the system, and can imagine that once someone is pushed into a legal maelstrom, they will not get out of it easily, at least not without serious bruises to their spirit if not its complete annihilation.

The viciousness of our gender-biased laws is matched only by the audacity with which they are being abused every single day and the ignorance and apathy of the public, which turns a blind eye to such misuse. While the rampant misuse of laws is being instantaneously hailed as bravery and valour, sometimes even accompanied by announcement of rewards, the misery of many souls needlessly languishing in prisons is considered “law taking its course”, even by some of the most well meaning citizens, officials, opinion makers and leaders of our country.

Here, I must make an honest admission that I was one of the well-meaning but ignorant (if not downright apathetic) citizens myself. During my childhood, I remember people referring to the prison as “Sree Krishna Janmasthaanam”. I knew about Kamsa incarcerating Devaki and Vasudeva, not because they did any harm to him, his subjects or his kingdom, but only to escape the impending consequence of his own sins, namely, death in the hands of their divine child. Despite knowing this story of Krishna, for the longest time, I thought everyone inside the prison was a thief or a thug…but that’s only until I was granted the divine (and profoundly life changing) opportunity to visit prison myself. Ever since, and for almost  a decade now, I always look at a prison, not with fear or disdain, but with a certain melancholic fondness…I see “Sree Krishna Janmasthaanam”.

On the occasion of Sree Krishna Janmaashtami, I pray for the well-being and speedy release of all those who have been wrongly incarcerated in Indian prisons.

References:

Crime in India, 2013 – Compendium: http://ncrb.gov.in/CD-CII2013/compendium%202013.pdf

Prison Statistics India, 2013: http://ncrb.gov.in/PSI-2013/PrisonStat2013.htm

Modesty of Man

“Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both”, reads Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code.

Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes a maximum sentence of two years in prison to a person convicted for outraging the modesty of a woman.

The Supreme Court of India has, on various occasions, elaborated on what modesty of a woman means. According to the apex court,

  • Modesty is a virtue which is inherent to a female owing to her sex;
  • Modesty is an attribute associated with female human beings as a class;
  • A woman, young or old, intelligent or imbecile, awake or sleeping, possesses modesty, which is capable of being outraged;
  • Modesty of a woman is outraged when the act of the offender is such that it is shocking and can be perceived as an affront to feminine decency and dignity. Example: slapping a woman on her butt, disrobing her, asking her for sexual favour etc.;
  • Mere knowledge that the modesty of a woman is likely to be outraged is sufficient to constitute the offence without any deliberate intention of outraging her modesty.
  • Section 354 will apply to all sexual acts committed or intended against a woman that stop short of penetration. (Note: The latest Criminal Laws Amendment Bill 2010 proposes to include ALL sexual acts as rape);
  • Lack of protest by a woman cannot be an alibi for the “offender” who has “outraged her modesty”.

Women’s organizations are also constantly up in arms about beauty pageants, movies and commercials indulging in “objectification” and “commodification” of women and outraging the modesty of women as a class. These gender zealots are of the firm conviction that female models and actresses are rather forced to trade their bodies and prance around half-naked purely to satisfy the perverse desires of men.

I will reserve my comments on how much I agree or disagree with the above laws or views on the modesty of a woman for a later time.

What I wish to point out here is the popular, egregious notion that men have no modesty to outrage, and the reinforcement of this view by our legislature, executive and the judiciary.

A more recent, very alarming trend spreading in India is the full blown attack on maleness and male sexuality in the print and electronic media, a phenomenon I found quite common in the United States.

Today, men and boys are routinely portrayed as idiotic, pathetic, uncouth and inferior creatures who are constantly in need of rescue by their “superior” wives, girlfriends or female relatives who are all set to overhaul them.

The society considers kicking, punching and slapping men as acceptable and even laudable behaviour on the part of women and girls.

Ridiculing male sexuality is considered harmless entertainment, and the few men and boys who protest are considered peevish and lacking in humour.

There are scores of men who, upon their modesty being outraged, resort to self-destructive behaviours such as giving in to substance abuse, depression and suicidal urges. One such “humourless” young man, incapable of handling “innocuous” attacks on his dignity and modesty, recently ended his life.

When I was growing up, I noticed that every time a woman or girl suffered injustice, insult or attack (real or perceived), in the hands of a male, someone would promptly ask the offender, “Don’t you have a mother or sister?” Men and boys in India are constantly reminded of their mother, sister and daughter no matter what another woman is pained about.

I eagerly wait for the day when women will be reminded of their fathers, brothers, sons, partners, male colleagues and friends every time they cause, commit or witness injustice, insult or injury against a man. I look forward to the day when men will shed their silence, stand up and thwart the slightest attack on the sexuality, dignity and modesty of men.

The Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill – 2010

The Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill 2010 focuses on women’s right to protection against sexual harassment at the workplace. The Bill cites their right to equality, right to life and right to live in dignity enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

The Bill and its architects patently undermine the basic truth that sexual harassment is neither about sex nor gender, that it is about power, and that a woman in power can be every bit as abusive as a man.

Most importantly, the Bill undermines the Indian Constitution and its provisions which state that men and women have the same right to equality, the same right to life and the same right to live in dignity.

The Bill implies that it is alright for men to be subjected to sexual harassment including unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, physical contact, advances, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography, sexual demand, request for sexual favours or any other unwelcome conduct of sexual nature whether verbal, textual, physical, graphic or electronic or by any other means.

The Bill requires that Committees for redressing grievances be comprised of persons “committed to the cause of women”, thus, betraying NCW’s never-ending urge to pamper the female AT ANY COST, even if it means innocent men are penalized, the law and justice dispensation system are taken for a ride, and public resources and time are squandered to satisfy the whim of a dishonest, criminal minded, depraved woman. With Committees filled with individuals “committed to the cause of women” and not to the cause of truth, law and justice, is it hard to foretell the fate of males in an institution or the society as a whole?

The Bill contains provisions for “conciliation” and “settlement” between the “aggrieved” woman and the respondent. If “conciliation” happens and “settlement” is arrived at, no further inquiry will be conducted but if “conciliation” fails and “settlement” is not arrived at, then an enquiry will be conducted.  Similarly, if the terms and conditions of “conciliation” and “settlement” are not met by the accused man, an enquiry will be conducted.

When sexual harassment at workplace is hyped as a grievous crime which warrants a special stringent law, what is the purpose of the “conciliation” and “settlement” plan? Is it not simply a new means to blackmail a man to heed to the terms and conditions of the so-called “aggrieved” woman?  In what way is this law different from dowry and rape laws, which are used as weapons of legal terrorism and extortion?

The provision for monetary compensation to the “aggrieved woman” is quite an incentive to convert harmless non-sexual interactions and consensual sexual interactions into sexual harassment as per the complainant’s convenience or whim and opens up a novel and lucrative money earning mechanism.

The Bill requires that up to one fourth of an employee’s salary, or proceeds from sale of his goods or property should be paid as compensation to the “aggrieved” woman. The liability to pay monetary compensation will be treated like arrears of land revenue, and the accused will be forced to cough up money under the threat of imprisonment and fine. In other words, the punishment for not paying compensation is bigger than the penalty for the alleged offence of sexual harassment (i.e. apology, suspension, termination of job etc.).

The NCW has outdone itself once again by inventing a new concept of “punishment”, and concomitantly, a new business model, with least regard to addressing the offence of sexual harassment or the social need to provide a secure working environment for men and women.

With such egregious provisions, will not the Bill tempt women to make false allegations of harassment to claim monetary compensation or force settlements? Will it not encourage persons to sexually harass someone and pay up to be let off the hook  – in essence, the richer the person, the more their unsaid “post-paid harassing privileges” and the easier their escape from punishment?

The Bill goes a step further to encourage women to misuse the provision as it leaves it to the discretion of the concerned organization to take action when a woman files a false complaint or furnishes false evidence.

In addition, the Bill grants immunity to misusers of the provisions by precluding all information including identities of the parties, information related to “conciliation” and “settlement”, enquiry proceedings, findings and decisions or actions from the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Bill defeats the main purpose of the RTI Act which is to maintain transparency and accountability in the system and disempowers the persons involved by violating their right to know details pertaining to their own case.

While any fair minded person would frown upon the Bill for the reasons stated above, one cannot help being appalled at the audacity and impudence exhibited by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) in making the most sexist and discriminatory remarks as a defence for not making the Bill gender neutral.  The Ministry stated –

“The overwhelming nature of sexual harassment is sexual harassment of women on account of their female sex. Harassment of men cannot be put on the same footing character wise or incidence wise. Protection of men is also not the mandate of Ministry of WCD”.

Countries around the world including the US, UK, and all member countries of the European Union have gender neutral sexual harassment prevention laws. Even Pakistan, which passed a similar Bill in January 2010, embraced the principle of gender neutrality. However, the Indian Ministry of WCD is deliberately ignoring the nature and gravity of sexual harassment, espousing the most regressive approach, and revealing its brazenly anti-male and anti-social agenda.

It is also worth perusing the track record of NCW in cases of sexual harassment against women. For instance, 3 years ago, Mrs. Archana Pandey, a middle aged Indian woman, filed a complaint of sexual harassment and attempt to rape on the UNICEF India Chief, Cecilio Adorna, and subsequently approached the NCW for assistance. The seriousness of the allegations notwithstanding, NCW adopted an apathetic and nonchalant approach leaving Mrs. Pandey to her own devices in her fight against a huge International organization. This is just one instance which exemplifies the double standards and moral bankruptcy of the principal architect of the Bill.

It should be noted that through this Bill, which smacks of desperation to pamper unscrupulous women, the NCW and WCD are taking yet another step towards disempowering women. The Bill is not only insulting to self-respecting, honest and hardworking women but it can also discourage employers from employing competent and reasonably qualified women for the fear of this proverbial “Sword of Damocles” hanging over their heads.

Thousands of concerned citizens and several organizations have sent representations requesting the Ministry of WCD to make the Bill gender neutral and to include a strict provision to address misuse. The Union Law Ministry strongly favoured the incorporation of a misuse clause to avoid situations similar to those being faced in domestic violence and dowry harassment cases.

Nevertheless, this Monsoon Session will witness the tabling of another Bill which tramples upon men and demeans women, a Bill which neither cares about preventing sexual harassment nor about providing security at the workplace, a Bill which is yet another weapon of blackmail and extortion, a Bill which promotes gender war.

If the esteemed members of the Parliament throw all caution to the wind and let this Bill pass, the country would have no choice but to brace itself and be ready to face a social Tsunami.


 

[Enter Post Title Here]

The Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill – 2010
 
The Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill (SHWB) 2010 focuses on women’s right to protection against sexual harassment at the workplace. The bill cites their right to equality, right to life and right to live in dignity enshrined in the Indian Constitution. 
 
The Bill and its architects patently undermine the basic truth that sexual harassment is neither about sex nor gender, that it is about power, and that a woman in power can be every bit as abusive as a man.
 
Most importantly, the Bill undermines the Indian Constitution and its provisions which state that men and women have the same right to equality, the same right to life and the same right to live in dignity.
 

The Bill implies that it is alright for men to be subjected to sexual harassment including unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, physical contact, advances, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography, sexual demand, request for sexual favours or any other unwelcome conduct of sexual nature whether verbal, textual, physical, graphic or electronic or by any other means.

The Bill requires that Committees for redressing grievances be comprised of persons “committed to the cause of women”, thus, betraying NCW’s never-ending urge to pamper the female AT ANY COST, even if it means innocent men are penalized, the law and justice dispensation system are taken for a ride, and public resources and time are squandered to satisfy the whim of a dishonest, criminal minded, depraved woman. With Committees filled with individuals committed to the “cause of women” and not to the cause of truth, law and justice, is it hard to foretell the fate of males in an institution or the society as a whole?

The Bill contains provisions for “conciliation” and “settlement” between the “aggrieved” woman and the respondent. If “conciliation” happens and “settlement” is arrived at, no further inquiry will be conducted but if “conciliation” fails and “settlement” is not arrived at, then an enquiry will be conducted.  Similarly, if the terms and conditions of “conciliation” and “settlement” are not met by the accused man, an enquiry will be conducted.

When sexual harassment at workplace is hyped as a grievous crime which warrants a special stringent law, what is the purpose of the “conciliation” and “settlement” plan? Is it not simply a new means to blackmail a man to heed to the terms and conditions of the so-called “aggrieved” woman?  In what way is this law different from dowry and rape laws, which are used as weapons of legal terrorism and extortion?

The provision for monetary compensation to the “aggrieved woman” is quite an incentive to convert harmless non-sexual interactions and consensual sexual interactions into sexual harassment as per the complainant’s convenience or whim and opens up a novel and lucrative money earning mechanism.

The Bill requires that up to one fourth of an employee’s salary, or proceeds from sale of his goods or property should be paid as compensation to the “aggrieved” woman. The liability to pay monetary compensation will be treated like arrears of land revenue, and the accused will be forced to cough up money under the threat of imprisonment and fine. In other words, the punishment for not paying compensation is bigger than the penalty for the alleged offence of sexual harassment (i.e. apology, suspension, termination of job etc.).

The NCW has outdone itself once again by inventing a new concept of “punishment”, and concomitantly, a new business model, with least regard to addressing the offence of sexual harassment or the social need to provide a secure working environment for men and women.

With such egregious provisions, will not the Bill tempt women to make false allegations of harassment to claim monetary compensation or force settlements? Will it not encourage persons to sexually harass someone and pay up to be let off the hook  – in essence, the richer the person, the more their unsaid “post-paid harassing privileges” and the easier their escape from punishment?

The Bill goes a step further to encourage women to misuse the provision as it leaves it to the discretion of the Organization to take action when a woman files a false complaint or furnishes false evidence.

In addition, the Bill grants immunity to misusers of the provisions by precluding all information including identities of the parties, information related to “conciliation” and “settlement”, enquiry proceedings, findings and decisions or actions from the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Bill defeats the main purpose of the RTI Act which is to maintain transparency and accountability in the system and disempowers the persons involved by violating their right to know details pertaining to their own case.

While any fair minded person would frown upon the Bill for the reasons stated above, one cannot help being appalled at the audacity and impudence exhibited by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) in making the most sexist and discriminatory remarks as a defence for not making the Bill gender neutral.  The Ministry stated –

“The overwhelming nature of sexual harassment is sexual harassment of women on account of their female sex. Harassment of men cannot be put on the same footing character wise or incidence wise. Protection of men is also not the mandate of Ministry of WCD”.

Countries around the world including the US, UK, and all member countries of the European Union have gender neutral sexual harassment prevention laws. Even Pakistan, which passed a similar Bill in January 2010, embraced the principle of gender neutrality. However, the Indian Ministry of WCD is deliberately ignoring the nature and gravity of sexual harassment, espousing the most regressive approach, and revealing its brazenly anti-male and anti-social agenda.

It is also worth perusing the track record of NCW in cases of sexual harassment against women. For instance, 3 years ago, Mrs. Archana Pandey, a middle aged Indian woman, filed a complaint of sexual harassment and attempt to rape on the UNICEF India Chief Cecilio Adorna, and subsequently approached the NCW for assistance. The seriousness of the allegations notwithstanding, NCW adopted an apathetic and nonchalant approach leaving Mrs. Pandey to her own devices in her fight against a huge International organization. This is just one instance which exemplifies the double standards and moral bankruptcy of the principal architect of the Bill.

It should be noted that through this Bill, which smacks of desperation to pamper unscrupulous women, the NCW and WCD are taking yet another step towards disempowering women. The Bill is not only insulting to self-respecting, honest and hardworking women but it can actually discourage employers from employing competent and reasonably qualified women for the fear of this proverbial “Sword of Damocles” hanging over their heads.

Thousands of concerned citizens and several organizations have sent representations requesting the Ministry of WCD to make the Bill gender neutral and to include a strict provision to address misuse. The Union Law Ministry strongly favoured the incorporation of a misuse clause to avoid situations similar to those being faced in domestic violence and dowry harassment cases.

Nevertheless, this Monsoon Session will witness the tabling of another Bill which tramples upon men and demeans women, a Bill which neither cares about preventing sexual harassment nor about providing security at the workplace, a Bill which is yet another weapon of blackmail and extortion, a Bill which promotes gender war.

If the esteemed members of the Parliament throw all caution to the wind and let this Bill pass, the country would have no choice but to brace itself and be ready to face a social Tsunami.

Memo to Commissioner of Police – Hyderabad

The following is the memo submitted to the Commissioner of Police in Hyderabad on 6 July 2010, as part of our Jail Bharo Andolan.

*****

6 July 2010

To

The Commissioner of Police

Hyderabad

Subject: Joint Memo by AIFWA and AIMWA seeking strict measures to end the misuse of anti-dowry laws.

Dear Sir,

I am writing on behalf of All India Forgotten Women’s Association – an organization dedicated to promoting true gender equality and fighting against the misuse of protections and privileges granted to women – and All India Men’s Welfare Association – an organization working for men’s welfare and fighting against all forms of discrimination and abuse against boys and men.

At the outset, we would like to thank you for allowing us to stage a peaceful demonstration in support of Sri. Ravindra Gangurde’s “Jail Bharo Andolan”. We would also like to use this opportunity to present before you, the changes we seek in the law enforcement system to check misuse of IPC Section 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act, and related wife-centric laws which presume that the accused are “guilty until proven innocent”, and have therefore turned into lethal weapons of blackmail and extortion.

Several authorities have noted that in close to 98% of cases filed under IPC 498A, the accusations are false and that the complaints were only filed with ulterior motives. Several authorities have noted the wide spread misuse of this law.

  • The Supreme Court of India termed the misuse of IPC Section 498A as “Legal Terrorism”.
  • The Delhi High Court termed IPC Section 498A “the most abused provision”.
  • The World Health Organization, in its report on India clearly cited Section 498A as one of the major reasons for the “Increasing Abuse of the Elderly in India”.
  • News reports revealed that many falsely charged, poor and illiterate women are languishing in prison every year.
  • News agencies have also reported many cases where individuals have ended their lives unable to endure the humiliation of being arrested and the trauma of fighting false cases, which typically span 5-7 years.
  • The National Human Rights Commission noted that the Tihar jail is overflowing with people falsely accused under dowry cases.

The High Court of Andhra Pradesh made several judgments commenting on the misuse of anti-dowry laws. The Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad issued standing instructions vide memo No.L&O/M6/1315/2002 to check arbitrary arrests under anti-dowry laws. The AP Police Dept. has even launched a web page entitled “Abuse of 498A” on the Dept. website. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued an advisory to all the State Governments and Union Territories on checking the misuse of Section 498A.

Nevertheless, abuse of police powers continues and lower cadre police officials keep making arrests without proper justification and only with the intent of terrorizing innocent citizens and extorting money from them under the threat of imprisonment and long-drawn legal battles.

Police routinely enter people’s homes at ungodly hours, take accused men and women into custody, and incarcerate them in the name of “protecting women from cruelty and harassment”. Innocent citizens are illegally detained, humiliated, subjected to mental and physical torture, blackmail and extortion.

Misuse of laws like IPC Section 498A are harming men, women and children of India. Due to misuse of Section 498A numerous families have been broken beyond repair and are suffering immeasurable economic hardship and emotional trauma. In addition to penalizing innocent citizens, a large backlog of false cases pending in courts prevents genuine victims of abuse from obtaining justice. The country has already incurred a huge social cost in addition to the enormous financial burden imposed on the public exchequer.

The number of fatherless children and single mothers is rapidly growing due to criminalization of marital disputes and involvement of Police in the name of “counselling”. Of late, there is also a rise in the number of suicides and spousal murders due to misuse of anti-dowry laws, unwarranted arrests and imprisonment of ordinary law-abiding citizens. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the mindless application of IPC Section 498A is making criminals out of ordinary citizens.

In light of the above-mentioned facts, members of All India Forgotten Women’s Association and All India Men’s Welfare Association, hereby, seek the following changes in the law enforcement system to check misuse of anti-dowry laws, to promote family harmony, to ensure that the innocent are protected and justice is delivered to the genuinely aggrieved irrespective of gender.

1. Ban Police involvement in marital counselling.

Marriage is a civil matter and should be treated as such. Marital issues should be dealt with utmost caution so that harmony is restored between disputing spouses. Allowing Police intervention in everyday marital issues and allowing them to indiscriminately file criminal cases on the accused husband and in-laws is resulting in destruction of families.

2. Allow no arrests without written permission of Senior Police Authorities.

It has become routine for lower cadre Police personnel to make arrests of innocent people based on mere allegations, without proof or investigation. Strict measures have to be taken so that no arrests of any of the accused (man, woman or child) are made without proper investigation and written approval of police officials of the rank of DCP or above.

3. Ensure that “dowry-givers” are promptly prosecuted.

The family members alleging “dowry torture” or “dowry killing” of their daughter should be promptly prosecuted if they allege or are found to have given dowry because according to Dowry Prohibition Act, giving dowry is also a crime.

Until the above changes are made and unless strict measures are taken to prevent lower cadre police officials from abusing their powers in the name of “protecting women from cruelty and harassment”, we would be constrained to encourage ordinary citizens to fill up prisons and not apply for bail as a sign of protest.

We hope that you will take our recommendations and suggestions into serious consideration and promote justice and fairness irrespective of gender.

Thanking you.

Sincerely,

Uma Challa

For All India Forgotten Women’s Association & All India Men’s Welfare Association

PRESS RELEASE – 6 JULY 2010 – JAIL BHARO!

Today, All India Forgotten Women’s Association and All India Men’s Welfare Association are staging a peaceful demonstration near the Women Police Station, CCS, Hyderabad, between 10:00-11:00 a.m. as a sign of protest against arbitrary arrests of ordinary law-abiding citizens under IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act and related laws. This demonstration is in support of Mr. Ravindra Gangurde’s call for a nationwide “Jail Bharo Andolan”.

It is a well-known fact that today, a husband and his kin can be arrested upon mere allegations of a wife, without any evidence or investigation under IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act, and related wife-centric laws which presume that the accused are “guilty until proven innocent”.

The real motive behind these arrests is to terrorize ordinary law-abiding citizens and to extort money from them under the threat of imprisonment and long-drawn legal battles.

It has to be noted that complaints on celebrities and influential persons are treated with utmost care, investigation to ascertain facts is given great importance, and in almost all cases arrest is avoided, whereas, ordinary law-abiding citizens are abused, threatened, blackmailed and arrested in gross violation of our Constitutional and Human Rights.

Several authorities have observed that anti-dowry laws are among the most abused laws in India:

  • The President of India, High Courts of various States, the Supreme Court of India and the World Health Organization have noted the misuse of dowry laws.
  • The National Human Rights Commission has issued guidelines to stop unnecessary arrests.
  • The Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, issued standing instructions through a memo vide No.L&O/M6/1315/2002 to check arbitrary arrests.
  • The AP Police Dept. has a web page entitled “Abuse of 498A” on their Department website.
  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued an advisory to all the State Governments and Union Territories on checking the misuse of Section 498A.

Our numerous pleas to the Government of India to stop arbitrary arrests of citizens under IPC Section 498A have fallen on deaf ears. On the other hand, new laws are always on the anvil (sexual assault, work place harassment, acid attacks etc.) which stress on immediate arrest of men upon mere accusations made by women.

Under the present circumstances, it is imperative that our fathers, brothers and sons are prepared to go to jail along with us even if they committed no crime.

“Jail Bharo” campaign is aimed at freeing ordinary law-abiding male citizens and their kin from the fear of jail and the concomitant feelings of humiliation and suffering so that they do not drive themselves into depression, ruin their health or end their own lives.

We are submitting a memorandum to the Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, today, to convey our intent to encourage people to fill up prisons and not apply for bail, unless strict measures are taken to prevent lower cadre police officials from abusing their powers in the name of “protecting women from cruelty and harassment”.

We demand a complete ban on Police involvement in marital counseling as marriage is a civil matter, and since Police intervention in everyday marital issues and allowing them to indiscriminately file criminal cases on the accused husband and in-laws is resulting in destruction of families and ruining the lives of scores of individuals.

We also demand that no arrests of any of the accused (man, woman or child) are made without proper investigation and written approval of police officials of the rank of DCP or above. The family members alleging “dowry torture” or “dowry killing” of their daughter should be promptly prosecuted if they allege or are found to have given dowry because according to Dowry Prohibition Act, giving dowry is also a crime.

NOTE: Aryan Vaid, former Mr. India and the first Indian to win Mr. International title endorses our “Jail Bharo” campaign.

Press Release – In support of Jail Bharo

PRESS RELEASE

ALL INDIA FORGOTTEN WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION (AIFWA)

&

ALL INDIA MEN’S WELFARE ASSOCIATION (AIMWA)

28 June 2010

All India Forgotten Women’s Association and All India Men’s Welfare Association, hereby, announce their support to Mr. Ravindra Gangurde’s “Jail Bharo Andolan” as a sign of protest against arbitrary arrests of ordinary law-abiding citizens under IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act and related laws. We submitted a letter today to the Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad to request for permission to stage a peaceful demonstration.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  • Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

In blatant violation of all the above rights, thousands of husbands and their families are arbitrarily arrested every year, without evidence or investigation, under IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act, and related wife-centric laws which presume that the accused are “guilty until proven innocent”.

India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has noted the misuse of dowry laws, arrest of innocent individuals and the resultant overcrowding of prisons. NHRC has urged the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to take measures against these abuses. High Courts across the country and the Supreme Court have condemned the misuse of dowry laws. The Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad issued standing instructions through a memo vide No.L&O/M6/1315/2002 to check arbitrary arrests. The AP Police Dept. has even launched a web page entitled “Abuse of 498A” on the Dept. website.

Nevertheless, abuse of police powers continues and unnecessary arrests have only been growing in the State of AP. Police routinely enter people’s homes at ungodly hours, take accused men and women into custody, and incarcerate them in the name of “protecting women from cruelty and harassment”. Innocent citizens are illegally detained, humiliated, subjected to mental and physical torture, blackmail and extortion. The honour and reputation of these accused individuals is simultaneously attacked through media trial and unrestrained slander by women’s organizations every day. Many men and women have been driven to suicide due to the trauma of false cases, arrest, prolonged trials and the resultant humiliation and financial troubles they have to endure.

According to statistics published by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2007 alone, an overwhelming 94% of the individuals arrested under IPC Section 498A were found not guilty. A closer look at individual cases under Section 498A reveals that arrests are made by lower cadre police officials without proper justification and only with the intent of terrorizing innocent citizens and extorting money from them under the threat of imprisonment and long-drawn legal battles.

Our numerous pleas to the Government of India to stop arbitrary arrests of citizens under IPC Section 498A have fallen on deaf ears. On the other hand, new laws are always on the anvil (sexual assault, work place harassment, acid attacks etc.) which stress on immediate arrest of men upon mere accusations made by women.

While it is amply clear that under the prevailing circumstances, arrest is inevitable for any man facing allegations of abuse or assault, it is imperative that our fathers, brothers and sons are prepared to go to jail along with us even if they committed no crime. Ordinary law abiding male citizens and their kin should be freed from the fear of jail and the concomitant feelings of humiliation and suffering so that they do not drive themselves into depression, ruin their health or end their own lives.

In light of the above facts, we, the All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA) and All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA), extend our support to Mr. Ravindra Gangurde, who has called for a “Jail Bharo Andolan” on 6 July 2010. On behalf of our fathers, brothers and sons, we sought the permission of the Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, to conduct a peaceful demonstration (of not more than 50 persons) near the Women Police Station, CCS, Hyderabad, between 10:00-11:00 a.m. on 6 July 2010 and personally submit a memorandum.

The following material was submitted as enclosures along with the letter:

1)    English translation of letter from Mr. Gangurde calling for “Jail Bharo Andolan”.

2)    Article from Sunday Indian; Dowry Law Sec 498(A) – How and why the law is an ass. (Special Report – English)

3)    Memo issued by Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad – No.L&O/M6/1315/2002. (Hyderabad CP’s Memo)

4)    A.P. Police webpage on “Abuse of 498a”. (AP Police – Ladies Special)

5)   Letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs to Mr. Gangurde.

Jail Bharo Andolan

28 June 2010

To

The Commissioner of Police

Hyderabad

Subject: Request for permission to stage a peaceful demonstration in support of Mr. Ravindra Gangurde’s “Jail Bharo Andolan” – All India Forgotten Women’s Association and All India Men’s Welfare Association

Sir,

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  • Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

In blatant violation of all the above rights, thousands of husbands and their families are arbitrarily arrested every year, without evidence or investigation, under IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act, and related wife-centric laws which presume that the accused are “guilty until proven innocent”.

India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has noted the misuse of dowry laws, arrest of innocent individuals and the resultant overcrowding of prisons. NHRC has urged the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to take measures against these abuses. High Courts across the country and the Supreme Court have condemned the misuse of dowry laws. The Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad issued standing instructions vide memo No.L&O/M6/1315/2002 to check arbitrary arrests. The AP Police Dept. has even launched a web page entitled “Abuse of 498A” on the Dept. website.

Nevertheless, abuse of police powers continues and unnecessary arrests have only been growing in the State of AP. Police routinely enter people’s homes at ungodly hours, take accused men and women into custody, and incarcerate them in the name of “protecting women from cruelty and harassment”. Innocent citizens are illegally detained, humiliated, subjected to mental and physical torture, blackmail and extortion. The honour and reputation of these accused individuals is simultaneously attacked through media trial and unrestrained slander by women’s organizations every day. Many men and women have been driven to suicide due to the trauma of false cases, arrest, prolonged trials and the resultant humiliation and financial troubles they have to endure.

According to statistics published by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2007 alone, an overwhelming 94% of the individuals arrested under IPC Section 498A were found not guilty. A closer look at individual cases under Section 498A reveals that arrests are made by lower cadre police officials without proper justification and only with the intent of terrorizing innocent citizens and extorting money from them under the threat of imprisonment and long-drawn legal battles.

Our numerous pleas to the Government of India to stop arbitrary arrests of citizens under IPC Section 498A have fallen on deaf ears. On the other hand, new laws are always on the anvil (sexual assault, work place harassment, acid attacks etc.) which stress on immediate arrest of men upon mere accusations made by women.

While it is amply clear that under the prevailing circumstances, arrest is inevitable for any man facing allegations of abuse or assault, it is imperative that our fathers, brothers and sons are prepared to go to jail along with us even if they committed no crime. Ordinary law abiding male citizens and their kin should be freed from the fear of jail and the concomitant feelings of humiliation and suffering so that they do not drive themselves into depression, ruin their health or end their own lives.

In light of the above facts, we, the All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA) and All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA), would like to extend our support to Mr. Ravindra Gangurde, who has called for a “Jail Bharo Andolan” on 6 July 2010 (letter attached). On behalf of our fathers, brothers and sons, we seek your kind permission to conduct a peaceful demonstration (of not more than 50 persons) near the Women Police Station, CCS, Hyderabad, between 10:00-11:00 a.m. on 6 July 2010 and submit a memorandum to you personally at the Commissionerate of Police in Basheerbagh.

We look forward to your favourable response at the earliest.

Thank you,

Uma Challa

President

All India Forgotten Women (Regd.)

Encl:

1)    Letter from Mr. Gangurde calling for “Jail Bharo Andolan”.

2)    Article from India Post; Dowry Law Sec 498(A) – How and why the law is an ass. (Special Report – English)

3)    Memo vide No.L&O/M6/1315/2002, issued by Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad. (Hyderabad CP’s Memo)

4)   A.P. Police webpage on “Abuse of 498a”. (AP Police – Ladies Special)

5)   Letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs to Mr. Gangurde

Fathers’ Day becoming Fatherless Day

Press Release

On the occasion of Fathers’ Day – 20 june

Subject: Fathers’ Day becoming Fatherless Day

Fathers’ Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June every year, but for many children 20th June will be a Fatherless Day this year.

Every year more and more children are becoming fatherless thanks to the Family Courts which grant sole and total custody of children to mothers, with total disregard to the love and affection that fathers and children have towards each other.

Fathers are denied custody as a rule rather than an exception. If at all visitation is ordered to fathers, it is limited to 30 minutes or 1 hour in a month contrary to the requirement of the UN resolution that no child should be denied access to either parent.

Indian Family Courts appear to have declared a war against fathers and are adopting every possible means to create a “fatherless society” and to reduce men to mere ATM machines and sperm donors.

Cases filed in Family Courts linger on indefinitely while wives enjoy full custody of children, interim maintenance and child support at the expense of husbands.

The attitude of the Family Courts in the matters of ordering child custody/visitation, maintenance and alimony is completely biased against husbands. Even in the few cases where fathers manage to obtain visitation rights, no action is taken against mothers who disobey the orders. On the other hand, fathers who try to visit their children are accused of trying to kidnap their own children.

While there is much emphasis on a wife’s rights on husbands and children, no order is passed on the responsibilities of a wife towards herself and her matrimonial family. Husbands, on the other hand, are heaped with disproportionate responsibilities with no rights over their wives or children.

The brazenly anti-male mindset of Indian Family Courts is making it a crime to be born male in India. The continued onslaught on men and manhood is gradually destroying the faith of men on the system of marriage and societal values as a whole. As a result many men are being forced to commit suicide or shun marriage altogether paving the way for a fatherless society full of single mothers in the future.

We strongly denounce the attitude of the Family Courts which consider children as the exclusive property of the mother and totally deny access to the father and his family. We strongly condemn the belief of the Family Courts that the husband alone is bound to earn and maintain his wife and children, even though the wife is either earning or sufficiently qualified to earn.

Family Courts should ensure that fathers are given equal custody and unhindered access to children that mothers enjoy. The practice of showing children for 30 minutes or 1 hour like a TV show to a father without providing him an opportunity to demonstrate his fatherly care and affection should be done away with.

The practice of passing orders for monetary compensation should be done away with and instead, both parents should be directed to share the responsibilities like buying medical insurance, paying the school fee, purchasing clothes, books etc., for children based on their respective and combined financial capacities.

AIMWA led a Nationwide Boycott of Family Courts on 18th June 2010, to highlight the above issues. A peaceful protest was held in the Nampally Court premises. A memorandum was submitted to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of High Court of AP and the Principal Judges of Family Courts in the city stating that the demands we made were just and reasonable and that the non-implementation of our demands will result in serious consequences to men, women, children, families and the society as a whole. Over 400 fathers and 50 supporters have signed the petition containing out demands in the Family Courts in Hyderabad.

Fathers’ Day – Memorandum

Memorandum

On the occasion of Fathers’ Day

18th June, 2010

To

Sri Nisar Ahmad Kakru

Hon’ble Chief Justice

High Court of Andhra Pradesh

Subject: Seeking justice for Fathers and Children separated due to marital discords

Hon’ble Justice Kakru,

We seek your personal and valuable intervention in setting right the gross injustice being done to men and children in matters of matrimonial conflicts where custody of children is granted only to women, with total disregard to the love and affection that fathers and children have towards each other.

Fathers are denied custody as a rule rather than an exception. If at all visitation is ordered to fathers, it is limited to 30 min or 1 hour in a month contrary to the requirement of the UN resolution that no child should be denied access to either of the parents.

We are constrained to bring to your notice that Indian Family Courts appear to have declared a war against fathers and are adopting every possible means to create a “fatherless society” and to reduce men to mere ATM machines and sperm donors.

Family Courts have adopted the unhealthy practice of

  • Depriving fathers of the right to love and care for their biological children.
  • Forcing fathers to pay huge sums of money to support children they are not allowed to see.
  • Encouraging false allegations of abuse to paint fathers as unfit parents.
  • Permitting multiple legal battles to eliminate biological fathers from their children’s lives.
  • Passing ex-parte orders based solely on the allegations made by a child’s mother.
  • Allowing mothers to brazenly disobey visitation orders without legal repercussions to them.
  • Allowing biological fathers to be labelled “kidnappers” for trying to make contact with their own children.
  • Prolonging custody/visitation matters for years, thereby driving fathers into financial and emotional bankruptcy and forcing them to give up the desire to see their children.

Cases filed in Family Courts linger on indefinitely while wives enjoy full custody of children, interim maintenance and child support at the expense of husbands.

The attitude of the Family Courts in the matters of ordering child custody/visitation, maintenance and alimony is completely biased against husbands.

While there is much emphasis on a wife’s rights on husbands and children, no order is passed on the responsibilities of a wife towards herself and her matrimonial family. Husbands, on the other hand, are heaped with disproportionate responsibilities with no rights over their wives or children.

The brazenly anti-male mindset of Indian Family Courts is making it a crime to be born male in India. The continued onslaught on men and manhood is gradually destroying the faith of men on the system of marriage and societal values as a whole. As a result many men are being forced to commit suicide or shun marriage altogether paving the way for a fatherless society full of single mothers in the future.

We request the Hon’ble Chief Justice to ponder over these issues and contribute towards promoting a congenial atmosphere in the Family Courts for men, women and children.

On the occasion of Fathers’ Day, we wish to make the following demands:

Reforms in Mediation Counseling and Pleadings:

  1. The presence of and pleadings by Advocates in the Family Court and mediation process should be eliminated as mandated by the Family Courts Act.
  2. Persons who are professionally qualified and have a balanced perspective on family and society should be appointed as counsellors and mediators.
  3. Counsellors and mediators should be adequately compensated fixing a rate of at least Rs. 20,000 per case, made payable by the spouses equally.
  4. Mediators should be given exclusive powers to decide on dates and adjournments and should be required to conduct mediations and counselling throughout the year without holidays.
  5. No in-camera and chamber proceedings should be held unless absolutely necessary and the purpose duly recorded in the Court register.

Perjury

  1. Courts should order perjury and contempt proceedings in case of exaggerated statements and false allegations or affidavits related to employment, earnings, cruelty etc. when such allegations are proved to be false.
  2. Spouses making false allegations should be punished under the appropriate sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Child Custody matters:

Family Courts should ensure that both parents are given equal custody of children irrespective of the accusations of either party (such as a mother being adulterous or a father being a drunkard). The practice of showing children for 30 minutes or 1 hour like a TV show to a father without providing him an opportunity to demonstrate his fatherly care and affection should be done away with. We strongly denounce the attitude of the Family Courts which consider children as the exclusive property of the wife and totally deny access to the husband and his family while passing interim and final orders.

We strongly condemn the belief of the Family Courts that the husband alone is bound to earn and maintain his wife and children, even though the wife is either earning or sufficiently qualified to earn.

The practice of passing orders for monetary compensation, should be done away with and instead, parents should be directed to share the responsibilities like buying medical insurance, pay the school fee, purchase clothes, books etc., for children based on their respective and combined financial capacities.

The following steps should be immediately taken by Family Courts across the country to uphold the rights of fathers and ensure the welfare of children:

  • Special fast-track courts should be set up at the earliest to deal with custody issues.
  • Exclusive, fully functioning Divisional Bench should be set up in all High Courts and Supreme Court to hear appeals in matters of child custody.
  • When a person or couple approaches court for divorce, counseling of the parents by professional counselors should be given first priority.
  • Except in extreme cases of violence or unhealthy behavior by either partner, children should be given equal and meaningful access to both parents and grandparents on both sides.
  • Both parents should be given financial responsibility of the child proportionate to their earnings and not based on demands made by either partner.
  • If a partner prevents a child from having equal and meaningful contact with the other partner, they should be counseled first to understand the importance of equal parenting and the best interest of a child.
  • If either partner repeatedly disobeys orders of equal access and meaningful contact with children, then the children should be placed in the full custody of the partner who will allow equal access to the other parent.

We submit that our demands are just and reasonable and that the non-implementation of our demands will result in serious consequences to men, women, children, families and the society as a whole.

We enclose, herewith, the petitions signed by hundreds of fathers in the Family Courts in Hyderabad.

We look forward to your prompt intervention and necessary action in this regard.

Sincerely,

President

All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA)

CC:

1. Hon’ble Principal Judge

    Family Court

    City Civil Court, Hyderabad

    2. Hon’ble Principal Judge

      Family Court

      City Civil Court, Secunderabad

      3. Hon’ble Principal Judge

        Family Court

        Ranga Reddy Dist. Court, L.B. Nagar

        4. Hon’ble Principal Judge

          Family Court

          Nampally, Hyderabad