Revoking consent from “Martyrs of Marriage”

Here’s the email I wrote to Deepika Bhardwaj today, 22 June 2017, revoking my consent from the documentary, “Martyrs of Marriage”. Starting today, if footage pertaining to me is shown anywhere, be it in public screenings, private screenings or online or distributed through VCD/DVD or any other means, please let me know, so that appropriate action can be taken.

Thank you.

***

Deepika,

 

I am writing to you to ask you to delete my interview from your documentary film, “Martyrs of Marriage”.

 

I understand that your documentary is completely different from what you had me believe. It does not portray me in the manner that you had promised, and it completely ignores everything that I told you I stand for.
 
I have also learned that you are using the film for purposes other than those we had agreed upon, namely inspiring more people to stand up and fight, and promoting the Indian men’s movement. 
 
Raising money over and above your production costs, dubbing the film into other languages, making trips to screen it in foreign countries, monetizing it on the internet and showing the film at film festivals to build your own resume was never part of our agreement. 
 
I expect that you will respect my wish and immediately delete the portions that contain my interview. I do not permit you to use any footage of mine for any purpose from today 22 June 2017. 
 
Uma
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The real Red Pill moment

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. – Eric Hoffer

The moment one realizes this is the real “Red Pill moment”…

..and walking away from a movement you helped nurture and grow is better (and relatively easier) than watching its inevitable degeneration.

 

Latest Amendments to the DP Act Encourage and Legalize Dowry

PRESS RELEASE

Sub: Latest Amendments to the Dowry Prohibition Act Encourage and Legalize Dowry

The Ministry of Women and Child Development is moving a cabinet note seeking amendment in the existing provisions of the Dowry Prohibition (DP) Act of 1961. The amendments are expected to be placed before the cabinet for its approval at the end of January 2010 and likely to be tabled in the Parliament in the coming budget session.

The amendments include:
1.    Mandatory requirement for couples to notify the list of gifts exchanged during their wedding ceremony.
2.    The list of gifts, in the form of a sworn affidavit, has to be notarized, signed by a protection officer or a dowry prohibition officer and kept by both the parties.
3.    Failing to keep a list of gifts can invite heavy penalty including a three-year term in jail for not only the bride and the groom but also their parents.
4.    The penalty for dowry givers is reduced from five years of imprisonment to one year.
5.    The Domestic Violence Act will be linked with the DP Act for quick relief.
6.    The definition of dowry is widened by changing the word “in connection with marriage” to “given before the marriage, at the time of marriage and at any time after the marriage.”
7.    In case of a woman’s death, all property obtained as dowry would need to be reverted back to the parents of the woman or her children.

Sworn affidavit with a list of all gifts:
The new rule requiring a sworn affidavit accompanied by a list of gifts raises a lot of questions:
•    What is the legal purpose of this list and who does it benefit?
•    Does this sworn affidavit also serve as a declaration that no dowry or gifts were demanded by the husband and in-laws?
•    In the absence of such a declaration, how are the husband and in-laws protected from false allegations of dowry demand and harassment?
•    Who will ensure that this new rule is implemented given that the existing rules of the DP Act regarding dowry, gifts and marriage expenditure have not been implemented in the last 50 years?
•    Who is responsible for making sure that everyone is aware of the consequences of disobeying the rule?
•    Does ignorance of law work as an excuse to avoid punishment?

The most important question of all is this –
•    Is the affidavit with a list of “gifts” not a way of legalizing dowry?

Expansion of the definition of dowry:
The term dowry has not been clearly defined in the DP Act, and the proposed amendments do not add any clarity to the definition either. Instead, they only raise more questions and apprehensions.
•    How does one distinguish between dowry and gift?
•    What is the extent/value of “gifts” one can give?
•    When does a gift become dowry?
–    Does it happen when the marriage breaks down?
–    Does it happen when any gift is not listed in the affidavit?
–    Does it happen when the worth of the gift exceeds a certain monetary value?
–    Or is it at the discretion of the married woman and her family?
•    When the present definition of dowry itself is so unclear, what is the use of expanding the definition to items given before, during and at any time after marriage?
•    Should the parties file an affidavit at every instance gifts are exchanged at any time prior to, during and after marriage?

Property inherited, earnings and savings spent during or after marriage:
There is much talk about women being economically empowered and deserving equal rights to parental property. Given that it has become common practice for women to calculate and claim every penny or piece of wealth brought along or spent during the course of the marriage as “dowry”, the following questions arise:
•    If property is inherited or purchased by a woman before marriage is it considered dowry?
•    When an earning woman contributes towards wedding expenditure or gifts or towards the benefit of the matrimonial family after marriage, is it considered dowry?
If all the above are dowry, then
•    Are women expected to spend everything they have and then marry?
•    Are women expected to NOT contribute anything for the running of the matrimonial family?

Reduced punishment for dowry givers:
Since the introduction of DP Act in 1961, not a single person who admitted to giving dowry has been punished. Scores of persons alleged of taking or abetting the taking of dowry have been immediately arrested and tried for 5-10 years before being declared innocent.
•    Is it not a mockery of the law to reduce punishment for givers, when no dowry giver has ever been punished?
•    Does it not mean the Government is encouraging the giving of dowry?
•    How can one take dowry if nobody gives dowry?
•    Can anyone be threatened or coerced to give dowry AND marry against their will?

It is a well-known fact that most parents want to marry their daughters off to economically successful men and most women also want to marry a man who is better than them in everything. To achieve this end they indulge in lavish marriages, dowry and extravagant gifts, and when convenient, assume victimhood and accuse the husband and in-laws of “demanding” dowry.

In thousands of cases, young men and their families who take pride in opposing dowry or expensive weddings, eventually end up being booked under the anti-dowry laws when marital disputes crop up, and the bride and her family misuse the law to take revenge or extort money.

Shouldn’t the punishment for giving dowry be increased rather than reduced if the practice of dowry should be eradicated and misuse of the law prevented?

Dowry death and reverting back property, dowry and presents:
Feminists would have you believe that every unnatural or untimely death of a married Indian woman is dowry death. Not only that, the feminist hyperbole on “bride killing” and “dowry harassment” makes it look like Indian men have an uncanny propensity to commit violence on their wives for money, while men in other countries commit domestic violence for other reasons.

In reality, it is the number of registered suicides of married women which are passed off as statistics of dowry death, and even these numbers are almost always exaggerated. It has become a custom to claim that all the women have been “driven to suicide” due to dowry harassment.

It is important to note that women think about the past, present, and future earnings and savings (actual and potential) of a man before they marry. Wives routinely abuse husbands for money. More than 56,000 married Indian men end their lives every year, and a majority of them because of economic abuse. According to statistics obtained from the National Crime Records Bureau, every year, twice as many married men, compared to women, commit suicides and the deaths of these men are written off as “suicides due to financial or family problems”.

When a husband is killed due to economic abuse by his wife, the “hapless” surviving wife is legally entitled to claim his property and wealth, whereas, if a wife dies, no matter what the circumstances may be, the husband is not only accused of dowry death and punished through media slander and long-drawn court trials, but he has to also return all the wealth or property of the wife to her children or her parents.

Linking the Domestic Violence Act with DP Act for quick relief:
While logic would suggest that a woman complaining of domestic abuse should be protected by removing her from the offender(s) and the offender(s) should be punished, the Domestic Violence (DV) Act provides relief to the complainant wife in the form of monetary compensation and residence rights in home of the alleged “offender(s)”.
•    Does this not amount to encouraging women to get abused and beaten for money and residence rights?
•    Does it not tempt women to make false allegations of abuse to claim monetary and residential benefits?
•    Put another way, does it not seem to encourage husbands to commit domestic abuse and pay up to be let off the hook – in essence, the richer you are the more the unsaid “post-paid abusing privileges”?

In addition to the above, there are several other flaws with the DV Act and it is with such an ill-conceived law that another meaningless law, the DP Act, is proposed to be linked!

Government controlling giving presents:
Giving gifts is common practice at birthdays, anniversaries, farewell parties and many other occasions, and a wedding is just one of them. The Government has no right to infringe upon the rights of individuals to give presents or gifts. It cannot dictate what, when, why and to whom gifts can or cannot be given.

Having said that, for reasons only known to the lawmakers, the DP Act was introduced 50 years ago restricting the giving and taking of “dowry/presents/gifts”. Nevertheless, politicians, lawmakers, feminists, lawyers, judges, police, IAS officers and almost everyone who claim a moral high ground over common people, exchange dowry and expensive gifts and have lavish weddings.

How can such hypocrites be allowed to legislate and enforce laws like the DP Act over the common citizens of India?

The Government and women’s rights activists do not care about eradicating dowry:
The original DP Act of 1961 itself legalizes the illegal – After declaring that giving or taking of dowry is illegal, the Act adds ridiculous riders on the “return of dowry”. Through the new amendment, the Government seems to be inclined to further facilitate the so-called “evil practice”.

Madhu Kishwar, a renowned women’s rights activist, took an oath herself and invited all women’s rights activists to boycott all weddings which involve dowry or extravagant expenditure. How many weddings have any of you or anyone you know boycotted because dowry or too much expenditure was involved?

Madhu Kishwar was right when she said “feminism in India lacks integrity”. Feminists claim that 8,000 dowry deaths take place every year. They have spread the message that Indian families burn their brides for dowry as a routine practice, and it is the single most important problem that deserves International attention and funding. A fact unknown to many is that 78,000 pregnancy related deaths of women occur every year due to poverty and inability to afford proper health facilities. Are the poor women dying in the streets not a problem big enough to worry about compared to creating false statistics of dowry deaths and creating paranoia?

If the existing DP Act of 1961 is strictly implemented and if all dowry givers and those indulging in extravagant marriages are punished, the so called “dowry problem” will vanish in no time. However, this will never happen due to the many disincentives it would create in the global “Domestic Violence Industry”, the most important one being that the flow of International funding for “eliminating dowry” will cease. Not only that, the 50,000 crore market of “big fat weddings” will come to an abrupt end and hurt corporate entities and businesses, which in turn will affect politicians who control and are controlled by them. Lawyers, judges, police and anyone who thrive on the DV Industry will suffer.

The present system of ineffective anti-dowry laws works well for the Government and all the players in the “DV Industry” as it serves to project women as perpetual victims and men as habitual aggressors and to make more and more anti-male, anti-family laws and policies to woo the women vote bank.

The question before the media and all citizens is “When are WE going to realize we are being fooled, and say NO to laws like the DP Act, which have so many inherent flaws that their honest implementation will never be possible?”

In the event that the proposed amendments to the DP Act are passed, AIFWA, SIFF and APMPA would like to issue a word of caution to all men intending to get married and urge them to insist on prenuptial agreements to protect themselves from false cases when a marriage turns sour or breaks down.

PRESS RELEASESub: Latest Amendments to the Dowry Prohibition Act Encourage and Legalize DowryThe Ministry of Women and Child Development is moving a cabinet note seeking amendment in the existing provisions of the Dowry Prohibition (DP) Act of 1961. The amendments are expected to be placed before the cabinet for its approval at the end of January 2010 and likely to be tabled in the Parliament in the coming budget session.

The amendments include:
1.    Mandatory requirement for couples to notify the list of gifts exchanged during their wedding ceremony.
2.    The list of gifts, in the form of a sworn affidavit, has to be notarized, signed by a protection officer or a dowry prohibition officer and kept by both the parties.
3.    Failing to keep a list of gifts can invite heavy penalty including a three-year term in jail for not only the bride and the groom but also their parents.
4.    The penalty for dowry givers is reduced from five years of imprisonment to one year.
5.    The Domestic Violence Act will be linked with the DP Act for quick relief.
6.    The definition of dowry is widened by changing the word “in connection with marriage” to “given before the marriage, at the time of marriage and at any time after the marriage.”
7.    In case of a woman’s death, all property obtained as dowry would need to be reverted back to the parents of the woman or her children.

Sworn affidavit with a list of all gifts:
The new rule requiring a sworn affidavit accompanied by a list of gifts raises a lot of questions:
•    What is the legal purpose of this list and who does it benefit?
•    Does this sworn affidavit also serve as a declaration that no dowry or gifts were demanded by the husband and in-laws?
•    In the absence of such a declaration, how are the husband and in-laws protected from false allegations of dowry demand and harassment?
•    Who will ensure that this new rule is implemented given that the existing rules of the DP Act regarding dowry, gifts and marriage expenditure have not been implemented in the last 50 years?
•    Who is responsible for making sure that everyone is aware of the consequences of disobeying the rule?
•    Does ignorance of law work as an excuse to avoid punishment?

The most important question of all is this –
•    Is the affidavit with a list of “gifts” not a way of legalizing dowry?

Expansion of the definition of dowry:
The term dowry has not been clearly defined in the DP Act, and the proposed amendments do not add any clarity to the definition either. Instead, they only raise more questions and apprehensions.
•    How does one distinguish between dowry and gift?
•    What is the extent/value of “gifts” one can give?
•    When does a gift become dowry?
–    Does it happen when the marriage breaks down?
–    Does it happen when any gift is not listed in the affidavit?
–    Does it happen when the worth of the gift exceeds a certain monetary value?
–    Or is it at the discretion of the married woman and her family?
•    When the present definition of dowry itself is so unclear, what is the use of expanding the definition to items given before, during and at any time after marriage?
•    Should the parties file an affidavit at every instance gifts are exchanged at any time prior to, during and after marriage?

Property inherited, earnings and savings spent during or after marriage:
There is much talk about women being economically empowered and deserving equal rights to parental property. Given that it has become common practice for women to calculate and claim every penny or piece of wealth brought along or spent during the course of the marriage as “dowry”, the following questions arise:
•    If property is inherited or purchased by a woman before marriage is it considered dowry?
•    When an earning woman contributes towards wedding expenditure or gifts or towards the benefit of the matrimonial family after marriage, is it considered dowry?
If all the above are dowry, then
•    Are women expected to spend everything they have and then marry?
•    Are women expected to NOT contribute anything for the running of the matrimonial family?

Reduced punishment for dowry givers:
Since the introduction of DP Act in 1961, not a single person who admitted to giving dowry has been punished. Scores of persons alleged of taking or abetting the taking of dowry have been immediately arrested and tried for 5-10 years before being declared innocent.
•    Is it not a mockery of the law to reduce punishment for givers, when no dowry giver has ever been punished?
•    Does it not mean the Government is encouraging the giving of dowry?
•    How can one take dowry if nobody gives dowry?
•    Can anyone be threatened or coerced to give dowry AND marry against their will?

It is a well-known fact that most parents want to marry their daughters off to economically successful men and most women also want to marry a man who is better than them in everything. To achieve this end they indulge in lavish marriages, dowry and extravagant gifts, and when convenient, assume victimhood and accuse the husband and in-laws of “demanding” dowry.

In thousands of cases, young men and their families who take pride in opposing dowry or expensive weddings, eventually end up being booked under the anti-dowry laws when marital disputes crop up, and the bride and her family misuse the law to take revenge or extort money.

Shouldn’t the punishment for giving dowry be increased rather than reduced if the practice of dowry should be eradicated and misuse of the law prevented?

Dowry death and reverting back property, dowry and presents:
Feminists would have you believe that every unnatural or untimely death of a married Indian woman is dowry death. Not only that, the feminist hyperbole on “bride killing” and “dowry harassment” makes it look like Indian men have an uncanny propensity to commit violence on their wives for money, while men in other countries commit domestic violence for other reasons.
In reality, it is the number of registered suicides of married women which are passed off as statistics of dowry death, and even these numbers are almost always exaggerated. It has become a custom to claim that all the women have been “driven to suicide” due to dowry harassment.

It is important to note that women think about the past, present, and future earnings and savings (actual and potential) of a man before they marry. Wives routinely abuse husbands for money. More than 56,000 married Indian men end their lives every year, and a majority of them because of economic abuse. According to statistics obtained from the National Crime Records Bureau, every year, twice as many married men, compared to women, commit suicides and the deaths of these men are written off as “suicides due to financial or family problems”.

When a husband is killed due to economic abuse by his wife, the “hapless” surviving wife is legally entitled to claim his property and wealth, whereas, if a wife dies, no matter what the circumstances may be, the husband is not only accused of dowry death and punished through media slander and long-drawn court trials, but he has to also return all the wealth or property of the wife to her children or her parents.

Linking the Domestic Violence Act with DP Act for quick relief:
While logic would suggest that a woman complaining of domestic abuse should be protected by removing her from the offender(s) and the offender(s) should be punished, the Domestic Violence (DV) Act provides relief to the complainant wife in the form of monetary compensation and residence rights in home of the alleged “offender(s)”.
•    Does this not amount to encouraging women to get abused and beaten for money and residence rights?
•    Does it not tempt women to make false allegations of abuse to claim monetary and residential benefits?
•    Put another way, does it not seem to encourage husbands to commit domestic abuse and pay up to be let off the hook – in essence, the richer you are the more the unsaid “post-paid abusing privileges”?

In addition to the above, there are several other flaws with the DV Act and it is with such an ill-conceived law that another meaningless law, the DP Act, is proposed to be linked!

Government controlling giving presents:
Giving gifts is common practice at birthdays, anniversaries, farewell parties and many other occasions, and a wedding is just one of them. The Government has no right to infringe upon the rights of individuals to give presents or gifts. It cannot dictate what, when, why and to whom gifts can or cannot be given.

Having said that, for reasons only known to the lawmakers, the DP Act was introduced 50 years ago restricting the giving and taking of “dowry/presents/gifts”. Nevertheless, politicians, lawmakers, feminists, lawyers, judges, police, IAS officers and almost everyone who claim a moral high ground over common people, exchange dowry and expensive gifts and have lavish weddings.

How can such hypocrites be allowed to legislate and enforce laws like the DP Act over the common citizens of India?

The Government and women’s rights activists do not care about eradicating dowry:
The original DP Act of 1961 itself legalizes the illegal – After declaring that giving or taking of dowry is illegal, the Act adds ridiculous riders on the “return of dowry”. Through the new amendment, the Government seems to be inclined to further facilitate the so-called “evil practice”.

Madhu Kishwar, a renowned women’s rights activist, took an oath herself and invited all women’s rights activists to boycott all weddings which involve dowry or extravagant expenditure. How many weddings have any of you or anyone you know boycotted because dowry or too much expenditure was involved?

Madhu Kishwar was right when she said “feminism in India lacks integrity”. Feminists claim that 8,000 dowry deaths take place every year. They have spread the message that Indian families burn their brides for dowry as a routine practice, and it is the single most important problem that deserves International attention and funding. A fact unknown to many is that 78,000 pregnancy related deaths of women occur every year due to poverty and inability to afford proper health facilities. Are the poor women dying in the streets not a problem big enough to worry about compared to creating false statistics of dowry deaths and creating paranoia?

If the existing DP Act of 1961 is strictly implemented and if all dowry givers and those indulging in extravagant marriages are punished, the so called “dowry problem” will vanish in no time. However, this will never happen due to the many disincentives it would create in the global “Domestic Violence Industry”, the most important one being that the flow of International funding for “eliminating dowry” will cease. Not only that, the 50,000 crore market of “big fat weddings” will come to an abrupt end and hurt corporate entities and businesses, which in turn will affect politicians who control and are controlled by them. Lawyers, judges, police and anyone who thrive on the DV Industry will suffer.

The present system of ineffective anti-dowry laws works well for the Government and all the players in the “DV Industry” as it serves to project women as perpetual victims and men as habitual aggressors and to make more and more anti-male, anti-family laws and policies to woo the women vote bank.

The question before the media and all citizens is “When are WE going to realize we are being fooled, and say NO to laws like the DP Act, which have so many inherent flaws that their honest implementation will never be possible?”

In the event that the proposed amendments to the DP Act are passed, AIFWA, SIFF and APMPA would like to issue a word of caution to all men intending to get married and urge them to insist on prenuptial agreements to protect themselves from false cases when a marriage turns sour or breaks down.

International Men’s Day Message

INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY CELEBRATION
19 NOVEMBER 2009

Men and women across the world will be celebrating International Men’s Day on Thursday, 19 November 2009.  This year, India celebrates International Men’s Day for the third time along with 23 other countries around the globe.

Bike and car rallies are being conducted in all major cities in India to reach out to the public and encourage them to celebrate this day. In Hyderabad, a vehicle rally will start from Public Gardens at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at Hitech City around 12:00 noon.

Message for everyone on International Men’s Day

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

The above is a quote of Henry David Thoreau, who observed that most men are enslaved to their work and to those for whom they work. True to his words, everyday,

•    Men protect and provide for families.
•    Men render many services that make the society comfortable for everyone.
•    Men make many contributions to science, technology and health of all.
•    Men perform the most dangerous and difficult jobs in the world.
•    Men take risks and die to save other lives during calamities and war.

Every day and everywhere, as we are busy idolizing movie stars, athletes and other celebrities as role models, the common men around us –  the academic achievers, social leaders,  champions of the environment, artists, comedians, soldiers, farmers, fishermen, fire fighters,  and those more humble males who, on a daily basis, clean our streets, build our houses, fix our vehicles, police our streets, deliver newspapers and milk, and care for children – dedicate themselves to their work and continue to serve everyone.

On International Men’s Day, here is our message to all men:

CELEBRATE BEING MALE!
Tell your story and sing your song!
We will listen, cheer, remember and support you.

On International Men’s Day, we call upon all men and women to recognize and honor men for the numerous services they render and the innumerable sacrifices they make for the health and well-being of our families and society.

We call upon everyone to celebrate the men in our lives – our fathers, brothers, partners, sons, male friends, neighbors and colleagues.

We urge everyone to –

SAY “NO” TO MALE BASHING!
SAY “NO” TO STEROTYPING OF MEN!
REALIZE MAN IS NOT AN ATM!
STOP TREATING MEN AS UNPAID BODYGUARDS!
STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN!
UNDERSTAND MEN TOO NEED LOVE AND CARE!
UNDERSTAND MEN TOO NEED PROTECTION!
DEMAND TRUE GENDER EQUALITY!
DEMAND GENDER-NEUTRAL LAWS!
DEMAND MEN’S WELFARE MINISTRY!

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY!!!

Organizations celebrating International Men’s Day in Hyderabad

All India Forgotten Women, Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association, Mothers and Sisters Initiative, Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting, All India Men’s Welfare Association, Rishtey and Save Indian Family Foundation

19 November is International Men’s Day!!!

INVITATION FORINTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY CELEBRATION
Thursday 19 November 2009

Vehicle rally

Starting from Public Gardens at 8:30 a.m.
Ending at Hitech city around 12:00 noon

Contact: Uma Challa (9704683163), Parthasarathy (9573605415)

19 November is International Men’s Day!!!

CELEBRATE BEING MALE!
HONOUR MEN IN YOUR LIFE!
DEMAND MEN’S WELFARE MINISTRY!
DEMAND TRUE GENDER EQUALITY!
SAY “NO” TO MALE BASHING!
DEMAND GENDER-NEUTRAL LAWS!
REALIZE MAN IS NOT AN ATM!
SAY “NO” TO STEROTYPING OF MEN!
STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN!
UNDERSTAND MEN TOO NEED LOVE AND CARE!
UNDERSTAND MEN TOO NEED PROTECTION!
STOP TREATING MEN AS UNPAID BODYGUARDS!
UNDERSTAND MARD KO BHI DARD HOTA HAI!

Let us recognize and honour men for the numerous services they render and the innumerable sacrifices they make for the health and well-being of our families and society!!!

Organizations celebrating International Men’s Day in Hyderabad

All India Forgotten Women, Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association, Mothers and Sisters Initiative, Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting, All India Men’s Welfare Association, Rishtey and
Save Indian Family Foundation

Dear Uma Challa

You are utterly brilliant. You are a one woman army. Oh for a thousand like you. Keep up your blitzkrieg.

Kind Regards

Warwick Marsh

Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association – Press Release

PRESS RELEASELaunch of Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA)

Venue: Public Gardens, Opposite Jubilee Hall
Date and Time: 18 October 2009, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Mothers-in-law in our country are being severely discriminated against, neglected and subjected to all forms of domestic abuse over the last decade. Unless provisions are made to protect mothers-in-law from discrimination, domestic violence, and legal harassment, and unless steps are taken to ensure their welfare during their post-menopausal years, we will witness serious deterioration in the health conditions of aging women in the country, and reduction in their life span.

Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA) is the first ever social forum created to protect the rights and interests of mothers-in-law in Andhra Pradesh. APMPA is the Andhra Pradesh chapter of All India Mothers-in-law Protection Forum (http://www.aimpf.org) which was launched on 6 September 2009 in Bangalore, followed by the launch of local chapters in Delhi, Nagpur and Lucknow.

Mothers-in-law have historically been portrayed as evil and bloodthirsty by media and popular culture. However, it is a scientifically and also statistically established fact that mothers-in-law are unnecessarily maligned and subjected to discrimination by the society.

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) (http://www.nfhsindia.org Vol-1 Page 500) has conclusively established that a woman in the age group of 15-49 years of age faces 8 times more violence from her own mother compared to her mother-in-law. 13.7% women have faced violence from their own mother as compared to 1.7% women who have faced from their mothers-in-law.

Recent Research has shown that “daughters-in-law are programmed to hate mothers-in-law”. This is one of the most important causes of the stereotyping of mothers-in-law in the society.

Mothers-in-law are being discriminated against in spite of their generosity just for the sin of giving birth to sons and getting them married. They are being forced to part with their earnings, savings and inherited wealth and they are being thrown out of their own property at the behest of a disgruntled daughter-in-law. They are losing their mental peace and health, and many a time even their husbands and sons to untimely death or suicide when daughters-in-law indulge in making false allegations and defamation of the husband’s family. In many instances, the mothers-in-law themselves commit suicide.

Mothers -in-law in India face severe abuse from daughters-in-law:

• Physical harassment including assault, locking up the mother-in-law in a room, denying food and medication etc.
• Mental harassment including taunts, allegations, caustic comments, threatening to file police cases, disallowing communication with her son, grandchildren, defaming her and her family etc.
• Verbal harassment including name calling, insulting, abusing, etc.
• Economic abuse including extorting her money and wealth, throwing her out of her own house and forcibly occupying the house, etc.
• Legal harassment including inciting the police to threaten her, filing false cases under Dowry Prohibition Act, IPC Section 498A, Domestic Violence Act, and other related sections, sending her to jail or forcing her to run around the court for years together.
• Driving mothers-in-law to commit suicide.

The National Family Health Survey, conducted by the Ministry of Family Health and Welfare only counts women between the ages of 15-49 as women. Mothers-in-law who fall in the age bracket above 49 do not count as women, and their health and welfare is not a matter of concern for the Government of India.

While there are close to 15 laws that provide protection to daughters-in-law, mothers-in-law do not have any societal support or legal protection from any form of discrimination or abuse.

In the last four years, over 1,23,497 women, most of them being mothers-in-law, have been arrested under IPC Section 498A alone, without evidence or investigation, not for committing any crime under law, but only because they were related to a man.

Noted women’s rights activist Madhu Kishwar acknowledged that IPC Section 498A is heavily misused, and that a significant proportion of individuals who approach “Manushi” these days are mothers-in-law and husbands who are falsely accused of marital cruelty and dowry harassment.

Renowned IPS officer Kiran Bedi admitted that many poor and illiterate mothers-in-law, who are falsely charged under anti-dowry laws, are languishing in prison every year.

Several elderly women, falsely accused under IPC Section 498A (for the only crime of mothering sons and getting the sons married) approached the National Commission for Women, seeking justice. These women have long heart-rending accounts of how they are being harassed by their daughters-in-law. The NCW’s short, yet prompt and candid response to these mothers was, “Your matter does not fall under the mandate of the Commission”.

Similarly, in June 2009, a 45 year old mother-in-law was arrested in a dowry harassment case filed by her daughter-in-law. The poor lady was allegedly gang-raped in police custody, in Bhopal. The news, which was reported in leading newspapers, went completely unnoticed by the NCW or any other women’s organization that harps about fighting atrocities against women. No panel was set up. No probe was initiated and no action has been taken against this brutality perpetrated against a mother-in-law.

On 8 October 2009, a news report described the gut-wrenching tale of a 75-year-old mother-in-law, Jiwan Devi, who is another victim of societal and legal bias against mothers-in-law. Holding back her tears, here is what she said to the journalist who visited her:

“What is the point?…I and my sons were in jail for four years before we were acquitted. And my grandchildren were at the mercy of our neighbours and distant relatives. Why?… My granddaughter is 19. While all her friends are in college, she is still in class 11. This happened only because there was no one to take care of them while we were in jail. They were also in deep shock”’

There are thousands of Jiwan Devis in this country, whose lives have been destroyed, just for having given life to sons. These are the women whose woes do not fall under the agenda of the Ministry for Women and Child Development, the National Commission for Women, or any other related women’s organization, and they have nowhere to go to seek help and support for problems specifically affecting them.

APMPA will work towards the protection and welfare of such mothers-in-law in distress by creating awareness, giving them moral support and counseling. We will also urge the government to reform the present “wife-centric” domestic violence laws and demand equal protection for mothers-in-law from domestic violence.

The helpline numbers of the Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association are 9704683163, 9573605415. Mothers-in-law facing harassment from their daughters-in-law can contact these numbers.

All India Men’s Welfare Association – Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

Launch of “All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA)”
11 October 2009
Venue: Public Gardens, Opposite Jubilee Hall
Date and Time: 11 October, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. India is observing this occasion for the first time this year, and four organizations in Hyderabad – Save Indian Family Foundation, All India Forgotten Women, Rishtey and Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting – launched a month-long campaign on 2 October, the International Day of Non-Violence.

The campaign aims at educating the Indian public about how the problem of domestic violence has, for decades, been misrepresented, how domestic violence has been commercialized, and how Indian laws claiming to prevent domestic violence are actually promoting domestic violence and human rights abuses against men, women and children. We will also urge lawmakers and the Government to make appropriate reforms in laws and policies and push for gender neutral provisions to end domestic violence against men, women and children.

As part of this campaign, we are launching an “All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA)”, a National level organization based in Hyderabad, on 11 October 2009.

Why do we need an “All India Men’s Welfare Association”?

Welfare of boys and men has been seriously neglected in India over the last two decades. While proudly championing the cause of women’s rights and women’s empowerment, the government and society tacitly approved the propagation of anti-male sentiments, condoned the resultant diminution in value of men’s lives and supported blatant violation of men’s rights through discriminatory laws and policies. The growing apathy of the government and society towards the sufferings of men has necessitated the formation of an All India Men’s Welfare Association.

It has to be noted that while men still perform some of the most risky and challenging jobs in the society, and while the Government of India collects 82% of its tax revenue from men, not a single rupee has been allocated in the name of men’s welfare in the country’s budget in the last 60 years.

The National Family Health Survey, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, does not consider men’s health and welfare important. Enormous focus on women and children, and the mention of men only in relation to how they should contribute to the health and welfare of women and children, clearly indicates the apathy of the Government towards men.

The homepage of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) cites Vardhamana Mahavira, the sage of total non-violence, who said, “All beings are fond of themselves, they like pleasure, they hate pain, they shun destruction, they like life and want to live long. To all, life is dear; hence their life should be protected.”  While Mahavira’s teachings seem to have inspired the Indian Government to assign a separate ministry to look after issues of Animal Welfare through AWBI, the same Government did not see any necessity to establish a Ministry for Men’s Welfare.

Several laws have been passed in the last 60 years in the name of protection of women and their empowerment. However, there are no laws to protect boys and men from any form of abuse or harassment within and outside the home. Men are being subjected to severe discrimination under law, and their basic human rights are being violated every day in the name of more and more legal provisions that claim to empower and protect women.

Thousands of men are becoming victims of “legal terrorism” unleashed through laws like Indian Penal Code Section 498A, Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, adultery laws, laws against rape and sexual harassment, and even divorce, maintenance and child custody laws.

While society is applauding more and more women getting educated, entering the job market and challenging their traditional roles within the family and society, men are still being shackled to their traditional duties of protecting and providing for women, children and the aged.

The growing disregard and hatred against men in our society is forcing more than 56,000 Indian men to end their lives every year. According to statistics obtained from the National Crime Records Bureau, every year, twice as many married men, compared to women, commit suicides unable to withstand verbal, emotional, economic and physical abuse and legal harassment. Deaths of these men make for the brief stories we often read in newspapers stating that a certain man “killed himself due to family issues or financial problems”. While every death of a young married woman is converted into a case of dowry death leading to immediate arrest of the husband and in-laws, accompanied by media-hype, male-bashing and breast-beating, large-scale suicides of men do not cause any outrage in the society.

Domestic and social harmony will prevail only when women AND men are ensured their rightful, honorable place within and outside the home. In addition, when we ensure true gender equality under law, litigations will be reduced, legal terrorism and extortion through misuse of the law will be eliminated, and our human and financial resources can be employed for betterment of the society and the country.

The aim of AIMWA is to work towards providing protection for men and boys against gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of abuse. The organization will also focus on related issues like physical and mental health of men, and the need for social changes, policy reforms and legal solutions to men’s problems.

Restore Civil Rights to Domestic Violence Laws!

October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month”. India is observing “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” for the first time this year to make it an International event for all men’s rights and fathers’ rights groups across the world.

Please visit our blog!

Domestic Violence Awareness Month- India

Restore Civil Rights to Domestic Violence Laws!

* Have we gone too far with our “get-tough-on-crime” approach to curbing domestic violence?
* Have we become irrational in our approach to women’s empowerment and women’s rights?
* Are fundamental Constitutional rights being set aside?
* Are we now supporting violation of human rights of innocent men, women and children?

Guilty until Proven Innocent?

Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that “everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”

But…

Indian laws against domestic violence presume that the accused is guilty until proven innocent and violate universal principles of fair trial.


Mandatory Arrest?

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states that “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”.

But…

every year, over 1 lakh innocent persons (one innocent person every 5 minutes) are arrested under IPC Section 498A including 4,000 innocent senior citizens (one innocent elderly person every 2.5 hours) and 350 children (one child per day) without evidence or investigation.


Men do not need protection?

Universal Declaration of Human rights states that “all are equal before the law, and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law”.

Article 14 of the Indian Constitution declares that “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”

But…

Indian laws against domestic violence blatantly deny protection to men against any form of domestic abuse, and every year, over 56,000 married men commit suicide due to verbal, emotional, economic and physical abuse and legal harassment.


Mothers and sisters of husband not women?

Indian laws against domestic violence are touted as tools for women’s protection and empowerment.

But…

in the last four years alone, over 1,23,497 women have been arrested under IPC Section 498A alone, without evidence or investigation, not for committing any crime under law, but only because they were related to a man.

The verdict is in…

Indian taxpayers have spent lakhs to to implement draconian policies around the country. And the verdict is clear – these policies:

* Trample on Constitutional protections and human rights
* Hurt men, women and children
* Divert limited funds away from the real victims

It’s time to restore civil liberties, respect for victims, and common sense to our nation’s domestic violence laws.

Organizations across India observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

* Save Indian Family Foundation
* Save Family Foundation
* All India Forgotten Women
* Rishtey
* Gender Human Rights Society
* Protect Indian Family Foundation
* Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting

Dads on the Air focuses on Indian fathers’ issues

http://dadsontheair.net/

Tuesday 16th June 2009 – FORGOTTEN MEN  FORGOTTEN WOMEN

Uma Challa

With Special Guests:

Uma Challa and
Marijke Alida.

For the first time Dads On The Air takes a look at the family law and gender situation in India, where less than one per cent of fathers gain custody of their children after separation. Uma Challa is the founder of the group All India Forgotten Women’ and talks movingly about the damage being done to men, women and children across the subcontinent by the adoption of the West’s anti-family anti-father ideologies.

First off we begin the show talking with psychologist Marijke Alida, the organiser of this week’s ‘Fellowship of the Round Table’ forum at NSW Parliament House on the topic Family Law – Is The Man The Loser. We’ll be playing extracts of the forum’s speeches, including those from family lawyer Mark Youssef and outspoken Barbara Biggs, next week.

But this week we concentrate on India, with a fascinating interview with Uma Challa.

Listen Now (MP3)

Dowry accused gang raped in custody – AIFW demands CBI probe

10 June 2009

To,

Dr. Manmohan Singh,

Prime Minister of India,

South Block, Raisana Hill,

New Delhi – 110001.

Sub:  Demand for (a) CBI Investigation in the case of alleged rape of an elderly woman accused of dowry harassment and (b) immediate notification of The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2008.

Respected Sir,

This is to bring to your kind attention that an elderly woman accused in a dowry case was allegedly gang raped in police custody in Jamwada village, Betul Dist., Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. This incident came to light through an article entitled “Dowry accused gang raped by Bhopal cops in custody” published in the Times of India on 06 June 2009.

The above mentioned case of rape of an accused in police custody highlights serious failure of law enforcement in the country and also the horrific human rights violations perpetrated in the name of law enforcement.

Members of All India Forgotten Women (Regd.) request you to immediately order a CBI probe into the above mentioned rape case and ensure speedy justice to the victim.

In addition, we request you to please delve into the reasons why such atrocities are happening so that proper measures are taken to prevent their recurrence.

* The third report of the National Police Commission mentions that power of arrest was one of the chief sources of corruption in the police, and that nearly 60% of arrests were either unnecessary or unjustified.
* In the last four years alone, the UPA regime witnessed more than 1,23,497 women being arrested and most of them jailed under Section 498A of IPC, without evidence or investigation.
* On the other hand, statistics published by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2007 show that an overwhelming 94% of the individuals arrested under Section 498A of IPC were found not guilty.

It should be noted that the arrest of such large numbers of innocent citizens was possible only because of the unbridled powers granted to the police in India.

The previous UPA Government has to take responsibility for the arrest of thousands of innocent citizens, in addition to the above case of gang rape of an elderly woman in police custody. It is a shame that despite approval of the CrPC Amendment Bill of 2008 by the President of India, it is the UPA Government’s failure to notify the amendments which has resulted in the continued harassment of ordinary citizens by the police.

As per the amended Section 41 of CrPC, the Investigating Officer would have had to issue a notice of appearance to the accused, and obtain the permission of the concerned Magistrate to arrest her, if necessary. This provision imposes more accountability on the police while arresting the accused, and prevents the police from misusing their powers of arrest. Such a provision would have proved very beneficial in the above mentioned dowry case on an elderly woman.

The amended CrPC Bill of 2008 also requires speedy delivery of justice in rape cases, while providing utmost protection to the victim, and ensuring confidentiality of sensitive information during the case proceedings. Such provisions would be extremely useful in cases of rape, including the present instance of custodial rape of an elderly woman accused in a dowry case.

In light of the above facts, members of All India Forgotten Women (Regd.) request your Government to notify The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2008 in the Gazette of India, and ensure that its provisions are strictly implemented without further delay.

Thanking you.

Sincerely,

Uma Challa

President

All India Forgotten Women (Regd.)

Encl.:

“Dowry accused gang raped by Bhopal cops in custody”. News report from the Times of India. 06 June 2009.

Copy to:

Her Excellency. Smt. Pratibha Patil, President of India

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

Shri. Veerappa Moily, Ministry of Law & Justice

Shri. P Chidambaram, Ministry of Home Affairs

Member Secretary, Law Commission of India

Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of UPA

Smt. Krishna Tirath, Ministry of Women and Child Development

Kum. Girija Vyas, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women