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

Trial By Media is Violation of Human Rights

Press Release

Sub: Petition to the A.P. State Human Rights Commission to stop telecast/publication of marital disputes as news, spreading half-truths and lies, conducting media trial, and defaming the accused men and relatives

All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA), Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA) are submitting a petition to the A.P. State Human Rights Commission regarding print and electronic media telecasting/publishing lies and half-truths about family disputes between husbands and wives in the name of news, and resorting to defamation of husbands and their family members by calling them criminals, crooks, cheats, frauds, blood-thirsty demons, money-hungry wolves, and similar terms merely based on the self-serving statements of a complainant wife, thus damaging to the dignity of accused persons.

It has become a regular practice for Newspapers and TV News Channels to publish/telecast disputes between wives and husbands and matters which are subjudice or under investigation, in the name of news. Every news story of this nature has certain common elements –

  • Portraying the wife as weak, helpless creature having low self-esteem, but flawless in their interactions with the husband and his family members, and as innocent victims of the evil practice of dowry.
  • Portraying the husband and his kin as criminal-minded, sadistic persons who constantly harass the young wives for dowry.
  • Channels competing with each other to invent new terms to paint the husband and his family members as the worst villains.
  • Making assumptions about the guilt of the husband and his family members merely based on allegations of the complainant wife.
  • Passing generalized remarks demeaning all men.
  • Passing verdicts about the appropriate punishment for the accused husband and his family members.

News Channels have been pitching a wife as a damsel in distress and the husband and his family members as crooks and pitting them against each other for jerking the last drop of tear out of the viewers’ eyes and to arouse unjustified anger against the accused, to keep the viewers glued to their TV sets and boost the TRPs of the respective Channels.

Newspapers and News Channels, through their gut-wrenching commentary, are building unnecessary pressure on the Police and Judiciary, prejudicing the viewers and making the society arrest-hungry.

Such irresponsible reporting of sensational lies and half-truths on disputes between a married couple, in the name of news, causes immeasurable damage to the accused, most of whom are decent, law-abiding citizens, and also have their version of the story which they may or may not want to share with the media. The media, emboldened by the dysfunctional judiciary brazenly resorts to damaging the reputation of the accused knowing well that a person already embroiled in court cases which will take years for disposal, may not take a chance and file a case of damages or defamation.

Conducting trial by media by publishing/telecasting one-sided versions or forcing the husband and his family to face the TV camera under the threat or risk of being discredited, making unsubstantiated allegations and defamatory statements against the accused, giving derogatory titles to the accused, conducting media trial and passing one-sided verdicts, thus discrediting the accused before the case has been heard or concluded in the Court, all amount to violation of the human rights of the accused. In addition, making generalized statements demeaning all men also amounts to blatant violation of the human rights of fifty percent of the country’s population.

The physical and mental health of many accused individuals, especially elders, are affected because of maligning their personal and family reputation and many young men, their sisters and their aged parents have committed suicides unable to withstand the trauma caused by media trial and defamation in addition to prolonged uphill legal battles.

We are appealing to the A.P. State Human Rights Commission to please render justice to victims of media malice by

1) directing all newspapers and news channels to stop publishing/telecasting of family disputes between wife and husband as news.

2) directing all newspapers and news channels to stop making one-sided statements and conducting media trial on an accused husband and his family members.

3) directing all newspapers and news channels to render a public apology for giving horrendous titles to an accused husband and his family members.

4) directing all newspapers and news channels to stop making derogatory statements on men as a group and to render a public apology for the damage already done to the reputation of men as a group.

5) issuing directives such that in case the accused husband or his family members commit suicide unable to bear the trauma of media trial and public humiliation, the respective Newspapers and TV Channels will be required to compensate and pay for the defamation and damages, without the need for the victims of media-trial having to fight another tedious losing legal battle against powerful media houses.

6) issuing directives to stop media Discussions on ANY matter which is subjudice or under investigation, especially those related to family disputes, and the Hon’ble Forum may make provisions to file suo moto cases of contempt of court in case of violation of this directive.

Invitation for International Day of Families – 15 May 2010

INVITATION

All India Forgotten Women’s Association, India Kudumba Padukku Iyakkam, All India Men’s Welfare Association & True Equity Network (TEN) India invite you for a Seminar on

International Day of Families – 15 May 2010

10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Press Club, Basheerbagh

Seminar Topic

INDIAN FAMILY THREATENED – CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES & THE WAY AHEAD

Pearl S. Buck once wrote,

“The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due…to their isolation from the larger family unit…no mere father and mother…are enough to provide emotional security for a child.  He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond…”

  • How much longer before similar words will be said with reference to India?
  • Are we already there?
  • What do we do now and where do we go from here?

Please join us as we discuss these important questions and pass a joint resolution to restore life, health and longevity to the Indian Family.

Sincerely,

All India Forgotten Women’s Association

India Kudumba Padukku Iyakkam

All India Men’s Welfare Association

True Equity Network (TEN) India

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES – 15 MAY 2010

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES – 15 MAY 2010

On the occasion of International Day of Families – 15 May, 2010, All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), India Kudumba Padukku Iyakkam (IKPI), All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA) and  True Equity Network (TEN) India are organizing a Seminar to discuss  the various threats faced by the Family in India, the consequences of systematic destruction of the Family, and what we need to do to check the alarming trend of rising number of divorces, single mothers, fatherless children, and disintegrated families.

The United Nations adopted 15 May as the International Day of Families in the year 1994. This day is meant to highlight the importance of the Family in the society. The logo of International Day of Families consists of a solid green circle depicting the society, with an image of a house and a heart in red in the centre. This symbolizes the fact that families are the centre and the heart of the society, and the society should nurture the Family which provides a stable and supporting home for people of all ages.

The much envied Indian family structure is, in fact, based on mutual tolerance and coexistence of persons belonging to different generations, and provides safety and security to individuals at all stages of life. The larger family also acts as a buffer to mitigate everyday stress and helps minimize conflicts between inexperienced married couples. This stable and time-tested cultural institution has suffered the most serious assaults due to the export of family-breaking ideologies originating in the Western world. As a result, the big fat Indian weddings are getting bigger while marriages are getting weaker and shorter. Houses are getting bigger while the hearts are shrinking and the Indian household is shattering into pieces.

Sadly, the United Nations, while observing a special day to highlight the importance of families, is simultaneously contributing to the destruction of the family in many countries around the world, including India, by sponsoring policies and laws which are harmful to the Family.

Criminalization of marriage and family relationships

Several decades ago, under the garb of equality, the communists and feminists the world over have undertaken the systematic destruction of the Family. They have portrayed marriage and family as oppressive institutions for women. They have projected understanding and tolerance to build harmonious marital relationships as a form of slavery. They have portrayed men as criminals and aggressors, and women and children as hapless victims who need to be rescued from them. They have pushed for importing of senseless anti-family laws to India, without any heed to cultural relevance, social consensus, or the presence of a suitable law enforcement system for their proper implementation.

Today, marital interactions in India have been criminalized, so much so that upon the mere complaint of a married woman alleging cruelty or abuse, the husband and his family members are arrested and jailed, without evidence or investigation. Every year thousands of decent men and their family members are confronted with the shocking reality that today, being born a man, giving birth to a male child, or sharing a womb with one is a crime.

In India, marriage is a crime if you are a man, as there is not a single action a husband might do or not do that does not qualify as an offence, and cost not only him, but even his parents and siblings dearly. IPC Section 498A, Domestic Violence Act, Dowry Prohibition Act, and a slew of one-sided laws enshrined in the “Family Law”, are all designed to criminalize an ordinary law-abiding citizen. It is no surprise that the apex court of India observed that the Hindu Marriage Act is breaking more families than uniting, and that IPC Section 498a has unleashed “legal terrorism” in the country.

New weapons of family destruction or more lethal versions of existing ones are always on the anvil, thanks to anti-male, anti-family organizations, and one is never sure when and how they will strike another death blow on the family.

Legal Sanction of homosexual relationships, live-in-relationships, pre- and extra-marital relationships

After creating various fetters to discourage heterosexual marriage and  normal family relationships, there is an upcoming trend of granting legal sanction to hitherto unacceptable homosexual relationships, live-in-relationships, pre- and extra-marital relationships through outrageous remarks and judgments by the judiciary, and even laws made by our elected representatives.

Sexual Freedom i.e. an individual’s right to have unrestrained sex with anyone appears to be the basis for women’s rights. The National Commission for Women (NCW) encourages adultery by women by seeking legal measures for an adulterous wife to claim maintenance from her husband. In other words, a husband is obliged to maintain a woman who is sleeping with someone else! Also, adultery by a man is a criminal offence, but adultery by a woman is, at best, equivalent to a woman’s sexual expression and liberation, and at worst, a civil wrong.

While the NCW is spearheading a sexual revolution, ultra-liberal celebrities like Khushboo are encouraging women to abandon the ideals of premarital virginity and marital fidelity as vestiges of worthless Indian morality. According to them, promiscuous sex should be seen as a morally indifferent and innocuous source of pleasure. How innocuous this source of pleasure can be is indicated by the rates of teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion and foeticide, illegitimacy, and adolescent crime in the Western countries.

American author and judge, Richard Posner, aptly notes in his book Sex and Reason, the “freer women are sexually, the less interest men have in marriage.” With demands for maintenance to an adulterous wife, one should not be surprised, if, in a few years, Indian men, on a large scale, will shun marriage like their Western counterparts, as marriage is not a necessary ticket to a woman’s bedroom. NCW seems to want to transform women into easily disposable sex objects so that there are more and more abandoned, destitute, frustrated, angry women, who hate themselves and men, and NCW’s survival is guaranteed for many more generations.

Promoting a fatherless society

Enjoying the love and affection of both parents is not only a basic right of children, but it is also important for a child’s normal development. Disregarding children’s welfare and best interest of children, anti-family laws have been designed to violate a child’s right to the love and affection of both parents.

Statistics from the United States reveal that, compared to children in intact families, children in fatherless homes are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away from home.
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape.
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances (become drug addicts)
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

In addition, 3 million teenage girls have sexually transmitted diseases, and at least 1 out of 4 teenagers in the age bracket 14-19 suffers sexually transmitted diseases.

While there is ample evidence to show that children need both parents, Indian “family laws” have stolen the right of a father to love and care for his children, but impose unlimited financial responsibilities on the father. Giving unfettered right of access to children to the mother and little or no visitation to the father is the order of the day. Custody laws allow for passing of ex-parte orders to take away the custody of a child from the father on the sole basis of the self-serving affidavits of a complainant woman. In fact, false allegations of abuse are made and cases filed under IPC Section 498a and Domestic Violence Act as a means to strategically eliminate fathers from children’s lives.

The few fathers who succeed in getting visitation orders are left with just the paper orders which even the courts which passed them are unable to uphold if disobeyed by the mother. Fathers who try to make contact with their own children are labelled kidnappers and are constantly under the fear of being arrested unless they give up their desire to see their children.

Why this trend continues and who benefits?

The realization of the communist’s and feminist’s dream of female sexual revolution, responsibility-free relationships, and fatherless homes comes with a huge price tag, which includes the destruction of marriage and the family, increase in the number of illegitimate children, legitimate but fatherless children, juvenile and adolescent crime, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, and numerous abandoned and frustrated women. There is also an increase in the number of men committing suicide or murdered by abusive or adulterous spouses.

These dangerous trends continue because most common men are unaware of what is brewing in the name of women’s rights and empowerment. Many of those who are aware think, “I am a good person, and those who are complaining must have done something to deserve the suffering”. Most others think this hue and cry about destruction of the family is a joke. It is certainly no joke, and the thousands of men who have been jailed along with their families, rendered homeless and deprived of their children will tell you why. If not, you can be sure that before you realize it, your own family or a family you know could fall prey to the vicious agenda of radical ideologues.

These harmful trends prevail because people are ignoring the fact that marriage and monogamy are a result of social evolution with inherent benefits and costs to both sexes, involving a lot of compromises and adjustment. Many do not understand that partner violence is a reality but it happens because of three reasons (1) Psychological problems (2) Addictions and (3) Criminal tendencies. Many do not realize that majority of partner violence occurs due to the first two reasons, that violence due to criminal tendencies is very rare, and most importantly, that partner violence is not gender-driven.

Meanwhile, everyday, scores of marital discords are being escalated into criminal cases and legal battles. They give a sense of instant gratification, revenge or a false feeling of control to a disgruntled woman and her family, but in reality, the only people who benefit from this are middlemen – women’s organizations, police, lawyers, judicial officers and court staff – who are eagerly scavenging to get rich at the expense of the decaying family system, not realizing its consequences to their own families and the future generations.

The way ahead

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” It also states, “men and women,…, are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.”

The import of destructive feminist ideologies and anti-family laws has broken many Indian homes, depriving children of a healthy childhood. A report by the World Health Organization cited misuse of anti-family laws as a major factor contributing to the increasing abuse of the elderly in India. Many 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. Many young men have lost the most productive years of their lives fighting false allegations of abuse. There are also an increasing number of unhappy single women and mothers, as the one and only institution that had served as the source of constant support and protection for the woman is now under severe threat.

Unless all responsible citizens rise up against the tyranny of anti-family laws and the system that implements them, there is no hope of survival for the Indian Family.

On the occasion of International Day of Families, AIFWA, IKPI, AIMWA and TEN-India will be passing a joint resolution to restore fairness in the family laws and their implementation, and also to stress on a Domestic Harmony Act, in place of all the family-breaking laws.

A Joint Action Committee will be formed comprising of all NGOs across the country working towards gender-neutral, family-friendly laws to draw up a detailed memorandum with our observations and recommendations to the Ministry of Law and Justice on all marriage and family-related laws including the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act, Guardians and Wards Act, CrPC  Section 125, Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act and Domestic Violence Act.

We appeal to the Government, media and society to play a positive role in strengthening the institution of Family instead of precipitating its destruction. The Government of India should NOT allow radical, anti-family organizations or individuals to take part in making or amending laws. The media should stop sensationalizing family disputes and spreading half-truths either in the name of news or entertainment. Every member of the society should understand that the Family is our only system of social security, and must reject laws, policies and activities which harm our families.

International Women’s Day Placards

Below are the placards we used for International Women’s Day 2010:

IWD placards

Please feel free to download and print.

And below is the link to the pictures of our celebrations:

http://iwd2010.blogspot.com

Join our Women’s Day Celebrations!

International Women's Day 2010Dear friends,

Join us as we celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday, 7 March, at 10:30 a.m. in Public Gardens, Nampally (in front of Health Museum), Hyderabad.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2010, All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), True Equity Network (TEN) India and Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA) are celebrating the many achievements and successes of women. We also address the dilemmas of present day women, and look at the way forward to achieve true empowerment of women.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we would like to call upon women to free themselves from self-pity and negativity. We would like all women to remember that:

  • real women have self-esteem and dignity
  • real women reject preferential treatment over men and children
  • real women succeed by proving their true worth
  • real women take responsibility for their actions
  • real women do not make false allegations or file false cases

We call upon the citizens and Government of India to recognize that:

  1. Promoting women’s welfare does not mean weakening and destroying marriage.
  2. Liberating women does not mean destroying their biological and social privileges of being a wife and a mother.
  3. Protecting women does not mean supporting misuse of the law, violating human rights and destroying families.
  4. Empowering women does not mean encouraging blackmail, extortion and parasitism by women.
  5. Encouraging women in all walks of life does not mean providing special privileges and lowered standards of performance.

Join our movement for true empowerment and help end the gender war!

Please come with your near and dear ones and make this event a success!

International Women’s Day – 2010

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2010, All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), True Equity Network (TEN) India and Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA) are celebrating the many achievements and successes of women. At the same time, we address the dilemmas of present day women, and look at the way forward to achieve true empowerment of women.

It is an undeniable fact that women today enjoy a lot of opportunities and independence compared to women of previous generations.  Women are constantly being reminded of their rights and privileges. The Government is constantly doling out policies claiming to empower women and to encourage women’s participation in all walks of life.

We have more women attending schools and colleges, more women graduating with degrees and diplomas, and more women entering varied professions and earning their livelihood. Women are competing with men in academic, corporate, service, bureaucratic, political and other careers. Women now own property and wealth of their own.

Women are realizing their ability to set educational, career, and economic goals for themselves and achieving them. This is definitely worth celebrating and cheering.

Since the last 15-20 years, more and more young women are also putting career first and delaying marriage and children. They are buying into the idea that husband, children and family do not necessarily bring happiness and satisfaction, but on the contrary, obstruct a woman’s freedom. They are convinced that career, individual pursuits and financial freedom promise more of both satisfaction and happiness, as they seemingly do to men. Women’s emancipation has become synonymous with being like men and doing everything they do.

As a result, more women are deliberately or inadvertently relinquishing the choices that their grandmothers and mothers had. More women who want to avoid becoming “slaves of the family” are now becoming slaves of corporate entities and feeling trapped inside offices instead of homes. Women who want to marry, have children, enjoy family life and also have a career are unable to figure out what they need to do to have them all or if it is in fact possible to have them all.

In this age of nuclear families, women are planning their lives with little or no guidance, and with few good role models to look up to. They are struggling to reconcile their natural desire for family and motherhood with the unrealistic standards imposed by radical feminism. The natural pleasures of being a wife, raising children and looking after a home are now turning into a source of agony to many women. Those women who choose to put family first are being portrayed as inferior, and those who walk out on the family at the drop of a hat, labelled liberated women.

As a result, today there are more women separated or never married. Divorce rates are on the rise, and close to 70% of all divorce cases are initiated by women. There are a rising number of women raising their children alone. There are more women with infants and very young children working full-time jobs, and consigning their children to day care centres.

Now there are new justifications for classifying all women as “oppressed” and guilt-tripping or demanding the society to grant them special concessions in every field just for being women. In spite of all the “liberation”, more women are left wondering why happiness is still a mirage, and satisfaction nowhere in sight.

Why did such a situation arise?

Women’s rights activists may claim to champion a woman’s right to be treated as a human (just as a man is), but they forget that we are not just humans but are also women, different from men, with different natural desires and needs which cannot be ignored. Just as we would suffer if we were not treated like humans, we also suffer if we are deprived of the natural gifts and privileges of womanhood.

The feminist movement clearly taught women to demand more rights, privileges and laws. It has taught women to break the shackles of their homes and to step out into the “world of opportunities”. However, it has not taught women how to handle freedom, how to take responsibility for one’s own choices and know when to stop to avoid pitfalls.

Depending on the immediate and extended family for support in case of doubt, difficulty or distress is a thing of the past. Women’s organizations, police stations and courts have become proxy family for the modern woman and dish out an elaborate menu of laws to satisfy her whims more than her needs. By routinely attributing traits of low self-esteem, self pity, vagrancy, vulnerability and helplessness to women and girls, they have turned women into mendicants and parasites.

The women’s movement has also propagated the practice of blaming the men and the so-called “male-dominated” society for all the lapses and failures that result from the irrational ideas and practices advocated by feminism.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we would like to call upon women to free themselves from self-pity and negativity. We call upon women to use their education, learning and individuality to make wise choices and take responsibility for the outcomes. We call upon women to stop complaining that they are unable to have the cake and eat it too just because they are women, because the truth is, neither can men.

We call upon the citizens and Government of India to recognize that:

  1. Promoting women’s welfare does not mean weakening and destroying marriage.
  2. Liberating women does not mean destroying their biological and social privileges of being a wife and a mother.
  3. Protecting women does not mean supporting misuse of the law, violating human rights and destroying families.
  4. Empowering women does not mean encouraging blackmail, extortion and parasitism by women.
  5. Encouraging women in all walks of life does not mean providing special privileges and lowered standards of performance.

We must take the following steps to ensure true empowerment and welfare of women:

  1. Non-serious family problems should be corrected through programs offering voluntary assistance to individuals in troubled marriages.
  2. India should be prevented from becoming an anti-marriage, anti-family, fatherless “welfare state”.
  3. Laws and policies must be based on principles of equity and fairness, and not radical feminist ideologies and false statistics.
  4. The feminist culture of mass irresponsibility should be done away with.
  5. Women should be encouraged to inculcate self-esteem, reject preferential treatment, and succeed in their chosen areas of study or career by proving their true worth.

We urge everyone to join our movement for true empowerment and help end the gender war.

Men and Women Against Women’s Reservation Bill

PRESS RELEASE

Sub: Men and Women opposing the 85th Constitutional Amendment Bill (Women’s Reservation Bill)

All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA) and All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA) are holding this Press Conference to voice their opposition against the 85th Constitutional Amendment Bill (Women’s Reservation Bill).

What does the Women’s Reservation Bill Propose?

  • 33% of all seats in Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies shall be reserved for women.
  • This Reservation shall apply in case of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) as well (reservation within reservation).
  • The seats to be reserved in rotation will be determined by draw of lots in such a way that a seat shall be reserved only once in three consecutive general elections.

Why is the Women’s Reservation Bill necessary when women already have 50% reservation in local bodies?

  • Advocates of the Bill say that it is essential for ensuring active political participation of women.
  • They claim that increased political participation of women in Parliament and legislatures will help them fight the alleged abuse, discrimination, and inequality prevalent against women.
  • They believe that unless reservation is provided, it would not be possible for more women to join politics in our supposedly “male dominated society”.
  • They tend to see women as a “weaker section of the society” and claim that Affirmative Action should be introduced so that women can be empowered.

Why are AIFWA and AIMWA opposing the Women’s Reservation Bill?

We believe that public representatives in a Democracy should be those who have everyone’s welfare in mind and not promoting a specific gender, caste or creed.

Having said that, the proposed Women’s Reservation Bill is not meant to actually empower women, but it represents the innocuous face of a hidden agenda to make the situation of Indian men miserable. The Women’s Reservation Bill (which has been pending for the last 12 years) is a tool of blackmail used by anti-male women to make more and more biased laws, to fuel a gender war and disrupt harmony in the society.

The Women’s Reservation Bill is not only unjustified in the present circumstances, but it is also in violation of the basic principles of Democracy :

  • Passing the Women’ Reservation Bill is undemocratic because male citizens will be forced to withdraw or prevented from contesting in reserved constituencies solely because they are male. It takes away the democratic right of about 11 crore men to contest in the elections. This is against the fundamental rights of 11 crore men. It violates the right to equality guaranteed under the constitution.
  • Passing the Women’ Reservation Bill is undemocratic because women are not an oppressed class who need their own representatives in the Parliament to address their specific issues. Many laws and provisions have been passed in the last 60 years by the so-called “male-dominated” Parliament.

The following are a few examples of pro-women policies made in the last 60 years due to Article 15(3) of the Constitution (special provisions for women):

  1. Financial Privileges: Women are accorded many financial privileges e.g. through a variety of Self-Help Group Schemes; whereas men have to borrow at a high interest and end up committing suicide when they are unable to repay the loans;
  2. Health Privileges: National level surveys are conducted and funds are allocated for women’s health and wellness; whereas not a single survey is done or health scheme implemented, nor single rupee of tax payer money spent on men’s health and wellness.
  3. Tax Rebate/ Relief: – Earnings by women are subject to liberal Tax Rebates; whereas men, who perform some of the most difficult and hazardous jobs to support the family and the society receive no Tax Rebates on their earnings.
  4. Anti-male laws: Women have been armed with many laws like Indian Penal Code Section 498A, Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, adultery laws, laws against rape and sexual harassment, and family (divorce, maintenance and child custody) laws, all of which specifically favour women and penalize innocent men and their families.

It has to be noted that the Ministry of Women and Child Development, in collaboration with the National Commission for Women, has miserably failed to make policies which truly empower women and enhance their self-esteem. Instead, they have drafted laws which promote misuse of protections and privileges granted to women and encourage parasitism, perjury, adultery, and extortion by women.

  • Passing the Women’ Reservation Bill will cause bias in the democratic process because of the following reasons:

a)    Powerful male members of parties will be tempted to field female relatives to “reserve” the seat for themselves during the following cycle.

b)    Parties will be forced to field women whether or not the women identify with the overall party agenda and the rest of the issues concerning all citizens, as opposed to just women’s issues. There are no provisions to prevent discrimination against men because of fielding women who are inclined towards women’s issues alone, or, in other words, biased against men.

c)    Parties will be forced to field unsuitable female candidates or those of lower calibre just to fill the seats and treat like them puppets, which will defeat the purpose of increasing representation of women in the Parliament.

d) Women capable of earning a position and respect by their own hard work will not be able to become MPs or Chief Ministers.

  • Passing the Women’ Reservation Bill will create a bias in the minds of voters and cause them to start voting or stop voting on the basis of gender and not based on publicized agendas of parties or issues related to all citizens.
  • Passing of the Women’s Reservation Bill will take away the democratic right of 33% of the electorate (22 crore people) to elect their representatives.  It restricts the choice of both men and women in the reserved constituencies. The state has no right to limit the pool of representatives available to the public to choose from. This is against all democratic principles of free choice.

In a Democracy, there should not be any discrimination between women and men in any area, including standing for elections. Citizens should be able to choose between candidates based on their relative calibre and commitment to public issues. Citizens’ rights are violated when their choice is restricted to a specific gender as calibre or commitment is not gender-specific.

Commonsense dictates that if the representation of women in politics is not sufficient, it is the fault of political party heads. Advocates of the Women’s Reservation Bill are insisting on needlessly penalizing citizens of a democratic country, instead of taking action against political parties which are preventing women from or failing to provide opportunities for women to contest in the elections.

AIFWA and AIMWA demand that the Government NOT pass the Women’s Reservation Bill. Instead, the Government must take the following measures in the interest of democracy and for the welfare of ALL citizens:

  1. Require political parties to provide 33% tickets to women to contest in the elections.
  2. Ensure 33% representation by women in the Rajya Sabha , and then increase it to 50% before tampering with the constitution and making reservations to increase women’s representation in the Lok Sabha.
  1. Establish  National Commission for Men for conducting surveys and studies on mens’ issues and for formulating measures, policies and laws for welfare of men;
  2. Establish Mens’ Welfare Ministry with Cabinet rank;
  3. Amend the People’s Representation Act to include “all recognized political parties to reserve 33% for women with a staggered time frame e.g. 33% in year 1 to zero in year 30.”
  4. Amend Article 15(3) by deleting the word “women” ;
  5. Amend Article 51 (E) to include the word “men” ;
  6. Implement Women’s reservation in judiciary, bureaucracy, defence etc.;
  7. Implement Women’s Reservation in Panchayats and Municipality in all the States and Union Territories.

Sincerely,

Uma Challa – Media Coordinator – All India Forgotten Women’s Association, Contact – 9704683163

Swarup Sarkar – Media Coordinator – All India Men’s Welfare Association, Contact – 9818789236

An Open Letter to the US Senators and Representatives

Sub: International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) will jail more innocent citizens and break more families.

Dear United States Senator/Representative,

I am writing on behalf of All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), the True Equity Network (TEN) India, and Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA), to urge you to stop the passage of I-VAWA.

I urge you to consider the present situation in India which has resulted from the export of anti-male, anti-family laws and policies from the United States.

Indian laws against domestic violence are irrational and discriminatory, and blatantly violate provisions of the Indian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Most importantly, the implementation of such laws depends on a law enforcement system and judiciary which are replete with corrupt officials who, for their own monetary gains, embolden women to take undue advantage of the credibility granted to them by Indian law.

• The 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.”

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

• 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”.

However, every year, over 100,000 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.

• The 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.”

However, 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.

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

However, in the last four years alone, over 124,000 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 export of destructive feminist ideologies and anti-family laws has broken many Indian homes, depriving thousands of children of a healthy childhood. Men and women are being forced to spend their most productive years in vexatious litigations, thus wasting valuable financial and human resources, which could otherwise have been spent for the benefit of our country.

In the present circumstances, we are forced to conclude that the United States is deliberately imposing policies and laws to cripple countries like India, and this is equal to cutting off a branch while sitting on it.

India is a country well-known for her intellectual and human resources, and her citizens have been making phenomenal contributions to the progress of the United States during the last five decades.

We urge the Government of the United States to refrain from exporting any more of its failed policies to India, as it will not only hurt India, but also the United States, and thereby, the relationship between the two countries.

We urge you to understand the gravity of the situation and stop the passage of I-VAWA.

Sincerely,

Uma Challa

President

All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA)

********************************

Below is a letter I had presented to all the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives in the year 2007 in Washington DC:

13 April, 2007

Subject: Please stop I-VAWA

Senators Biden and Lugar,

Domestic violence is a serious problem faced by men, women, and children. However, laws against domestic violence all over the world, confer legal protection only to women, often violating the civil rights of men and children. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and The Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act are similar laws which assume that:

· victims of domestic violence or marital cruelty are always women; the aggressors being always a man and his family.

· women are always honest victims, and, hence, requiring proof of their claims is unnecessary.

· the accused man and his family are guilty until proven innocent.

The implementation of these laws depends on a heavily corrupt law enforcement system which encourages women to take undue advantage of the credibility granted to them by law. The absence of penalty for filing false cases only makes matters worse.

Every year, there is a rising number of cases fabricated by wives only to threaten, extort money from, and wreak revenge on husbands and their relatives, in case of marital discord. According to the data obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, in the year 2005 alone, 58,319 cases were registered under charges of cruelty by husband and relatives (IPC 498A), and resulted in the arrest of 127,560 individuals including 339 children and 4512 adults over the age of 60. Less than 10 percent of the cases resulted in conviction of the accused.

Misuse of Indian women-protection laws has been noted by various authorities:

  • The Supreme Court of India termed the misuse of IPC 498A as “Legal Terrorism”, and the Delhi High Court termed it “the most abused provision”.
  • The Delhi high court has also noted the “flagrant abuse” of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
  • 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”.
  • A study by The Center for Social Research (India) indicates that 98% of cases filed under IPC 498A are baseless.
  • News reports also revealed that many falsely charged, poor and illiterate women are languishing in prison every year.
  • The passports of falsely accused Indians living abroad are being impounded. Many such Indians have lost their overseas jobs, and are unable to return to their respective countries of residence outside of India.
  • Other Indians live abroad in fear, separated from their loved ones in India. Interpol Red Corner Notices are being misused against them to force them to return to India.

Many 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.

India has witnessed the arrest and incarceration of several thousands of innocent citizens, whose human rights have been blatantly violated in the name of women-protection laws. While the flaws in Indian laws and law enforcement system remain unchecked, we are faced with a new, yet similar Bill, I-VAWA.

Members of Save Indian Family Foundation request you, Senator XXX, to understand that I-VAWA, if enacted, will only add to the list of laws that are prone to misuse in India. I-VAWA will only harm more families and destroy lives of many Indian men, women and children.

On behalf of Save Indian Family Foundation, I strongly urge you to NOT support the International Violence Against Women Act.

Sincerely,

Uma Challa

Save Indian Family Foundation

Subject: Please stop I-VAWA

Senators Biden and Lugar,

Domestic violence is a serious problem faced by men, women, and children. However, laws against domestic violence all over the world, confer legal protection only to women, often violating the civil rights of men and children. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and The Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act are similar laws which assume that:

  • victims of domestic violence or marital cruelty are always women; the aggressors being always a man and his family.
  • women are always honest victims, and, hence, requiring proof of their claims is unnecessary.
  • the accused man and his family are guilty until proven innocent.

The implementation of these laws depends on a heavily corrupt law enforcement system which encourages women to take undue advantage of the credibility granted to them by law. The absence of penalty for filing false cases only makes matters worse.

Every year, there is a rising number of cases fabricated by wives only to threaten, extort money from, and wreak revenge on husbands and their relatives, in case of marital discord. According to the data obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, in the year 2005 alone, 58,319 cases were registered under charges of cruelty by husband and relatives (IPC 498A), and resulted in the arrest of 127,560 individuals including 339 children and 4512 adults over the age of 60. Less than 10 percent of the cases resulted in conviction of the accused.

Misuse of Indian women-protection laws has been noted by various authorities:

  • The Supreme Court of India termed the misuse of IPC 498A as “Legal Terrorism”, and the Delhi High Court termed it “the most abused provision”.
  • The Delhi high court has also noted the “flagrant abuse” of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
  • 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”.
  • A study by The Center for Social Research (India) indicates that 98% of cases filed under IPC 498A are baseless.
  • News reports also revealed that many falsely charged, poor and illiterate women are languishing in prison every year.
  • The passports of falsely accused Indians living abroad are being impounded. Many such Indians have lost their overseas jobs, and are unable to return to their respective countries of residence outside of India.
  • Other Indians live abroad in fear, separated from their loved ones in India. Interpol Red Corner Notices are being misused against them to force them to return to India.

Many 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.

India has witnessed the arrest and incarceration of several thousands of innocent citizens, whose human rights have been blatantly violated in the name of women-protection laws. While the flaws in Indian laws and law enforcement system remain unchecked, we are faced with a new, yet similar Bill, I-VAWA.

Members of Save Indian Family Foundation request you, Senator Lugar, to understand that I-VAWA, if enacted, will only add to the list of laws that are prone to misuse in India. I-VAWA will only harm more families and destroy lives of many Indian men, women and children.

On behalf of Save Indian Family Foundation, I strongly urge you to NOT support the International Violence Against Women Act.

Sincerely,

Uma Challa

Save Indian Family Foundation