On “The Red Pill” and the feminist filmmaker who took it

On “The Red Pill” and the feminist filmmaker who took it

– Uma Challa

 

I had heard of “The Red Pill” even while it was being made, and have been aware of all the difficulties Cassie Jaye had to undergo to complete her project. I had been very curious about the film because the filmmaker was a feminist, and she was covering some of the veteran MRAs whom I consider my distant mentors.

 

On Sunday, I got an invite from a fellow MRA to watch “The Red Pill” at his place, and it was hard to resist because I had just published a piece on an Indian documentary, which some people have (wrongly) been calling the counterpart of “The Red Pill”.

 

I watched every frame and every shot, followed every word very carefully, sometimes asking for the film to be rewound a little, when I felt I had missed something. To me, if there was one thing that stood out in the film, it is the honesty of the endeavor, and just for that, I would say the film’s worth a watch.

 

Cassie Jaye traced her long and winding journey, or rather the journey of what MRAs call the red pill, through her system, and one would have to say that she successfully digested it and absorbed it, because at the end of the film, she says that she doesn’t call herself a feminist anymore.

 

While I have heard, read and watched MRAs like Paul Elam, Warren Farrel and Erin Pizzey for over a decade now, watching them speak in this film, and watching some of their memoirs brought back many of my own memories from my early MRA days. The circular arguments by many feminists provided an excellent contrast to the articulate presentation of facts by these veteran MRAs. In my opinion, “The Red Pill” should be on the essential “watching list” for every new MRA.

 

The range of men’s issues exposed in the film is impressive, and Cassie Jaye’s dedication to clearly understand every issue is commendable. Her in-depth research, her flowcharts, her video diaries, her candid questions and honest admissions are endearing to me as an MRA, and are bound to provoke thought among non-MRAs who watch the film.

 

I wish that Cassie Jaye’s film is watched by more and more people across the globe. It will not only be the appropriate reward for her work as a filmmaker, but also a great way to spread the information and messages that MRAs have been trying to communicate, to provoke thought and inspire action to end misandry around the world.

 

My congratulations to Cassie Jaye for a film so well-made!

The Red Pill poster

Making divorce easy? Or barking up the wrong tree?

Making divorce easy? Or barking up the wrong tree?

– Uma Challa

Published by MyIndMakers 

“lEchiMchi, nidra lEchiMdi mahiLaa lOkaM, daddarilliMdi puruSha prapaMchaM…” https://youtu.be/MmVujeuCKmI (the women’s world has woken up from slumber, and the man’s world shook with panic) was a song I used to love as a child. As a fiery young woman, I frowned upon what I thought was “misogyny” on the part of one of the greatest Telugu lyricists ever. Now I admire the clarity of thought of Sri Pingali Nagendra Rao gaaru who penned the song way back in 1962, at a time when the country was still tolerant to truth.

 

To elaborate on Pingali gaaru’s poetic rendition of facts, the first Lok Sabha in India in 1951 had 22 women MPs. Soon after, in 1955, with the advent of the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) in 1955, Indian society was, for the first time, introduced to the concept of “divorce”. Contrary to its title, the HMA has nothing to do with marriage. It does not explain what marriage means nor does it enumerate the responsibilities of a wife and husband towards themselves, each other, their children, both sides of the family or the society. It enumerates circumstances in which a Hindu marriage can be legally broken. It was introduced to enable women who could not tolerate marriage to legally liberate themselves from wedlock, and to claim share in the marital property in the name of maintenance and alimony (HMA Section 24).

 

The most common grounds for divorce – cruelty, desertion, impotence, adultery etc. – are not only poorly defined, but are also difficult to prove. In addition, because litigation involves evidences and arguments from both parties, HMA did not prove as “empowering” to women as was envisioned by women’s rights activists (WRAs).

 

Enacting the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956, which entitles a woman to be maintained by her husband during her entire lifetime (Section 18), and CrPC of 1973, which extends maintenance to wives indefinitely even after divorce (Section 125), did not do the magic either, since they still involved time taking two-sided legal procedures.

 

In the year 1983, the Parliament passed a criminal law, Indian Penal Code 498A, which made “cruelty towards a married woman” a cognizable and non-bailable offence. Here, the word “cruelty” was left undefined and allowed to be a function of a woman’s perception and her lawyer’s imagination. Divorce and maintenance cases, combined with this draconian criminal section, which allows immediate arrest and incarceration of the husband and in-laws, proved to be fantastic tool of blackmail, vengeance and extortion in the hands of disgruntled wives for many years. It was accompanied by vigorous campaigns by WRAs to “sensitize” the police and the judiciary to be sympathetic towards women. Even such drastic measures did not prove to be “empowering enough” according to WRAs, because not all husbands succumbed.

 

The conviction rates under IPC 498A remained very low and the law only gained notoriety for its misuse. The hope that all husbands could be reined in and forced to pay a “monetary compensation/settlement” under the fear of arrest and criminal prosecution started waning.

 

In 2005, a new and elaborate civil law, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act was introduced. The act not only categorized every possible male action as an act of domestic violence, it also made provisions for a wife and a live-in partner to use DV accusations to claim monetary reliefs including maintenance (Section 20) and residence rights (Section 19) in the same property where the alleged violence had occurred.

 

Every year, several thousands of Indian women leverage the power sanctioned to them under these laws to terrorize husbands and to extract alimony and maintenance from them. Still, the utopia envisioned by the WRAs remained elusive since entangling a man in multiple litigations ensured neither speedy divorce nor quick extraction of maintenance and alimony.

 

In 2013, the Rajya Sabha approved the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill which, once again, claimed to make “divorce friendly for women” by providing for the wife, a share in the husband’s immovable property, after “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”. The Bill empowered the courts to decide the “compensation amount” from the husband’s inherited and inheritable property. Recognizing the “grave and far-reaching legal, social and economic implications of the proposed amendments” as pointed out by senior citizens groups and NGOs working for men, the NDA Government’s Law Ministry decided to put the Bill on hold.

 

According to news reports, there is now a fresh proposal “to explore the possibility of making it easier for women to walk out of a marriage”. This brand new endeavor, backed by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, proposes to give legal validity to prenuptial agreements.

 

The Economic Times (18 Sept 2015) quotes an official of the Ministry of WCD who stated that the introduction of prenuptial agreements will “save marriages” because, “once, the liabilities, assets and responsibilities are decided in advance, a husband will be more careful and cautious in seeking dissolution. He would have a clear idea of the amount of alimony he will have to pay to his wife”.

 

The article also quotes another senior official of the Ministry who supported prenuptial agreements as a way to counter the “judicial delays on account of backlog of cases”, and the “delaying tactics husbands resort to”.

 

It is noteworthy that for the last 60 years, champions of women’s empowerment have been preoccupied with women obtaining an easy divorce and collecting maintenance and alimony by hook or crook. Their proposal to legalize prenuptial agreements is neither novel in its approach nor noble in its goals.

 

Aside from the fact that this initiative too has nothing to do with really empowering women, here are just a few problems with prenuptial agreements:

 

  1. Hindu marriages are religious unions and not legal contracts, even when they are registered and legally recognized. A prenuptial agreement is a contract, with the terms and conditions of separation spelled out. It cannot be applied to Hindu marriages without stripping them of their religious sanctity and the underlying philosophy of the union of two souls.
  2. While prenuptial contracts do lay down the terms and conditions of separation, the contracts are not binding nor strictly enforceable, and there are no provisions anywhere in the world to penalize a partner who does not comply with the terms of separation. However, the proposal to include punishments for “offending” spouses in Indian prenuptial agreements is nothing but another attempt to criminalize the marital relationship, pamper women and penalize men.
  3. In spite of having a prenuptial agreement, a woman will still be able to claim that she signed the prenuptial agreement under duress. She will still be able to file complaints under IPC Section 498A, the DV Act and other related civil and criminal provisions.
  4. Rich men will use prenuptial agreements to get rid of women by paying money, and unscrupulous women will use prenuptial agreements as a way to make quick money. We, as a nation and a culture, might do better by just legalising prostitution rather than prostitutionalizing the Hindu marriage in the name of empowering women through delusional and deceitful means.

 

It is about time the Ministry of WCD stops barking up the wrong tree and looks into positive ways of empowering women by helping, stimulating, supporting and encouraging them to achieve true economic independence. It is time we realize that unless women learn to want economic independence and unless they work hard to achieve it, without depending on maintenance and alimony, all the talk about empowerment and equality is meaningless.

 

It is time the “women’s world” awakens to this reality and embraces ways that are uplifting to themselves and the entire society, rather than those that shake men with fear and shatter their lives.

 

Alimony.9

 

 

Feminists bully, India Times succumbs!

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

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

India Times apology

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

Not afraid

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

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

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

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

 

“Acche din” for men? Not by a long shot!

“Acche din” for men? Not by a long shot!

By Uma Challa

acche din

When the news of BJP’s election victory broke last year, I was on vacation in the US, on a beach in Florida to be precise. I was just as excited about the end of dynastic politics as many of my fellow countrymen were. I wrote a congratulatory message to India on the sandy beach, and posted a note on Facebook about how thrilled I was to return to a “Modified” India. I knew “acche din” were going to be a reality for at least some people in at least some issues. I could imagine the beginnings of decolonization and the revitalization of neglected cultures and languages.

“What about the ongoing war against men and boys?”, I wondered. “Will the Saffron Government end it or will they intensify it in an attempt to outdo the previous regimes in their “pro-women” stance?”, I pondered. Considering BJP’s serious and seasoned feminists like Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Ms. Smrithi Irani and Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, who are all patriots enough to reject western-feminism, but share the same degree of misandry nevertheless, one could only guess whether “acche din” were in store for Indian males.

It would be useful to recall that back in December 2013, Ms. Irani, speaking at a leadership summit, said, “If a man is without malice, he has nothing to fear.” Her words resonate with those of Ms. Renuka Chaudhary, who, during her tenure as Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD), said, “If men behave, they have nothing to fear”. Anyone who has had a brush with the Indian “women-protection laws”, the law enforcement machinery and the judiciary knows what the above words mean. I took solace in the fact that none of the above mentioned card-carrying feminists were assigned to the Ministry of WCD in Modi’s Government.

Ms. Maneka Gandhi, the newly appointed Minister for WCD, remained very quiet and non-controversial with regards to her Ministerial affairs for over  a year. We do not know if, suddenly, like a bolt out of the blue, the pressure of her job description finally got to her, or the evil spirit that haunts her office possessed her. We do not know if she was overcome by a strong zeal to please or even outdo her predecessors and colleagues, or if she was indeed a misandrous closet-feminist who was waiting for the right moment to come out, but she finally spoke!

In a Facebook interaction with netizens, Ms. Gandhi declared that all violence is male-generated. Many Indian men’s rights activists (MRAs) were misled into believing that Ms. Gandhi was either ignorant of ground realities or that she was deliberately ignoring them. They tried to (in Arnab Goswami’s words) “throw statistics at” her and cited examples of violence by women on men and children. What these MRAs failed to understand is that according to Ms. Gandhi’s well-considered opinion, men are either abusive or they do stuff to deserve abuse against them, and by that impeccable logic, all violence is male-generated.

Ms. Gandhi, no doubt, made her mark and proved her worth by reasserting the Ministry’s eternal commitment to war against men. What really sets her apart, though, is the elegance with which she overtly declared state-sponsored war against boys through an upcoming initiative called ‘Gender Champions’. Under this initiative, boys who can train themselves to become doormats and punching bags early on will be rewarded with prizes, just as the girls who walk over them and punch them would be awarded titles for their “bravery” and “attitude”.

Just in case we might miss the point, Ms. Gandhi went a little further and stated that according to her, “education should be more gender sensitive and certainly animal sensitive”. This statement actually gets to the bottom of the ideology that drives the Ministry of WCD – that boys and men do not even deserve the empathy that animals do and that all males are dispensable. No democratically elected representative of India, not even the formidable ex-Minister of WCD, Ms. Renuka Chaudhary, was able to state it in such clear terms.

I cannot help recalling another speech by Ms. Irani, from late last year, in which she stated, “When women are put at the helm of affairs, conflict has this very unnatural way of decreasing”. She also said, “A leader is someone who takes you where you want to be, but a female leader is someone who takes you where you ought to be.”

So, here we are!

No prizes for guessing where we are going!

Sree Krishna Janamasthaanam

Sree Krishna Janamasthaanam

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

by Uma Challa

(Published by MyIndMakers)

IMG_1254-2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

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

The birth of TEN-India marks the end of gender war

True Equity Network (TEN) India, the youth wing of All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA) was inaugurated on 1 Feb 2010 in Hyderabad, India.

On behalf of AIFWA, I welcomed the guests and reiterated the reasons for starting TEN-India, the principles on which TEN-India is based, and our “TEN Commandments” for promoting harmony between men and women.

I introduced Swetha and Jagadish, our two young volunteers who recently graduated from college, and have worked with me with amazing enthusiasm and energy to lay the foundation for TEN-India.

I then invited Swetha, on behalf of ALL the women in the world to present a peace offering, a “dove carrying an olive branch and the TEN logo”, to Jagadish, who received it on behalf of ALL the men in the world. This was our symbolic gesture to mark the END of the gender war started by the feminists many decades ago.

(See picture at https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/home/photos-launch-of-ten-india/IMG_0591.JPG?attredirects=0)

Swetha and Jagadish also inaugurated the TEN flyers. These flyers will be distributed across all colleges in Hyderabad until 8 March 2010, the International Women’s Day. Beginning Women’s Day we will spread our campaign to all parts of the country.

(See picture at https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/home/photos-launch-of-ten-india/IMG_0593.JPG?attredirects=0)

Swetha gave a wonderful inaugural speech which I am reproducing below:

When you ask anyone, especially women, as to what women’s empowerment means, the first thing that comes to their minds is financial independence and freedom.

In my recent conversation with a close friend, I happened to mention that I did not want to pursue a career and that I wanted to be a homemaker. She was quick to ask me as to why I wanted to continue studying instead of just getting married? She quipped that I did not belong to 21st century because I was planning to become another “vanTinTi kundElu”.

Really? Why are women today made to feel that slaving overtime for a corporate establishment is empowerment, but caring for one’s family and looking after our dear ones is slavery? I do understand that in certain families, both men and women have to work to make ends meet. But what of women like me, who have the luxury of making the choice to stay home?

Are all working women empowered and happy? Are all women who chose to stay home powerless and unhappy? Isn’t true empowerment all about the freedom to make one’s own choice?

Women from all walks of life are empowered when they are able to make their own choices in their life. But unfortunately, today our thoughts are more influenced by others and what they think about our choice?

The other sad reality of today is that women are feeling pressured to do ALL the things that men do for a living and a career in order to feel empowered.

Why is that? Are women in any way inferior to men?

Why do we always want to compare ourselves to men when we know that we are different from men, with different strengths and capabilities? Why are women feeling pressured to enter ALL fields which are supposedly “dominated” by men and then asking for preferential treatment and concessions?

Late Smt. Sarojini Naidu once said, “The demand for granting preferential treatment to women is an admission on her part of her inferiority”.

I think it is only fair that women are given opportunities to enter all fields. We do need the opportunity to prove our worth, but does that mean we need to be pampered? Today, when women are given so many opportunities why do we want preferential treatment or lowered standards of performance compared to men?

Isn’t empowerment all about self-actualization and the full realization of one’s potential?

TEN-India is a great initiative whose main objective is to free the minds of women from wrong notions of freedom, independence and empowerment.

The event received good media coverage, with a few local TV channels airing news clippings and 5 regional language newspapers carrying excellent news articles.

The following is the URL for the website of TEN-India, which contains our contact information and also contains a link to join our yahoogroup.

https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/

Please encourage youth to join TEN-India, a movement for true empowerment and gender harmony.

Regards

Uma Challa

President

All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA)

TEN-India, the youth wing of All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA) was inaugurated on 1 Feb 2010 in Hyderabad, India.

On behalf of AIFWA, I welcomed the guests and reiterated the reasons for starting TEN-India, the principles on which TEN-India is based, and our “TEN Commandments” for promoting harmony between men and women.

I introduced Swetha and Jagadish, our two young volunteers who recently graduated from college, and have worked with me with amazing enthusiasm and energy to lay the foundation for TEN-India.

I then invited Swetha, on behalf of ALL the women in the world to present a peace offering, a “dove carrying an olive branch and the TEN logo”, to Jagadish, who received it on behalf of ALL the men in the world. This was our symbolic gesture to mark the END of gender war started by feminists many decades ago.

https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/_/rsrc/1265025461247/home/photos-launch-of-ten-india/IMG_0591.JPG?height=300&width=400

Press Release – True Equity Network (TEN) – India

Sub: Launching True Equity Network (TEN) – India, the youth wing of All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA).

AIFWA is a not-for-profit organization campaigning against the misuse of protections and privileges granted to women.

AIFWA stands for true gender equality, and demands that civil and criminal laws be made equally applicable to men and women.

AIFWA is pleased to announce, to the media and the public, the launch of its youth wing, the True Equity Network (TEN) – India on Monday, 01.02.2010.

Why TEN – India?

Proponents of the women’s cause routinely attribute traits of low esteem, self pity, vagrancy, vulnerability and helplessness to women and girls.

Champions of the women’s cause have pushed, arm-twisted and bullied the Government into passing many anti-male, anti-family provisions and policies in the name of women’s rights and empowerment.

Women’s rights activists have convinced the society that in order to compensate for all the real or perceived disadvantages and sufferings endured by women in the past, present day women should be accorded special treatment in all areas of life, even if it is at the expense of the human rights and welfare of their male counterparts.

Thoughtless emphasis on pampering women has not only been hurting men and children, but it is also doing much harm to women themselves, and preventing them from appreciating all the joys of womanhood, motherhood, family life, and harmonious coexistence with men.

AIFWA endeavours to:

  • enable young women to discover the beauty of womanhood and the true meaning of empowerment.
  • inculcate self-esteem among young women and encourage them to appreciate true gender equality.
  • help young women understand “Equal Means Equal”.
  • urge young women to reject preferential treatment over men in all areas of life.
  • encourage young women to make use of their strengths and excel in their chosen fields of study or vocation.
  • promote among young women, a healthy attitude towards themselves as well as towards men.
  • promote balanced, self-respecting, hard working women as positive female role models.

TEN-India is based on the following principles:

  • Equal does not mean same; Men and women are different but are equally entitled to constitutional rights and human rights.
  • Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome; Men and women must maintain their self-esteem and earn respect and reward by proving their true individual worth.
  • Equality under law is essential irrespective of gender; Men and women should be given equal protection from and equal punishment for any crime.
  • Equal rights beget equal responsibilities; Men and women must not only enjoy equal rights but they must also shoulder equal responsibilities.

We would like to promote gender harmony through following The “TEN” Commandments:

  1. Doing injustice to men is not equal to Doing justice to women.
  2. Oppressing men is not equal to Uplifting women.
  3. Harming men is not equal to Protecting women.
  4. Disempowering men is not equal to Empowering women.
  5. Denying opportunities to men is not equal to Providing opportunities for women.
  6. Penalizing men is not equal to Rewarding women.
  7. Degrading men is not equal to Honouring women.
  8. Undermining men’s lives is not equal to Valuing women’s lives.
  9. Neglecting men’s welfare is not equal to Promoting women’s welfare.
  10. Violating men’s rights is not equal to Upholding women’s rights.

On the occasion of the launch of TEN-India, we are inaugurating a flyer campaign which will continue until 8th March, International Women’s Day.

We will spread our message to as many young women as possible in Hyderabad, and encourage them to become members of TEN-India. We will expand our “movement for real empowerment” to the rest of India in the coming years.

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

“To be a feminist is to acknowledge that one’s life has been regressed. The demand for granting preferential treatment to women is an admission on her part of her inferiority and there has been no need for such a thing in India as the women have always been by the side of men in Council and in the fields of battle…. We must have no mutual conflict in our homes or abroad. We must transcend differences. We must rise above nationalism, above religion, above sex.”

Sarojini Naidu

(at the Fourth session of All India Women’s Conference, Bombay, 1930)



TEN – India INVITATION

https://sites.google.com/site/tenindiaclub/ten-india-invitation

INVITATION

INAUGURAL FUNCTION AND PRESS CONFERENCE

LAUNCH OF

“TRUE EQUITY NETWORK (TEN) – INDIA”

On 01.02.2010 at 11:00 a.m.

Venue: Sundarayya Vignyana Kendram (Mini Hall), Baglingampally

“True Equity Network (TEN) – India” is the youth wing of

All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA).

Through TEN- India, AIFWA endeavours to:

  • enable young women to discover the beauty of womanhood and the true meaning of empowerment.
  • inculcate self-esteem among young women and encourage them to appreciate true gender equality.
  • help young women understand “Equal Means Equal”.
  • urge young women to reject preferential treatment over men in all areas of life.
  • encourage young women to make use of their own strengths and excel in their chosen fields of study or vocation.
  • promote among young women, a healthy attitude towards themselves as well as towards men.
  • promote balanced, self-respecting, hard working women as positive female role models.

Please join us and make our event a success!

TEN-India Invitation

TEN-India Invitation

True Equity Network – India (Being launched on 01.02.2010)

“To be a feminist is to acknowledge that one’s life has been regressed. The demand for granting preferential treatment to women is an admission on her part of her inferiority and there has been no need for such a thing in India as the women have always been by the side of men in Council and in the fields of battle…. We must have no mutual conflict in our homes or abroad. We must transcend differences. We must rise above nationalism, above religion, above sex.”

–       Sarojini Naidu

(at the Fourth session of All India Women’s Conference, Bombay, 1930)

  • Equal does not mean same; Men and women are different but are equally entitled to constitutional rights and human rights.
  • Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome; Men and women must maintain their self-esteem and earn respect and reward by proving their true individual worth.
  • Equality under law is essential irrespective of gender; Men and women should be given equal protection from and equal punishment for any crime.
  • Equal rights beget equal responsibilities; Men and women must not only enjoy equal rights but they must also shoulder equal responsibilities.

The “TEN” Commandments:

  1. Doing injustice to men is not equal to Doing justice to women.
  2. Oppressing men is not equal to Uplifting women.
  3. Harming men is not equal to Protecting women.
  4. Disempowering men is not equal to Empowering women.
  5. Denying opportunities to men is not equal to Providing opportunities for women.
  6. Penalizing men is not equal to Rewarding women.
  7. Degrading men is not equal to Honouring women.
  8. Undermining men’s lives is not equal to Valuing women’s lives.
  9. Neglecting men’s welfare is not equal to Promoting women’s welfare.
  10. Violating men’s rights is not equal to Upholding women’s rights.

ON WOMEN’S DAY, 8 MARCH 2010

JOIN THE MOVEMENT FOR REAL EMPOWERMENT!

Join “TEN-India” if you believe in equity and justice irrespective of gender!

Join “TEN-India” to oppose gender war!

—————————————————————————————————————————–

TEN-India is the youth wing of All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA)

_______________________________________________________

Click on the image below for printable version:

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.