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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Severely Condemning derogatory ad on men

Save Indian Family Foundation, strongly and severely condemns the Derogatory Ad being telecast at the behest of Kitply Industries. The ad shows a young timid man getting married to a woman and on the first night the bed crumbles. The wife asks the husband, “Kitply nahi laye kya?” (Have you not bought Kitply?) and slaps the husband.

Openly, brazenly and cold – bloodedly this ad not only depicts Domestic Violence on men but also promulgates it, inspiring women to do it and telling men that this is a way of life. World over international studies have proved it beyond doubt that Domestic Violence is not a gender specific issue and is a matter of equal concern for both men and women.

The situation is far worse in India wherein gender biased, lopsided, avaricious, pernicious, draconian, anachronous and unconstitutional anti – male marital laws fail to recognize the presence of Domestic Violence and acknowledge the same for men. Yes, Domestic Violence laws in India do not consider the fact that men too could be victims of Domestic Violence the way women are presumed and prejudiced to be and the Domestic Violence law in India does not allow men to make complaints of Domestic Violence in India.

This despite the fact holding true that as per Government records i.e. suicide date published by National Crime Records Bureau, every year 56, 000 married men are committing suicide which is considered as a social service in a great country like India, where 82 % of taxes are paid by men. Neither do men have a Men Welfare Ministry for them nor a National Commission for Men to look into their grievances, whereas animals do have. The condition of Indian men is worse than animals in India.

To add to the woes men are subject to the constant fear of being dragged into false cases of dowry harassment and domestic violence draining them financially, socially, morally and spiritually in addition to being victims of Domestic Violence as well at the hands of their vindictive and vicious wives and in – laws who do not forget to file false cases of dowry harassment on the innocent men and their families and drag them to police station and court and unleash Legal Terrorism on them and extort money legally from them.

As if all this was no less, when corporates like Kitply Industries rain on men and promote Domestic Violence on men as a norm and when confronted for the same, shamelessly claim that it has been shown in a humorous mood, and shrug away from accountability. The contention that the ad was shown in a light spirit is subject to critical analysis and not becoming of a brand name Kitply Industries.

Save Indian Family Foundation, the single largest umbrella NGO for about 15 different NGOs fighting not only for men’s rights but also for Gender Equality and Family Harmony, severely condemns such derogatory ads and demands apology from Kitply Industries, failing which Save Indian Family Foundation will be forced to issue legal notices to them to respond properly.

One can only imagine the kind of euphoria that would have been generated if they had shown a man slapping a woman in similar manner. So when activists championing the cause of Equality for Women are crying foul, why are they now silent when Gender Equality is critically endangered and its existence seriously jeopardized with such derogatory ad content. This only depicts the hollow goals with which such activists work and want to rake in the mullah in the name of Women Empowerment and feminism but do not believe in actual equality based on truth and justice.

Save Indian Family Foundation re – iterates its demand of an apology from Kitply Industries and once again puts this question to the civil society and the government that how long are they continuing to consider men as second class citizens in their own country?

Alimony - The Trojan Horse of Matrimony

Irony defining life it seems has become a norm in today’s times. And it does not seem to spare the most controversial social institution, working as first step towards familial life, aka the INDIAN MARRIAGE. The irony here is that what starts as a pompous celebration and extravagant spending ends with financially, emotionally and spiritually draining litigation with mud – slinging from both sides aka the DIVORCE. And ending a marriage is very costly for a man, not only of because the fear of false cases of dowry harassment and domestic violence against him but also as he is liable to pay alimony or maintenance pedante lite to his wife.

The concept of alimony, although was designed with a noble intention of prevention of stranded and protection of destitute non – earning spouse, the same has increasingly become the single largest motivating factor for girls to break their marriages at the slightest sneeze of discomfiture in the relationship with their husbands. And in order to gain a beneficial and an empowered bargaining position in the negotiation for alimony they even do not refrain from filing false cases of Dowry Harassment against their husbands and in – laws and getting them arrested to plant fear in their mind to make them succumb to their heavy demands of alimony.

Thus, in today’s dynamic socio – economic scenario, alimony has become the Trojan Horse of matrimony. Girls know it very well that the moment they start losing control in the marriage or over their husband they can always walk out of it by entangling the husband in false cases of dowry harassment and domestic violence and harassing him so much that he agrees to pay the heavy ransom girls demand to release him from the forced slavery and give him the costly freedom called divorce.

Was ever alimony in divorce meant to be an easy route to tax – free money? Never. But with the existing rampant corruption amongst the police, judiciary and the legal system, men are made to pay heavy alimonies to their estranged wives for settling the false cases and everyone involved in the settlement gets a share of the pie. The practice is thriving like a flourishing business which is so anti – male in nature that every year 56, 000 married men are committing suicide, unable to bear the brunt of fallacy called, The Bad Marriage.

As its definition stands, alimony is subsistence – allowance which allows a non – capable spouse to maintain oneself post divorce. Spouses who are earning or are capable of earning based on their qualifications are not entitled to alimony. One might contend by the above definition that for working women / substantially educated women opting for divorce, as they are not entitled to alimony, their husbands need not worry, but it will be imperative to state here that increasing number of such cases are coming forth where either women have hidden the income and the fact that they earn or deliberately left job to squander money from husband.

Even if the woman is not able to maintain herself, then more than the husband, the parents of the woman are a greater culprit for not properly empowering their daughter with proper education and making her dependent on someone else, expecting that the marriage of their daughter with that person will last for eternity. And is it not the daughter’s right in her ancestral property, her legitimate due that she should get? Why are girl’s parents shrugging away from this responsibility of theirs and discriminating between a daughter and a son when distribution of wealth comes into picture? Why is it expected that only the husband is responsible to maintain the woman even when they are not staying together? Why the girl’s parents are not held responsible for such a condition of their daughter? Will the civil society at least think over these questions if not answer them?

NCW caught red handed speaking lies

National Commission of Women (NCW) needs to be banned for its unethical activities.

1) They openly support adulterous women by claiming them as victims and seek amendments to grant maintenance to adulterous women.


3) They openly speak white lies as depicted below in the mail conversation between them. Read on.

Would the NCW like to clarify what does it mean by harsh?

1) Sending innocent mothers and sisters on the basis of an unverified complaint is not harsh?

2) Shielding 56, 000 husband killers is not harsh?

3) Fudging statistics to get foreign funds for implementing anti - family, avaricious, pernicious, draconian, anachronous, anti - male laws and unleashing them unto the society is not harsh?

4) Openly protecting the rights of adulterous, promiscuous women is not harsh?

5) Demanding multiple maintenance from males under pretext of false allegations is not harsh?, And last but not the least.

6) Turning away old mothers tortured by their unscrupulous daughter - in - laws and her parents is not harsh, saying this does not come under their ambit?


And what realities they are talking of, why don’t they come out in public if they are so astute, devout and sincere?

with regard to your queries you are hereby informed that

1. that NCW does not send innocent mothers and sisters on the basis of an unverified complaint to jails we dont have such power in the first place

2. that the NCW does offer support to women in distress which may also include sisters and mothers and just daughter in laws therefore your presumptions on NCW is factually misleading

3. we do not fudge statistics the staistics are manintained by NCRB and not by NCW

4. ncw has not protected the rights of adulterous women i do not know from where you have gathered such information please do not beleive in media reports

5. we have not ever turned away old mothers etc any women requiring help is provided be it a mother sister or daufghter in law any one requiring assitance can approach us

6. we do not distinguish or categorise in fact you would be surprised to note that the NCW recommendations on implementation of Dowry related acts is that first and foremost resort to counselling and mediation with intention to save the marriage and family and only where a prima facie case exists then the legal recourse is to be taken to

any more queries ???

yogesh mehta

law officer

1) Then why has the NCW not taken any action for the 1, 20, 000 women arrested from 2004 -2007 on a mere FIR? Does NCW consider it right? Does it not consider it should make a move to protect those mothers and sisters who are harassed by police before being tried or convicted? Just answer Yes or NO.

2) Can NCW give me the statistics of the number of women as mothers and sisters it has helped vis - a vis the number of daughter - in - laws it has helped? Just answer Yes or NO. Does NCW maintain such categorized information. Just answer Yes or NO. If not reasons.

3) If you do not fudge statistics, then how did NCW made a claim that 70 % women are denied maintenance on adultery grounds and later when asked to publish source data for it, categorically denied having such information. News link. Do you consider this as fudging of statistics. Just answer Yes or NO. NCW Supporting Adultery. See Link1

4) It is the same media reports based on which you keep shouting on violence on women. And now that I have official email from NCW telling me not to believe media reports. Let the media also know about it. If NCW does not protect the rights of adulterous women by making propositions to remove the adultery clause in maintenance. Do you think this is not supporting adulterous women. Just answer Yes or NO.

5) I would like you to provide me details to convince me how many cases have you have resolved with mediation and how many women other than wives have been genuinely helped by NCW.

PS: We, at Save Indian Family Foundation do not consider the advice to file a case as genuine help as it does not help either. So answer keeping this note in mind.

1) It has been brought to NCW’s notice several times thro’ media. And now also I am bringing it to your notice. What can you do for them? Or better what can you do to prevent such mishaps in future?

2) So categorically NCW cannot substantiate its claim of having supported mothers and sisters?

3) Some cases?? How many judgments do you have? The article makes no mention of that. And when NCW was sent an RTI application for data supporting the claim that in 70 % of cases, women are denied maintenance for adultery why did the NCW reply that it does not maintain such information. If the NCW does not maintain such information, why was it published in Media and if the information was not given by NCW why has NCW not taken action against the tabloid for printing information without approval. This means NCW has got the information published and then later denied having source of that information. Do you consider its ethical on part of NCW to behave in such a manner. I want an answer in YES or NO.

4) “NCW also sought another significant amendment to Section 125, saying that said adultery should no longer be a ground for denying maintenance to a woman. ”

This is from the article. Still you say NCW has not made such a claim and repeat it as well? Are you not writing white lies?? At least make some background research before writing an email. You are being watched by 15, 000 members. And on a discussion note, I would like to know why does NCW consider adultery should be made a civil offense? Adultery in a relationship tantamount to breach of trust. What makes NCW think per se that it is a civil offense and why should a woman be provided maintenance who has walked out of the relationship.

5) Read my point number 5 then revert back. I have asked for some information.

6) Oh sure I will, you do not worry about that.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Unemployed but Qualified wife- No maintanance


M No. 28/07

Sh. Neeraj Aggarwal – Petitioner


Mrs. Veeka Aggarwal – Respondent


1.. This is an order on application under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act
filed by the applicant/ wife, respondent in the main case (hereinafter referred
to as the applicant) against the non-applicant/ husband, petitioner in the main
case (hereinafter referred to as the non-applicant) for grant of maintenance
pendentelite and for litigation expenses.

2.. In the application it is stated that the applicant/ wife has no
independent source of income and she is not given any kind of maintenance by the
non-applicant/ husband to live her life properly and therefore she is facing
much hardship in the life. The non-applicant/ husband has flatly refused to
maintain her. The non-applicant/ husband is working in a private sector as a
Senior Software Engineer HPC in STM Microelectronics Pvt. Ltd., Plot No.1 A,
Knowledge Park-2 (near LG Gol Chakkar), Greater Noida and is earning about Rs.
80,000/-pm. He has no other liability and he is not discharging his
responsibilities towards the applicant/ wife with ulterior motives to harass and
humiliate the applicant/ wife. The applicant/ wife is the legally wedded wife of
the non-applicant/ husband and, thus, being a husband, he is bound to maintain
the applicant/ wife. The applicant/ wife is fully dependent on the mercy of her
parents, who are having other liabilities also and she has no independent source
of income to maintain herself. It is, therefore, prayed that the non-applicant/
husband be directed to pay a sum of Rs. 30,000/-pm as maintenance allowance
pendentelite to the applicant/ wife and expenses of proceedings.

3.. The application has been contested by the non-applicant/ husband, who in
his reply has stated that the applicant/wife is a well qualified graduate
Engineer in the field of information Technology and just after the marriage she
had joined the service of a private firm and was drawing a handsome salary as
initially she was taking Rs. 5000/-pm. Now-a-days she is competent and qualified
to earn thousands of rupees per month. She is a qualified trained engineer and
she is self stand financially in all respects. The non-applicant/ husband has
never neglected or refused to maintain her in any manner and she was duly
maintained during her stay in her matrimonial home. The non-applicant/ husband
is still ready and willing to provide financial assistance or maintenance if
required or needed by her for any purpose in any manner. It is not denied that
the non-applicant/ husband is also a qualified engineer and is employed in
Greater Noida, U.P. but the actual amount of monthly salary being drawn by him
is Rs. 45,000/-pm. It is stated that he has to maintain his retired father and
ailing, diabetic mother and old grandmother and also to treat his two married
sisters and to look-after his younger unmarried under-education sister of
marriageable age as his younger sister is doing B.Ed. from a regular college. He
is also paying loan premiums and other household expenses. The applicant/ wife
has herself deserted her matrimonial home without any threats or atrocities
caused to her by her in-laws and she is not returning to her matrimonial home
despite the petition for restitution of conjugal rights filed by the
non-applicant/ husband. It is stated that the non-applicant/ husband is publicly
and openly as well as warmly welcoming the applicant/ wife to her matrimonial
home but she has started demanding maintenance sitting in her parental home to
feed her greedy parents and selfish relatives instead of returning to her
matrimonial home and to assist the non-applicant/ husband and her other in-laws
in her matrimonial home at the time of need. It is stated that the conduct,
attitude and nature of the applicant/ wife is of such type that she is not
entitled for any maintenance. Further more, she has also filed a separate
petition U/s 125Cr. P.C. for maintenance only with a view to get the
non-applicant/ husband harassed in a criminal court. It is stated that the
applicant/ wife is not a helpless or poor lady and she is not incapable to
maintain herself as she is a well qualified engineer and is already an earning
hand. She is handing over all her income to her parents. She does not require
any monastery assistance from the non-applicant/ husband as she is already
having a good bank balance in State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur at Rohini,
Sector-5, Delhi, bearing A/c No. 61005521399 and several other bank accounts
also. She also has some immovable properties in her name. It is denied that she
requires Rs. 30,000/- as maintenance and other charges as prayed. It is,
therefore, prayed that the application be dismissed with heavy cost.

4.. I have heard the Ld. Counsel for both the parties and have carefully
perused the record.

5.. During the course of arguments it has not been denied by the Counsel for
the applicant/ wife that the applicant/ wife herself is an engineer graduate in
the field of Information Technology. Ld. Counsel for the applicant/ wife
submitted that the applicant/ wife submitted that the applicant/ wife joined the
job for some time after the marriage but thereafter due to the marital disputes
she is not in a position to pursue her job and has left the same. In her entire
application the applicant/ wife has no where stated that she is also an engineer
graduate in the field of Information Technology and that she also joined the job
after her marriage. Those seeking justice and equity from the Court must come to
the court with clean hands. It seems that for obvious reasons and to extract
money the applicant/ wife has not disclosed her true qualifications in the
Court. The applicant/ wife is an engineer graduate and, therefore, can very well
maintain herself and there is no need for her to depend upon the mercy of her
parents or on the non-applicant/ husband. The purpose of Section 24 of H.M. Act
is not to extract money from the other party and the court should not be a forum
to extract the money or to blackmail the other party. In II (2000) DMC 170
titled as Mamta Jaiswal Vs. Rajesh Jaiswal, the Hon’ble Madhya Pradesh High
Court has observed as under:-

“Section 24 – Pendente Lite Alimony : Purpose of Enactment : Not meant for
supporting idle (Qualified) spouses waiting for ‘Dole’ to be Awarded by her
husband – Section 24 has been enacted for purpose of providing monetary
assistance to such spouse who is incapable of supporting himself/ herself in
spite of sincere efforts – Spouse well qualified to get service immediately with
less efforts is not expected to remain idle to squeeze out his/her purse by cut
in nature of pendent elite alimony – Wife well qualified woman possessing
qualification like M.Sc., M.C. M.Ed – How can such a lady remain without service
– lady who is fighting matrimonial petition filed for divorce, cannot be
permitted to sit idle and put her burden on husband for demanding – pendente
lite alimony from him during pendency of matrimonial petition.”

6.. In I (2001) DMC 19 titled Sangitaben Rasiklal Jaiswal Vs. Sanjay Kumar
Ratilal Jaiswal, Mehsana, the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court has held that the wife
is entitled for Free Legal Aid and therefore, the Court should keep in mind that
wife is entitled for free legal services also.

7.. In the present case the applicant/ wife is a well qualified engineer and,
therefore, there is no need for her to sit idle at home waiting for the
maintenance from the non-applicant/ husband. In the peculiar facts and
circumstances of the case since the applicant/ wife is well qualified and,
therefore, can earn handsome amount by working and there is no need for her to
be financially dependent upon her parents or on the non-applicant/ husband, she
is not entitled for any maintenance. While hearing arguments on the application
it was ordered that the maintenance shall be granted to the wife till the
disposal of the petition. This sentence in order sheet dated 27.08.2007 only
means that the wife is entitled for the maintenance from the date of filing of
the application till the disposal of the main petition and not thereafter. It no
where reflects that the wife shall be entitled to maintenance I every case come
what may.

8.. Therefore, in view of the above said discussion, the application U/s 24
Hindu Marriage Act of the applicant/ wife is dismissed. There shall be no orders
as to cost. File be consigned to Record Room.

Announced in Open Court

Dated : 19.09.2007

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Google Censorship

>>>Google Censorship<<<

The major search engines censor access to many web sites. 11 min

They all have internal organizations responsible for executing the censoring policies of their company. We can be confident that none of these organizations is called the “Censoring Division”. The people in these organizations may also sincerely believe that what they are doing is in the best interests of their users and that every single site that they block is “doing something wrong”.

The problem with Internet censoring is the same as any other form of censoring. As history has repeatedly demonstrated, once you start censoring it is very hard to stop. It is always possible to rationalize that people would be better off if they didn't have access to certain information.

Google has often censored some of my own pages. These pages have completely and utterly disappeared from their search engines. They do not exist!

(And please do not bother writing to me to explain that this might be because their 'blind' algorithms might simply have changed - because I have far too much evidence pointing to the conclusion that these 'algorithms' include site-specific and/or page-specific instructions and I also know the internet extremely well.)

You see; Google has a problem. And it is this.

Just like the telephone companies, Google claims that it cannot possibly have any responsibility for what information flows through its system. After all, in much the same way that the telephone companies cannot possibly monitor all the billions of telephone conversations that flow through their systems, Google cannot possibly monitor all the information on the billions of webpages that it lists.

Or so it claims.

And, on the surface, this claim seems to be a reasonable one.


If Google is, indeed, censoring information (e.g. delisting pages from its search engines or demoting them in the rankings because of their content) then, quite clearly, it is monitoring this information.

And if it is monitoring this information, then it can surely be deemed to be liable for the presentation of it!

And if this was the case then, for example, this would mean that Google could be held responsible for any libel that appeared on webpages that it had listed - or, perhaps, responsible for aiding terrorists etc etc etc.

In short; if Google admits to monitoring, then it can be held to be 'liable'.

So, Google is somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, it proudly proclaims to be a defender of free speech and that it would not dream of censoring (blocking, de-listing, demoting etc etc) any webpages of information, and it insists most strongly that, therefore, it cannot possibly be held liable for any of the content but, on the other hand, it does not want to upset governments; and it can only do this by doing what governments tell them.

And so Google has chosen to worm its way out of this dilemma by, quite simply, accommodating to the wishes of governments - and lying to the people about it.

Now some of my long-time readers might recall that the last time that I had a barney with Google - when, if you believe it, they removed all advertising from a single innocuous page concerning men's issues on my other website - I had to maraud around for three or four days demonstrating to Google that I would trawl the internet here, there and everywhere in order to spread the news about Google's heinous activities to whomsoever might seem interested - especially journalists.

And I think that what finally convinced Google to be more accommodating was me pointing out the fact that not only was I, clearly, a very energetic activist, but that rushing around the internet badmouthing Google would do absolute wonders for my site's traffic - and that, therefore, I would find the experience most rewarding - which meant that I was very unlikely to stop badmouthing Google hither and thither - week after week if necessary.

My ads came back.

Well, it looks as if I am now going to have to create a fuss over www.HarrietHarmanSucks.Com - because its pages have been disappeared into the abyss - having all first appeared for a few days hovering between pages 5 and 20 following a search for "Harriet Harman"

And so my plan is this.

I am going to write a piece about why Google needs to be 'controlled' and restricted in some way and explain how outrageous it is that it should have so much power.

And then I am going to start marauding around the internet again.

Because, ....

I will not be censored!


(And you can forget all the BS about Google being a private company and so it should be able to de-list or demote whatever pages it likes, because it is illegal for companies to cheat people. And if Google is censoring my pages, then it is cheating the people most horribly!)

The alternative, I suppose, is to re-write the pieces so that they are less 'hostile'.


I'll think about it.

Maybe if I grovelled to Harriet Harman in my pieces instead of castigating her Google would re-list my pages.

Grovel. Grovel.



I would rather that my missus be torn apart and devoured slowly by a gruesome herd of flesh-eating crocodiles.

(While I watched her writhing in agony, ate ice cream, and chatted to my new girlfriend, of course!)

Anyway. The piece above is very good indeed, and definitely worth reading.

+ We have private companies like Google deciding what we can and can't see based on their self-interested readings of poorly-drafted national laws, taking advice from unnamed and unaccountable Government agencies and telling nobody what is going on. Bill Thompson

And, of course, this is one of the ways in which western governments intend to stifle dissent.

This is the deal in a nutshell.

Government: "If you, Google, do not disappear from view those most effective pieces that are hostile to us, then we shall bring some kind of law to bear upon you."

Google: "Yes Sir. No Sir. Three bags full, Sir."

Government: "But you must not tell the people of this secret deal."

Google: "Yes Sir. No Sir. Three bags full, Sir."

There is no question in my mind that this is going on.

And this means that we do not have a democracy.

Of course, Google would not dare to nobble websites that were very influential - because too many influential people might get upset about it.

So, between them, Google and the government keep it all secret and under the carpet.

In other words, as usual, our own governments - and, in this case, Google - are cheating us.

And talk about hypocrisy! - with all our politicians forever criticising the Chinese government for blocking access to websites that are critical of government and its officials, when they are doing something very similar over here.

Indeed, our governments - through their officials - are lying to us all the time.

Furthermore, when, at the time, I did a whole load of research into the matter of 'adverts' and the 'blacklisting' of them, it became fairly clear to me that the sites that had lost their adverts were mostly on the right side of the political spectrum in that they were often anti-feminist and/or not politically correct.

So, as in so many other areas, my guess is that internet activists who are anti-feminist and/or not politically correct are also having to cope with the customary institutionalised biases against them; but this time, with the aid of Google.

But decent lefties must also be very much concerned about this, firstly, because it might not be too long before those who are pulling the strings are more right-wing and, secondly, because "men's issues" have precious little to do with being on the left or the right of the political spectrum; because when it come to issues of concern to 'men', the official left and right are just as bad as each other.

In other words, all men should be very concerned indeed about Google's underhand censorship because not only does this undermine the democratic process most seriously, it also means that those activists who are fighting the corner for 'men' (rightly or wrongly) are being unfairly treated and that the issues of concern to 'men' are - once again - being purposely sat upon and hidden.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Recognition of women’s rights on Women’s Rights Equality Day August 26, 2008



Sub: Recognition of women’s rights on Women’s Rights Equality Day August 26, 2008

Respected Sir / Madam,

On the occasion of Women’s Rights Equality Day we would like to draw your attention towards a topic gaining momentum in all strata, be it the media, society, or the legislative or executive environment - the ‘Wide and Rampant misuse of Women Protection Laws vide section 498A Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 leading to mass destruction of the social fabric and familial system of India. It’s a pity to note that this destruction of families is happening under the patronage of the Indian Legal System in the barb and paradoxical veil of “Women Empowerment and Protection”.

Although drafted with the sanest of intentions; to provide women with security in a marriage, of late, due to the large number of false cases making their way to courts, the protector’s shield has become the assassin’s weapon. The women NGOs also, who are supposed to be working as watchdogs, have turned into bloodhounds by discriminating between women related to husbands and wives and failing to recognize, empathize and redress the grievances of those fateful mothers and sisters who have been through the ordeal of seeing their son and brother suffering at the hands of an unjust and almost defunct legal system.

Save Indian Family Foundation, an international network of individuals and NGOs, is working for promotion of Gender Equality and Family Harmony, makes a pleading before your Excellency/good office on behalf of the bereaved and beleaguered mothers and sisters, victimized under false allegations of dowry harassment by their daughters –in – law and their advisors/parents, to kindly look into this matter. One complaint from the daughter –in – law lands the whole family including ailing senior citizens, minor children, as well as pregnant women behind bars and ruins their life in a whiff of a moment. All this happens without investigation and in most of the cases, hefty ransoms are demanded to settle the case.

As per National Crime Records Bureau, in the last 4 years, (2004 – 2007), 1, 20, 645 innocent women have been arrested without investigation / trial under 498A cases.

1) Is this women empowerment- that on an unverified complaint of one woman, three women are imprisoned (on an average) and deemed “Guilty until proven innocent”?

2) Umpteen numbers of cases have been found where the girls’ side, filing such complaints were found to be hiding vital facts about the girl and they in fact file these cases when the hidden facts(affairs, diseases, unnatural tendencies and preferences, etc.) are exposed. Has 498A been designed to seek revenge from and harass husband’s family legally?

3) Is the pain of a mother / sister less when she loses a son / brother than when she loses a daughter / sister?

4) As per suicide statistics provided by National Crime Records Bureau, for the years 2005 and 2006, close to 52, 483 and 55, 452 married men, respectively, have committed suicide as opposed to 28, 188 and 29, 869 married women. But yet there is no law to protect our brothers and sons. Why?

5) According to a report by Center for Social Research, there is only 2 % conviction in 498a cases, which means the law is misused to the tune of 98 % and yet it has not been scrapped. This clearly shows the inaction of the government and the apathy meted out to men and their family members, be it a man or a woman in India.

Today on Women’s Rights Equality Day we demand that,

1) Mothers and sisters of men too are given equal status and their grievances as women are also heard and redressed by State Women Commissions as well as National Commission for Women and the Women and Child Development Ministry.

2) We demand that all cases registered under 498A be properly investigated by a police officer of the level of DCP before making any arrests or registering any complaint the police has written permission from the DCP- in compliance with 1994 Supreme Court Judgment 1994 AIR 1349 SCC (4) 260 Joginder Kumar vs. UOI. It is to be understood that 498a is a serious criminal offense and registering a criminal offense against any person without investigation can lead to serious degradation of the person’s social reputation and irreparable damage to life and career, apart from unfathomable human rights violation and wastage of governmental resources and hence public’s money.

3) Such acts need strong condemnation and the perpetrators of false cases need to be severely punished as they are maligning the system and blocking the path of justice for genuine victims. The State should initiate prosecution suo motu against those found to be misusing laws affecting families.

Gender Equality cannot come by way of Gender Discrimination and stereotyped, anachronous and generalised assumptions, which can only help to undermine the spirit and definition of any law. Taking the statements of the girl’s side as “Gospel Truth” reflects sheer lack of jurisprudence and grave inefficiency in implementation of laws on the government’s part, which needs to be rectified with immediate effect.

Place: Thanking You

Date: 26 August 2008

PRO (Save Indian Family Foundation)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Women Protection vs. Women Empowerment

Alimony in divorces is a serious issue these days. Huge alimonies have stripped men of their finances in the West and this trend is slowly catching in India as well with the growing number of divorces. Recent studies in Mumbai showed that 40 % of marriages end in divorce. In Delhi, every day on an average 10 divorce cases are filed. And in majority of these cases men are ordered to pay alimony as they say alimony in divorce is a positive step towards “Women Empowerment” by making them financially independent. But alimony as a provision in divorce is despicable and subject to serious condemnation for many reasons underlined here,

1) Arranged Marriage in India is a communal decision and takes place as a result of the involvement of society elders, common friends and the parents of both the boy and the girl. Hence when the relation fails to work and ends in a divorce, the husband should not be the only one paying.

2) If it is a love marriage then both the adults are equally responsible and the man should not be the only one paying the price.

3) Alimony is the biggest motivator for women to file a divorce and stop making attempts to save the marriage. Also parents of girls, when they see the marriage is not working, encourage their daughters to move towards divorce in lieu of hefty alimony.

4) Due to the overwhelming and impending burden of alimony, married men in India continue to suffer in a bad marriage and refrain from buying a costly piece of paper called, ‘Divorce’ which results in higher stress levels for men and also higher suicide rates among Indian married men.

In line with the feminism that created waves in the 70s in the West, harsh, lopsided and severely anti – male laws were drafted in India in the name of Women Protection. And at the same time alimony was encouraged in the name of Women Empowerment. Today we have six laws quintessentially achieving the same objective of Women Protection and Women Empowerment in tandem.

But the basic ideology where the law makers, the society living with those laws and the media sleeping in deep slumber, not to protest against the loopholes in the laws and their implementation, fluttered is that, Protection and Empowerment can never go hand in hand. We don’t need to protect an empowered lot, hence when alimony was already provided for Women Empowerment, Women Protection was a redundancy. And if that was not the case then alimony as a means to Empower Women has failed miserably and has rather proved as a “Marriage Breaker” as reflected in a recent statement by renowned Supreme Court justice Arijit Pasayath that the Hindu Marriage Act has broken more families than joining them.

The statements seems more than apt. Though Hindu Marriage Act has provisions for saving as well breaking marriage, the one breaking marriage is more famous i.e. divorce. The section for saving marriage, Section 9 – Restitution of Conjugal Rights is a dead letter section of the Hindu Marriage Act which quintessentially trivializes the Indian culture of saving marriage, but sadly enough it is not only a lesser known section, it is non – executable as well, which means the court cannot enforce an order passed in this section.

Due to such reasons divorces are increasing day by day and the institution of marriage is slowly dying out. The government which barely manages to gather oxygen enough to survive in wake of recent turmoil and power tussle at the center has little / no time to look into this matter, impending over the society as a social catastrophe. The society, whose very existence is subject to strict proof with everyone in the society considering everyone else other than oneself as the society, with its paradoxical veil of technological advancement conveniently, chooses to ignore the victims of a bad marriage. The media, whose hunger for sensationalism is self – feeding, considers only the women as humans, raising its voice for women at every sneeze and whiff, is simply catalyzing a gender divide in the society and nothing else.

In view of the all the above contentions and discussions, yet it remains a question, whether Empowerment and Protection can go hand in hand? Let the stalwarts answer this.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Marriage - The other side of the coin

Marital problems have started contributing to stress in a very big way. Day in and day out we hear people succumbing to marital problems with the growing numbers of suicides among married people especially males. As per suicide statistics provided by National Crime Records Bureau, for the years 2005 and 2006, close to 52, 000 and 56, 000 married men committed suicide respectively. And the same years noted a splurge in the number of dowry harassment cases filed as reflected in the number of such cases filed – 58319 and 63128. Coupled with that, if a study conducted by Center for Social Research on the conviction rate of such cases is anything to go by, it shockingly reveals that there is only 2 % conviction in such cases. This means 98 % of such cases are false, and thus a false claim of dowry harassment was made.

Not only that, based on that false statement, the husband and his entire family was arrested, put behind bars, made to cough out huge amounts to get a bail and had no choice but to fight a legal battle in an otherwise defunct and dead judicial outreach and was also subjected to malicious prosecution. For the charge of dowry harassment being false, the concocted stories of alleged torture would also bear no ground. Having thus said, section 498A IPC, being heavily misused has actually turned out into an assassin’s weapon rather a protector’s shield as rightly pointed out by the Honorable Supreme Court of India. Instead of making families, it is breaking families, for any woman who has falsely implicated her husband and in – laws in a false criminal case has lost their trust and the marriage has been dead for all practical purposes.

A recent study in Mumbai claimed 40 % of marriages registered in Mumbai end in a divorce. And most of such cases involve filing of a false dowry case in order to get a quick divorce with a hefty alimony. Unscrupulous girls, supported by ill – minded parents, especially mother, pampered by a biased legal system who is highly de – sensitized to husbands (read married men) have found this as a very easy way to earn tax – free money. And to add to that all of those so called marriages have been performed on some auspicious date / time in consultation with some purohit / pundit etc.

When marriages could last so strongly for ages down the memory lane, and those too were conducted on some auspicious date / time in consultation with some purohit / pundit etc., what has changed so drastically in recent times that marriages have become a source of business opportunity for women and a source of ignominy and stress for men? Save Indian Family Foundation, the single largest NGO committed to the cause of spreading the message of Gender Equity and Family Harmony in addition to providing free legal, moral and psychological support to the victims of false dowry harassment and Domestic Violence cases, receives on an average of 200 calls a week over its various help lines spread all over India and abroad as well from battered and harassed men who are either victims of the misuse of these laws or are subjected to Domestic Violence at the hands of their wives.

Have we come of the time to consult a lawyer rather than a pundit or a purohit to decide a marital knot? Especially a male does need to do so before tying the knot. For if the marriage does not work (which is quite possible in today’s dynamic socio – economic scenario), he will have to bear the brunt of the fallacy. A false case lodged with the help of the corrupt police force, sleeping judiciary and mercenary lawyers robs the man of his health, wealth, life, career and happiness. Even with a low conviction rate, the mental trauma that the man and his family including his mother and sisters and his father and other relatives undergo cannot be described in words and is by no means less than actual conviction.

But does life end there? Is the end of marriage, the end of life? Perhaps yes, but probably no. Looking at the alarmingly high and surprisingly suppressed suicide statistics of married males as mentioned in the first paragraph, it is probably true that for married males, end of marriage is end of life. But seeing the spirits of a few thousand volunteers at Save Indian Family Foundation, reality shifts. Here people have not only gathered strength to fight against the system and stride against the tide, but have also developed high amount of positivity in their life and learned to remain happy despite a despicable and pathetic married life.

Marriage can definitely be the first step towards family foundation but cannot substitute life itself. Life is too big and diverse and there are many things to be done in life than to waste it in crying over the split milk called a bad marriage. Like the volunteers at Save Indian Family Foundation has taken cudgels against not only the biased laws and their faulty implementation but also against the mindset that a woman will not break away from a marriage without justifiable reason. This is a bitter truth which the society needs to know, imbibe and live with it, till the time it refuses to change itself.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sex in the boardroom!- Can a female actually exploit a man?

Sex in the boardroom!
9 Jul 2008, 0055 hrs IST, PALLAVI TYAGI

“When a man talks dirty to a woman, its sexual harassment. When a woman talks dirty to a man, it's $3.95 per minute”

The famous Steven Wright quote seems to be quite paradoxical, especially in the light of a recent Australian survey. According to the survey, it’s not only women who face sexual harassment at work places; men also have to go through the unwanted office vixenry. Remember Michael Douglas in Disclosure or Akshay Kumar in the desi version Aitraaz? The study also states that many men are sexually harassed by women at work but are afraid to complain to their bosses. And even if they complain about their bosses, they are more likely to be told they are actually lucky to be ogled and hassled!

This couldn’t be closer to the truth, at least where India Inc is concerned. We spoke to a cross-section of people on the issue and the reactions were, well, surprising, to say the least! Read on...

What’s going on in that cubicle?

“Yes. I agree that sex has entered the boardroom big time. Males are actually facing sexual pestering by female bosses and colleagues.” says ex. lieutenant Rita Gangwani, carefully avoiding the words harassment and exploitation.

“Since time immemorial, man has been the ruler and female just a follower. But with changing times, the new age women are getting much empowered. They are rubbing shoulders with men and doing much better in most of the fields. So, such sexual advances can be about flaunting, exercising power and not actually about sex, “she further exemplifies.

Supports producer of a leading sports channel, “Behind the scenes of every male life, there are instances (though very few) when they come across such a boss. But, to be very honest, if it exists then it’s a win-win situation for him.”

For most people, however, sexual harassment of a man by a woman is inane, to say the least. “A hidden world of sexual harassment, with female managers exploiting their power over men in the office, seems very unreal. See, especially in the desi context, sex is a very hush-hush thing and not something easily available. So, in such situation even if a man gets such a proposition, he can just not mind it. This stands true even if he doesn’t get any materialistic favours from his female boss in return. Where is the issue?” questions COO of a renowned Internet-solution company.

Pallavi Shekhar, sales manager, Idea Cellular Ltd, shares a similar opinion, “We all know how grapevines work at workplace. She would gain instant fame in and out the office. Why would a female herself opt for a situation in which everyone in the office and even in the industry think of her as a bimbo? No matter how modern a woman is - image matters a lot.”

Can a female actually exploit a man?

“Not really,” says Rita Gangwani, making us understand why she avoided the word harassment, “I would call it sexual convenience for both. A female at a top notch position might be looking for some emotional backing. Women get emotionally involved the minute they enter a physical alliance; for them, ‘No-strings-attached’ also comes with a thin, white strand. In such cases, women get the much needed emotional refuge, flattering compliments and a dedicated escort and men get promotions/raises along with casual sex. It’s just a pact.”

“If there is Sex & Sum (money) then it will be total 'advantage men’. The reason for this is that sex is not open in our country,” asserts the sports channel producer.

So, does that mean men see such proposals as just another opportunity to carve a notch on the bedpost and get some “perks”? When, Pratish Aggrawal, a software developer working with Infosys, was asked if he has ever been harassed a female boss, colleague, he replied, "No, but I'd like to be”. Oops point taken! However, Pratish is quick to cover up, “Look men are not that sensitive. They do not consider mockery, sexual jokes, and lewd suggestions from female co-workers as harassment. Also, we have been taught from childhood that real men aren't victims – so we can surely find a way out.”

According to psychologist Dr Sanjay Chugh: “Men usually are more causal about sex but that has nothing to do with exploitation. A female boss asking for sexual favours may be a pleasant thing if the man finds that sex is worth the gain that he might get, or if he finds the boss sexually attractive. But if one doesn’t find the boss attractive, if one's value systems are different, it can be pure torture to even contemplate such a proposition. Sex with anyone can be casual and fun if it comes out of free choice. In this situation, it no longer remains casual.”

Legally speaking!

ACP Sanjay Tyagi says that in his entire carrier span he hasn’t “even heard of” any case wherein a male has registered a FIR against a female colleague or boss for sexual assault.

Anukul Raj, advocate, Supreme Court, explains, “There are no detailed and specific laws to deal with male harassment. We just have sections like Section 377 and Section 375 that deal with offence like sodomy and forced sexual acts.”

Highlighting the prejudice a male may face in harassment cases, he says: “In case a woman complains of a sexual assault, her word of mouth is considered as the proof and the onus of establishing that the convict is innocent is on the defense. However, if a male makes such a complaint, the onus of proving the assault is on the prosecution.” The lawyer further adds that he hasn’t heard of or fought any such case yet.

Exploring the reason for inhibitions on the part of a male sufferer, Dr Chugh explains, “We have to understand here that for a male it can be very difficult to come up with such a complaint because of the shame or embarrassment associated with it (just as it would be tough for a female). What makes it more difficult is the mindset (result of years of conditioning) that man is superior and more powerful. Men are still getting used to having women as bosses...accepting that they are sexually dominant too is something more difficult.”