Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fight against 498A: History of our movement

The Indian men’s movement started some 20 years back by Mr. Ramprakash Chugh, a Lawyer in Supreme Court of India and he started giving free help to men who faced problems from their wives. He carried on in spite of ridicule. His movement mainly remained in Delhi and he fought for rights of men in legal system. It took at least another decade for the movement to pick speed when an organisation called Purush Hakka Samrakshan Samiti (PHSS) was formed in Nasik with branches in couple of cities in Maharastra including Mumbai in 1997. Its name meant ”Men’s Rights Protection Organisation”. It fought against detention of men and his families in false complaints of IPC 498a. It fought for granting bail to people who were innocent. It interacted with judiciary and politicians. The media covered them well. But, they faced extremely hostile reactions for local feminists who lobbied to ban this organisation. Most probably, they could not digest that there can also be men’s rights movement. Of course, they did not succeed.

Almost at the same time, an organisation called “Pirito Purush Poti Parishad”(PPPP) started in Kolkata. Not much information about this organisation and its achievements.

It took another 5 more years for something substantial to happen. The internet changed the way people communicate. Techies in Bangalore could feel the heat on them as feminism started taking its first casualities in Bangalore.
That led to Sangyabalya in 2003 and this time it was different. More than 50% of its members are women and it was no longer a men’s movement, but a movement which discussed both men’s and women’s issues. It is sensed that men’s issues and women’s issues are not opposite of each other, but they run in parallel. That was a pathbreaking approach. For the first time in the history of India, a helpline was launched for giving completely free support to men, woman and elders who are jailed due to false complaints by impulsive daughters-in-law or her family.
Soon techies from Wipro, Infy, TCS, GE, HP, Cisco and many more companies started lining up for help and giving help. The helpline was followed up by a strongly bonded community. So, strong was the commitment that this organisation ran without any funds. For any new victim and his family, help of all kinds (moral, emotional, legal, strategic counselling) poured in.

As Media knew the real issues faced by men and their families, they extended a surprisingly warm welcome to this organisation and covered it well. This coverage led to chain reaction. Every days on an average 4 to 5 people from various parts of country and also from abroad started calling the Helpline for support and counselling. In no time, there were two hundred members.

By late 2004, the avtivists operating in Bangalore became very influential and that slowly started changing the attitude of judges and counsellors. A famous high court judge warned feminists, if they do not behave themselves, then men’s rights organisations will take over the social movement. The need for diversity of organisations to fight against misuse of law, led to decision of creating multiple organisations. This led to creation of India’s first women’s organisation Asha Kiran which fights for men’s rights. Many mothers and sisters of men started fighting full time for their rights which are violated by the draconian, dysfunctional Indian legal system.


In the meanwhile, by end of 2003, the internet activism was given a major boost by the activity spear-headed by D’Souza and Gokul.
D’Souza’s Site: http://misuseof498a.clawz.com/
Gokul’s site: http://Gokul.go.to/ At the same time, the talented NRIs, techies, engineers of India suddenly rose up to give power via the Yahoogroup Misusedowryact. By Jan 2005, Activists D’Souza, Sathakka and others were already working on Search Engine Optimisation. By Jan 15th, the website http://www.saveindianfamily.com/ was established. Large number of articles were written which put holes in the entire feminist theory. By March, the activism shifted in a bigger way to Yahoogroup SaveIndianFamily. Activists from Delhi and Haryana joined in a big way and that led to creation of Pariwarik Suraksha Sanstha(PSS) in Delhi in May 2005. On 9th July 2005, PSS conducted a major seminar in Constitution club in Delhi which was covered by Doordarshan. On 15th July, Doordarshan conducted a 30 minute program on Misuse of Dowry laws in India. Seminar in Delhi:

Now we have other very professional sites with lot of information for every member and non-member : http://www.498a.org http://www.ipc498a.org/ http://www.mynation.net/

Lisa Tsering gets award for her story on False Dowry Cases

Lisa Tsering, a correspondent with India West met Save Indian Family(SIF) members in US in december 2004, as a part of her study on NRIs facing false dowry cases and extortion(sowry harassment) in India.

New America Media has awarded her story as Best Investigative/In-Depth (English) story on NRIs victimised by false dowry cases in India.
We congratulate Lisa Tsering for her courage and her great investigative article.
New California Media is a nationwide association of over 700 ethnic media organizations representing the development of a more inclusive journalism. Founded in 1996 by Pacific News Service, NCM promotes ethnic media through events such as the NCM Ethnic Media Expo and Ethnic Media Awards, a National Directory of Ethnic Media, and such initiatives as the online feature NCM Exchange Headlines from Ethnic Media, offering top headlines digested from ethnic media worldwide, updated five days a week

Monday, January 02, 2006

Warnings from Canada and USA: Misuse of dowry laws

Growing numbers of Canadian citizens have been caught up in marital fraud and dowry abuse in India. Most cases involve Indo-Canadian males who abandon their wives in India after cheating them out of large sums of money. Other cases involve misuse of India’s Dowry Prohibition Act. This law, which was enacted to protect women and makes demanding a dowry a crime, is sometimes used to blackmail men through false allegations of dowry extortion. Individuals facing charges may be forced to remain in India until their cases have been settled or pay off their spouses in exchange for the dismissal of charges. To avoid such problems, you are advised to register your marriage in India along with a joint declaration of gifts exchanged, as well as consider a prenuptial agreement

A number of U.S.-citizen men who have come to India to marry Indian nationals have been arrested and charged with crimes related to dowry extraction. Many of the charges stem from the U.S. citizen's inability to provide an immigrant visa for his prospective spouse to travel immediately to the United States. The courts sometimes order the U.S. citizen to pay large sums of money to his spouse in exchange for the dismissal of charges. The courts normally confiscate the American’s passport, and he must remain in India until the case has been settled. There are also cases of U.S.-citizen women of Indian descent whose families force them against their will into marriages to Indian nationals.