Renuka Chowdhury, 54 MoS (Independent Charge) for Women & child Development

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New Delhi: Renuka Chowdhury, 54 MoS (Independent Charge) for Women & child Development

Result: -1/10

She was given independent charge of the Women and Child Development Ministry in 2006 after WCD, earlier under the Human Resource Development Ministry, was made a separate ministry. After three years, there is no marked difference in the condition of women and children in the country.

Her brief

In its manifesto in 2004, the Congress said that a nutritious mid-day cooked meal scheme will be introduced in primary and secondary schools across the country and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) will be universalised to provide for a functional anganwadi in every settlement and full coverage for children below the age of six. Chowdhury was also expected to reduce incidences of maternal and child mortality and malnutrition.

Reforms derailed

In 1997, judicial guidelines were set on protection against sexual harassment at the workplace, but the “high priority bill” is still shuttling between the National Commission for Women (NCW) and WCD.

Child labour has not been abolished, apart from a few baby steps taken by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), under the WCD Ministry.

The demand for additional guaranteed financial support from the expenditure finance committee for the ambitious and controversial proposal to give fortified pre-packaged food—instead of hot cooked meals—to poor children as part of the revamp of the ICDS was trashed by the Planning Commission.

OPPORTUNITIES BLOWN

The UPA government dropped attempts to strengthen the anti-Sati law, more than 20 years after it was first enacted. The proposed law was expected to increase prison terms for those committing as well as glorifying the practice.

After the Nithari incident, Chowdhury stressed on the need for a database of missing children. Till date, the NCPCR is still juggling to get the figures.

Proposed to the Home Ministry that it grant amnesty to women prisoners. A year after, the issue remains untouched.

Once talked of taking up the issue of dumped NRI wives but there has hardly been any step forward in the direction.

State child commissions were supposed to be set up. A Bill was passed in Parliament in 2006, but other than in Delhi and Kerala, the commissions haven’t been set up.

What was she thinking?

After the Mangalore pub attack by the Sri Ram Sene, where young women were attacked in an alleged incident of moral policing, she championed the cause of progressive city youth by calling for a “Pub Bharo” campaign and claimed that Mangalore had been “talibanised”.

High point

The enforcement of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005) in October 2006.

Low point

When she said “women must not trust their men” and guard themselves against HIV/AIDS, her statement drew flak from all quarters.

VIEW FROM THE SHADOW

“Except some debates and wordy duels, nothing substantive happened. WCD is a very important department.” —Murli Manohar Joshi, former HRD minister in the NDA government

Did she get your vote?

She lost in Khammam, Andhra Pradesh, by a margin of 1.24 lakh votes.

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Letter to The Taliban

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Dear Jehadis,

We will not feel any difference whether you attack us or not, because we men of India are already under the threat of Legal Terrorism. There won’t be anything new if you arrive here.

As per AajTak (Sabse Tej), we came to know that you are situated just 700 km away from India somewhere in SWAT in Pakistan. We heartily welcome you. In India you will be safe, because India is the only country where criminals can get full freedom and innocent people are put behind bars without any investigation. Don’t worry about Intelligence of India. I see AajTak daily, I see a lot of bearded brothers (Talibans) with AK56 and Bazookas, but suddenly this channel shows marquee of “BREAKING NEWS” and shows how Chand ditched Fiza and dowry etc.; this is your insult as they stop broadcasting and highlighting you. As you have training camps in SWAT and Afghanistan, we also have training camps in Police Stations, Courts and Lawyers to produce Legal Terrorists. Even media sponsors the Legal Terrorism in Sansani etc.

No married man in India has any power. As we marry, our powers go away. Because in India we have a nice custom called Streedhan. Magically, this Streedhan is converted into Dowry (Dahej), as and when wife does not find any other way to suck the blood out of her Husband and in-laws.

So, women in India fight for Dahej and you fight for Jehad. (Total co-incidence)

We can not welcome you like Renuka ji welcomes USAID and UNICEF. Married men are very poor in India. But, yes we can give you submission of some  nice targets to warm up your trip to India. Here we go…

No. 1: Start with all the “corrupted” politicians (its really very easy to find out corrupt politicians for simple warm up session). Even when they are in Z+ security you can shoot them easily, because there is no Man in Indian Police.

No. 2: You tell Renuka that “We are the same, we both get fund for terror from America…”. Actually, she is better terrorist than you, and she has a brutal death in her destiny, as per one Saadhu in Himalaya (Note: The saadhu and his family was victimized by his wife under section 498A in 1991).

No. 3: Teach women of India to fight ethically like you (we have a course ready with us).

No. 4: During this warm-up, lot’s of Taliban can get caught by eunuch Police and Judiciary. So, obviously during their judicial custody these Taliban can meet falsely accused of 498A to learn the modes-operandi of Renuka ji. You will come to know the stories of innocent people suffering without any cause. You will find lot’s of points to apply brutality.

I think these four points are enough for now. If you succeed, then you can fight with us.

Ofcourse, I’d like to tell you one more thing, the legal system is completely broken and defunct in India. It will collapse by itself. You will find nothing here. Men are being terrorized already by booking them in DV and 498A etc. and 125 IPC and 24 HMA to break them financially, as Honda City cars are given as  alimony to women in India. You will only pull your hair. And finally you will waste your precious time watching accused fighting for justice in place of victims.

That’s all for now. I need to prepare for the next date in court to get justice.

Keep in touch.

Disclaimer: In case the contents above resembles the reality of today’s India, then we’re not responsible.

E-zine supports ‘harassed’ men

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Himanshi Dhawan | TNN

New Delhi: A monthly newsletter — Indian Family Times — that has taken up a fight against the anti-dowry law on the internet, has invited contributors to post pictures and profiles of women who have “misused” the law to lodge false dowry cases against men.
The online newsletter, started this month, has also hailed Delhi Police commissioner Y S Dadwal as a “true patriot” while calling women and child development minister Renuka Choudhary a “pinhead”.
Terming IPC 498A or the anti-dowry law as “legal terrorism” — that was introduced with good intentions but has been plagued by bad execution — the newsletter claims that it will highlight the harrowing tales of victims who have fallen prey to the misuse.

This comes close on the heels of a consultation by the WCD ministry on the issue following criticism against the Dowry Prohibition Act and the Domestic Violence Act.
“The law is being used by unethical and immoral women and their families to harass the husband’s family, humiliate them to accept their improper and illegal demands, and extort money,” the newsletter said. The e-zine (
July-08-Issue) has a “hall of shame” that includes a woman’s name, address, educational qualifications and her family details warning prospective “grooms” to keep away. Its “success story” has details of a man who has been successful in escaping the “trap”.
The publication lauds Dadwal for issuing standing instructions that no arrests except for the husband’s be made in 498A cases without the permission of the DCP. Referring to WCD minister Renuka Choudhary, the newsletter says that “for her actions against the Indian family and her crazy comments, Ms Choudhary is a pinhead”.
Reacting sharply to the remarks, Choudhary said, “This is classic male behaviour. I really pity these men… this is no way to change the system.” Referring to the newsletter’s move to include women’s profiles and pictures, Choudhary added, “It is a democracy and they are free to do what they
want but it is an unfortunate thing that they want to put up women’s pictures like this. Do we have to upload pictures of dead wives and sisters to make our point?”

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“Unnatural Death” of a wife or “Unnatural Law” of the land?

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11th July 2008

To,
Ms. Renuka Chaudhary,

Minister, Government of India,
Ministry of Women and Child Development,
Shastri Bhavan `A’ Wing,
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road,
New Delhi-110001

Sub: NCW’s recommendations to address “unnatural deaths” of married women are unreasonable

Dear Minister,

We, the members of All India Forgotten Women, are writing to express concern over the unending stream of unreasonable amendments to laws pertaining to women recommended by National Commission for Women (NCW).

Barely a week after NCW made ridiculous recommendations on awarding maintenance for live-in-partners and adulterous wives, it is now pushing for broadening of the Dowry Prohibition Act, so that unnatural death of a woman at ANY stage of her marriage qualifies as dowry death.

At present, unnatural death of a woman within seven years of her marriage is considered as dowry death, attracting punishment to the accused husband and relatives under Section 304(B). While the current seven year rule and the automatic presumption of “dowry death” is in itself absurd, NCW opines that there should not be any time limit on registering unnatural death of a married woman as dowry death i.e. death caused due to demands for dowry.

Unnatural death “is a category used by coroners and vital statistics specialists for classifying all human deaths not properly describable as death by natural causes. Hence it would include events such as accident, execution, homicide, misadventure (being attacked by insects, reptiles, fishes, lions, tigers, bears, stingrays, or other wild animals), adverse outcome of surgery, suicide, terrorism, war.”

Any person, male or female, married or unmarried, may die an unnatural death due to any of the above causes. Among these, homicide (murder) is the only cause which unambiguously qualifies as a crime that can be committed by one person on another, and is already covered under IPC Section 302. It is, therefore, obvious that providing a Criminal Section specifically to deal with dowry murder is redundant, and only reflects gender bias.

In addition to murder, abetment of suicide is also a crime and punishable under IPC Section 306 which addresses both male and female victims. Therefore, once again, it is unnecessary to have duplications and special provisions in law like Section 304(B) and Section 498(A) to address suicides of women.

Most cases recorded as “dowry death” involve women who died by accident or by committing suicide.

Data from the National Crime Records Bureau indicates that there is no difference between the rate of suicide of married women and never married women. However, radical organizations like NCW would have us believe that every death of a married woman is a dowry death, without providing any justification for such presumption.

Recent data from the National Crime Records Bureau indicate that nearly twice as many married men, compared to married women, commit suicide every year, unable to withstand verbal, emotional, economic and physical abuse and legal harassment by their wives. While every death of a young married woman is converted into a case of dowry death leading to immediate arrest of the husband and in-laws, followed by a prompt media trial, large-scale suicides of men do not cause any outrage.

Gender obsessed women’s activists also refuse to admit the fact that accidental deaths are also equally likely among men and women. Therefore, it has become routine for police to arrest the husband and his relatives and book them under several sections including, IPC 498(A), 304(B), and Dowry Prohibition Act, every time a deceased woman’s relatives claim that she had been killed or driven to death/suicide for dowry. This is the case even when there are suicide notes or dying declarations absolving everyone including the husband of any responsibility for the woman’s suicide or death. There have even been instances where fake dowry death cases were registered and the “deceased” wife was found to be alive after the accused husband and in-laws were refused bail and imprisoned.

While husbands and their relatives are under constant suspicion leading to frequent violation of their basic human rights, wives are rarely ever questioned leave alone prosecuted if a husband dies or ends his life under similar circumstances. Media finds no incentive in highlighting the truth about abused men. People in power find no financial or political mileage to be gained from taking measures to prevent unnatural deaths of men.

The recent demise of Pushkar Singh is one of the countable few cases that at least caught some media attention. Sadly, even though his suicide note bears evidence to the fact that he was financially and emotionally destroyed because of false criminal cases filed against him and his family by his wife, she was not even called in for questioning by the police until family rights activists like us mounted pressure on them. One can only imagine the fate of cases where men take their lives silently, leaving no note behind. Deaths of these men make for the brief stories in newspapers stating that a certain man “killed himself due to family issues or financial problems”.

NCW is trying to appear very generous by recommending that “arrests of the immediate family members not be made till they are proved guilty”. Why should any individual (man or woman) be arrested unless there is strong basis to believe that they committed the alleged crime? Why is it alright to arrest a husband based on a presumption of dowry death (i.e. murder or abetment of suicide) when the same rule is not applied to a wife upon the unnatural death of the husband? As per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every human being (irrespective of age, sex or any other criterion) charged of a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Through its recommendations, NCW is suggesting that husbands do not count as humans or that they are not entitled to the same basic human rights as others.

Spreading blatant lies and alarmism about increasing crime against women, while ignoring similar abuses and crime against men, may be a lucrative means for radical organizations like NCW to justify their existence and to attract funds from national and international organizations. However, NCW has still to answer some fundamental questions pertaining to women’s welfare.

Is the pain of a mother who lost a son to domestic abuse or legal terrorism any less than that of a mother who lost a daughter? Is the pain of a woman who lost a brother any less than that of a woman who lost a sister?
How many more mothers and sisters should lose their sons and brothers before measures are taken to alleviate their sufferings?
Aren’t mothers and sisters women? Don’t they deserve a life of dignity and respect?
Do sufferings of innocent mothers and sisters bring justice to genuinely abused women?
Is protection of women’s rights synonymous with gross violation of basic human rights?
Is legal terrorism the solution to all women’s problems?

NCW pretends to possess proprietary rights on deciding what is good or bad for women’s empowerment in India. Through its anti-male, anti-family recommendations, NCW is posing a serious threat to the well-being of our families, especially that of our fathers, brothers and sons. We strongly condemn NCW’s radical proposals.

In the interest of justice, fairness and equality to both genders, we, the members of All India Forgotten Women, make the following recommendations:

  • Section 304(B) should not be retained in the law; IPC Section 302 already covers murder and IPC Section 306 covers abetment of suicide, and therefore Section 304(B) is only a duplication of law, which is gender-biased.
  • All cases of murder, including murder for dowry should be dealt with under IPC Section 302.
  • All cases of abetment of suicide, including those allegedly done for dowry, should be dealt with under IPC Section 306.
  • If IPC Section 304(B) is not removed from Indian law, then it should be amended and made applicable to men and women equally. Specifically, the word “husband/wife” should be replaced by the word “spouse”.
  • Section 304(B) treats the accused as guilty until proven innocent, thus, violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which proclaims that “everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty”. The law needs to be amended so that no arrests of any of the accused (man, woman or child) are made without proper investigation and written approval of police officials of the rank of DCP or above.
  • Those who misuse Section 304(B) for settling personal scores should be heavily penalized because false allegations and prosecution can cause irreparable damage to the accused parties even if they are later declared not guilty.

We hope that you will take our recommendations into serious consideration and promote justice irrespective of gender.

Thanking you.

Sincerely,

Uma Challa
President
All India Forgotten Women

Please click here for the pdf version

Only Wives are Women… Other females, just non-males?

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07-July-2008

To,

Ms. Renuka Chaudhary,

Minister, Government of India,
Ministry of Women and Child Development,
Shastri Bhavan `A’ Wing,
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road,
New Delhi-110001

Sub: Amendments to CrPC 125 recommended by NCW promote adultery and extortion

Honorable Minister,

We, the members of All India Forgotten Women, are appalled by the recent recommendations forwarded by the National Commission for Women (NCW) to the Ministry of Women and Child Development on the amendments sought in Section 125 of CrPC.

CrPC 125 is a Criminal Section which is biased towards women. Under this section, any legally married woman who cannot sustain life on her own can legally claim maintenance from the husband, while an impoverished husband cannot claim maintenance from his gainfully-employed wife. It is a well-known fact that a large proportion of women who are well educated, employed or qualified enough to find gainful employment are approaching courts to demand maintenance from the husband. Such women also simultaneously entangle the husband in false criminal cases under Section 498A and Dowry Prohibition Act. They also use civil provisions like the Domestic Violence Act and Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act (in addition to CrPC 125) to demand maintenance from the husband.

Various media reports indicate that NCW is pushing for providing maintenance not only to legally wedded/separated/divorced wives but also to female live-in partners. Another major amendment sought by NCW in Section 125 of CrPC is that ‘adultery should no longer be a ground for denying maintenance to a woman’. We feel that these recommendations are extremely sinister and ill-conceived. Through this letter we explain why the above recommendations of NCW should not be accepted, and also propose amendments that promote gender equality.

A live-in relationship, unlike marriage, is not a legally binding contract. Women (and men) who enter live-in relationships are implicitly accepting the risk of a break-up, whatever the reasons for the break-up may be. Live-in relationship is, in fact, the preferred arrangement for men and women who wish to avoid legal formalities governing their union, separation or the relationship therein. Forcing legal interference into a relationship that is legally invalid is simply ridiculous. Even if one were to condone legalization of live-in relationships, the idea of protecting the interests of just the female live-in partner, and leaving the male partner in the lurch, open to economic abuse, betrays the anti-male sentiments of radical groups like NCW. By providing maintenance to female live-in partners, NCW would only be encouraging unscrupulous women to enter into relationships, break-up at will and extort money from the male partner. Given that the length of a legally valid live-in relationship has not been defined by NCW, a woman who has shared just one night with a man can technically claim maintenance from him. Therefore, whether the legal amendment recommended by NCW is a tool of women’s empowerment or a tool of legalized extortion is a moot question.

Committing adultery amounts to criminal breach of trust and violation of the social sanctity and legal contract of marriage. Adultery should be considered an offence whether it is committed by a man or woman, and equal penalty should be imposed on the erring spouse irrespective of gender. Earlier, NCW shot down proposals for amending Section 497 which suggested that women should be prosecuted for adultery. NCW categorically stated that adulterous women were “hapless victims”, while it considered adulterous men as criminals deserving to be prosecuted. It is shameful that NCW is now recommending amendments to CrPC 125 to convert it into an extortion tool and to award maintenance to adulterous women, in the name of women’s empowerment.

Many men have been forced to pay maintenance to undeserving women merely based on the assumption of perpetual victimhood of women promoted by organizations like NCW. Men who fail to pay maintenance for any reason risk going to jail and even losing the property they own. While scores of wives use existing laws to treat husbands as free ATM machines, NCW is now pushing for new provisions so that women who are not legally married, as well as women who violated the legal contract of marriage by committing adultery, can exploit male partners financially.

As fellow women, we feel that enjoying a parasitic life by siphoning money away from an estranged husband or partner is merely extortion in broad daylight and definitely not a sign of women’s empowerment. If anything, NCW’s idea of women’s empowerment is demeaning to hard-working, self-respecting and individualistic women. By supporting unscrupulous women and providing them more tools for misuse of law NCW is harming many families. Before pushing for anymore deceitful provisions claiming to empower women, NCW should think of ways to provide justice to the 1,20,645 innocent mothers and sisters arrested and tormented in the last four years under false complaints of cruelty and dowry harassment. If NCW were genuinely interested in welfare of women, it must strive to stop future arrests of innocent mothers and sisters.

We, the members of All India Forgotten Women, hereby, condemn the recommendations to CrPC 125 made by NCW. These recommendations are not only an insult to truly empowered women, but also a serious threat to the well-being of our beloved fathers, sons, brothers and male colleagues. Recommendations of NCW, which encourage adultery and live-in relationships, are also a good recipe for destruction of family and creation of a fatherless society.

We, therefore, request lawmakers to amend the CrPC 125 as under:

  1. The word men/women should be replaced by the word person; the word husband/wife should be replaced by the word spouse.
  2. No maintenance should be awarded to a spouse who is educated, employed or qualified to find gainful employment.
  3. The phrase “living in adultery” should be replaced by the word “living or lived in adultery”, and the person who indulged in adultery should not be entitled to any maintenance from his/her spouse, as adultery is nothing but criminal breach of trust.
  4. If a person files for maintenance under CrPC 125, he/she should not be allowed to file for maintenance under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act or Domestic Violence Act.
  5. A maximum limit on monthly maintenance should be fixed and very strictly enforced irrespective of the gender of the spouse claiming maintenance.

We hope that you will take our recommendations and suggestions into serious consideration and promote justice and fairness irrespective of gender.

Thanking you.

Yours Sincerely,

Uma Challa

President

All India Forgotten Women

Please click here for the PDF version!