Men’s rights activists have decided to put forth their demands in front of the political parties. Four issues these organizations have been fighting since long have been put up as questions to major politicians, asking for their response on any suitable medium.
The demands/queries are related to domestic violence against men, shared parenting, gender-neutral rape laws and men’s welfare in general. NGO Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), one of the NGOs working for men, has sought replies from several leaders including Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal, Jayalalitha, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Sharad Pawar. The leaders can respond using social networking platforms or media too. Apparently, Yadav has already shown allegiance to these organizations.
“Based on answers these leaders give, we will decide which party to vote for in this election. Supporting Congress and CPI/CPIM is completely ruled out as they have violated human rights of many innocent men,” said Bangalore-based Anil Kumar, founder of SIFF. Kumar said his statement is based on the results of a survey among associated NGOs wherein all members indicated a dislike for Congress.
Times Of India, Lok Sabha election 2014 Report : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Home/Lok-Sabha-Elections-2014/News/Mens-rights-activists-put-condition-for-their-vote/articleshow/33194416.cms
While most of the associated men’s rights groups have no direct memberships, there are people who regularly keep asking for consultation and help from them. The NGOs put the number of their followers around 20,000. Kumar added that with Mulayam Singh Yadav as well as Mayawati having acceded to the demands in theory, members from Northern states will be supporting Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.
“In India, we tend to consider gender issues only related to women. Under the garb of what many political leaders and parties call women empowerment, there is large-scale discrimination against Indian men. In fact, they compete to project themselves as women’s messiah,” said Rajesh Vakharia, president of SIFF Central India. This discrimination, at times, even deny men of their constitutional rights, he added.
The activists have warned political parties that taking men for granted may prove very costly for them. According to them, their disillusionment with the Congress and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is a result of several anti-male policies, including complete inaction toward amending section 498 A of Indian Penal Code.
Poser to politicians
*Will you introduce a bill in parliament for protecting men from domestic violence? Or do you think domestic violence against men is hilarious?
*Should biological fathers be given partial custody in a shared parenting arrangement during separation or divorce from their wives?
*Do you think consensual sex with a woman with false promise of marriage is rape? Should a man be termed rapist for refusing to marry his girlfriend or breaking up with her?
*Will you work for funding Male Studies Courses in Universities, just like Women’s Studies or Gender Studies Courses are funded?