Posts Tagged 'Som K Shah'

A Note from Prof Som K Shah

I was pleasantly surprised to see a comment from Prof Som K Shah. I thought I should share it with all of you. He talks about the effort he put into writing his book, and the actions he took to get this pernicious 498A law amended.

Of special interest is the real story of why this law came into effect. So due to him, I now know that the mother of pussy politics is Indira Gandhi, who brought this law into effect to pander to the women’s vote bank. Unfortunately she didn’t realize that it would devastate families across India for decades to come. And now, it comes as no surprise that the Congress/UPA govt resisted all amendments to this law. After all, why would a party of dynasties ever want to discard their own legacy, however vile it may be?

Here is Prof Shah’s note:

Som K. Shah March 15, 2015 at 10:35 am

Hi ! This Is Som K. Shah. After so many years I was delighted to see that sufferers under ghastly 498-A are standing up. When I wrote the book, which the author of this blog has so gracefully acknowledged, in 2004 it was taken for granted that 498-A was a Brahmastra that destroyed all young men and their families. I was drawn into it when a very close relation of mine went through the trauma. We fought and as the present author of the blog gleefully declares, we did not pay a single penny to anyone. Not only that I got a number of policemen hauled up for the arrest and attempt to blackmail. I wrote the book and sent 2000 free copies to Ministers, Judges, MPs and media and opinion makers. The then law Minister Shri Arun Jaitley promised that he would do something about it. But they lost the government and nothing happened. Finally it was in 2009 that the law was amended.
The author of this blog has done a lot of Yeoman service and deserves all the kudos. i salute to him. Unfortunately my book is out of print, Though it is now dated but if anybody wants a copy, I have a few pre-print copies and I can send the same to anyone who is interested in having it.

Now a little aside on how the law 498-A came into existence. After the death of Sanjay Gandhi there was a continuous battle between Indira Gandhi and her daughter-in-law Maneka Gandhi. At one time the daughter-in-law was thrown out of the house with bag and baggage but she stayed put on the roadside inviting media who made a big story out of it. This brought in a lot of adverse publicity for the Prime Minister. Since the elections were approaching, she was advised to enact a law favouring women so that she may not lose female vote bank. 498-A was thus enacted in a huff.


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Some Interesting Stats On Arrests Of Women

In 1930, the British govt arrested 17,000 women for their involvement in the Dandi Yatra (Salt March). During 1937 to 1947 (10 Years), they arrested 5,000 women involved in the freedom struggle. From 2004 to 2006, the govt of India arrested 90,000 women of all ages under 498A. On the average, 27,000 women per year are being arrested under this flawed law. These are stats from the NCRB.

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The family of the writer was tortured by the Indian Police in an attempt to extort over a $100,000 by holding them in custody for over a week. The police, in cahoots with the magistrate and the PP, did this due to the ridiculous allegations made in a 498A case by his embittered ex-wife. She filed the case years after he and his family had last seen her. Thousands of 498A cases are filed each year in India by women seeking to wreak vengeance on their husbands and in-laws. Enormous sums are extorted from intimidated families implicated in these cases by corrupt Indian police officers and elements of the Indian judiciary. The author and his family haven't bribed any public official nor have they given in to the extortion. This blog aims to raise awareness of due process in India. The content of this blog constitutes, opinions, observations, and publicly available documents. The intent is not to slander or defame anyone or any institution and is the manifestation of the author's right to freedom of expression – with all the protections this right guarantees.

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