[Last week Tr Parthasarathy of SIF-Hyd has told us about his unique prison experience and a unique thought on prisons. Today in his candid style he talks about a SIF-Hyd initiative ‘Selfie In Prison’.
This article marks a confluence of an existing series ‘My Caged Life‘ and a brand new series on this website, ‘The Causal Affair‘ under the category Men’s Rights. In this new series different NGO leads share their experiences of unique initiatives taken for men.
All stories under ‘My Caged Life’ can be seen here.
All articles under ‘The Causal Affair‘ can be seen here.
All articles on such unique initiatives can be shared with us using ‘Contact Me‘ section of this website]
A prison has a negative connotation in the popular mindset. However, history, myth, and literature are full of examples of the relationship between innocence and prisons and the consequent triumph of good over evil.
In Indian mythology, Lord Sri Krishna was born to his parents Devaki and Vasudev who were kept in prison by Devaki’s brother Kamsa, who in his cruelty, bloodlust and insecurity killed six of Devaki’s previous children. Sri Krishna’s birthplace is celebrated as Sri Krishna Janmasthaanam even today and is symbolized as the beginning of the end of evil.
The Freedom struggle for India also saw thousands of men, women, and children court British imprisonment for years till the eventual Independence. Mahatma Gandhi understood the power of courting prison and went to jail for 13 times, Veer Savarkar spent 10 years in prison along with others.
History is full of brave people like Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison and became a symbol of hope and courage to an oppressed world.
Literature has many mentions of characters who spent lifetimes in prison –Papillon & The Count of Monte Cristo give detailed accounts of prison life from the eyes of innocent men.
IMDb (Internet Movie Database) even today lists the movie of the-innocent-man-in-prison-story –The Shawshank Redemption, voted number one in its Top 250 Charts
The story of Bhakta Ramdasu is of a man from the 17th century whose devotion to the Lord Sri Rama led him to the now famous prison in Golkonda Fort in Hyderabad and his subsequent release with the intervention of Sri Rama himself.
Faith, devotion, hope, innocence- all tested by prison –
In this context, a prison need not always have a negative image; prison authorities need not always be Human Rights abusers; the judiciary and police who send men to jail so easily need not always be biased. Every man has the right to choose the path of jail or bail, and in case he gets to go to jail, it need not reflect on his morality and in case he gets bail it need not reflect on his courage.
On the occasion of Sri Krishna Janmashtami, 5th September 2015, the birthday of Lord Krishna, the protector of justice and giver of eternal knowledge of dispassionate duty. SIF-HYD planned a visit to CENTRAL PRISON, Hyderabad to commemorate the mythological birthplace of Lord Krishna. However, due to delays in representation, we decided to celebrate the day at Bhakta Ramadasu Prison at Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad as the Prison Experience Day and also to propagate the message via the Twitter hashtag #SelfieInPrison
Explaining the importance of this activity Uma Challa, an activist from SIF-Hyd has said –
“We are doing #SelfieInPrison campaign because..Imprisonment or Judicial custody is not to be taken as insult or humiliation. It could also be an inspirational or transformational experience. Since 20 years women-centric laws, dowry laws, Domestic Violence Laws, Rape or Sexual Harassment laws have been used to trap men and their families and torturing them has become an industry. In these cases, people are first arrested and thrown into jails without any proof of the crime. This is facilitated by these laws. Because of these, men in their prime or retiring seniors in their twilight years, infants, children are been to jail.
So we are trying to send out a message that there is no need to feel ashamed of yourselves if you went to jail. Statistics of 2013 will show that on account of women-centric laws, more than 3.9 lakh people were sent to jail. out of that only 3.86% only were convicted. Up to 73%, people are still languishing in jails as undertrials, and they are there, not because they would tamper with evidence, or because they have been convicted for any crime, but some of them cannot get bail, or do not even know there is a provision such as a bail.”
On this day, people are encouraged to send in their selfie pics from behind bars (not pubs 🙂 ) hash-tagged and posted on Twitter and Facebook and send in their own prison experiences to remove the negative connotation of prisons in popular culture.
The real prison is in the confines of our own minds, in our fears and our prejudices
Parthasarathy TR is a time traveler, men’s rights activist, counselor, 498A & family court survivor, mechanical engineer and blogger at wordkatana.blogspot.in.
His twitter handle is @tr_partha
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Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.
To the ‘people of the book'(Christians and Jews)
There are yet some Christians and Jews who are still ‘deluded’ thinking that feminism is a benign movement which is crafted to uplift the woman from the shackles of evil ‘Men’ eventhough it takes innocent men to go to jail based on baseless allegations.I would like to remind them that Prophet Joseph (pbuh) had to go to jail based on false allegation of “Attempt to Rape” by the wife of the ruler of Egypt in the past.He was also threatened with false allegations by the wife of the chief minister who wanted use the threat of law to force him to indulge in sex/physical intimacy with him.The woman also used physical force to compel him to indulge in sexual pleasure with him.Infact he was the victim and the woman was the perpetrator.These examples God has related to us in his “holy” books so that we might know that indeed such woman exist and law misuse by women had been a serious problem to the extent that even a ‘prophet’ of God was not spared from facing the wrath of such badly drafted laws which damage people’s lives.Peace and apologies if I have hurt anybody’s religious sentiments in the process.
Once the case registered has proven to be false and frivolous, the person who has committed perjury and has played with other person’s life taking advantage of the system has to write 2 letters .First letter of apology apologising and giving a word that she shall not repeat the same addressing the judiciary.Second addressing the person who has fell prey to the misuse of the law.And it should be signed by the law misuser with the official stamp of the judiciary attested.The reason why this important is most of the times , even if the person is declared innocent by the court, people still think ill about that person.They still assume various assumptions regarding his guilt.They may even think he has intimidated the person to withdraw the case or they make conjectures of bribery to police and judiciary.Thus even if the person is innocent , declared to be innocent, still he has to hear negative things about himself.This letter if shown to the people in his circle ,will serve as a conclusive proof of his ‘innocence’.This
is especially required in our country where there is law misuse , but even after judiciary gives it’s judgement, people still do not believe totally in the verdict.
The words in the letter should reflect sincere repentance, admission of wrong doing and a solemn oath of not repeating the wrong written with her own hands.
The letter also should state that the letter is being written under no external threat or force.
Along with the letter should be attached a photocopy of any of the government identity proof of the * law misuser* signed by her and attested
again by thjudiciary.This
will provide no chance to the law misuser to lie as clearly the letter can be identified with her because of her identity proof.This may sound silly to so many but important to the one who had to suffer at the hand of the system because of the misuse of poorly written laws.This will provide additional relief along with the monetory compensation.
Since you are writing multiple comments our readers are not able to understand your complete comment. It will be good if you can write one complete comment so that our readers and follow your comment. Thanks for your comments, they are very useful for us.
…..has fallen prey
Very true. Thanks for your comments. These are subtle cues and hints that people need to use.
A small correction regarding Prophet Joseph (pbuh).It is the wife of the “chief minister” of Egypt who black mailed him through false allegation.
Her invitation of her friends to her house and calling of the prophet Joseph (pbuh) in front of them and asking him to indulge in “adultery ” signifies that perhaps she was inviting him to an orgy.Now imagine the hue and cry that would have happened if the same happened to a female.