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Why #Indian #Women Must Vote #NOTA in the 2014 #Election

April 6, 2014

WHAT IS NOTA?

vote none of the above

 

NOTA is a voting option provided to Indian citizens for the first time in the April 07- May 12, 2014 elections.  NOTA stands for “None of The Above.” When a voter presses the NOTA button they will indicate that they are rejecting all the political parties and their candidates standing for this election.

WHY HAS THE SUPREME COURT PROVIDED THE NOTA OPTION?  

why are rapists sitting in parliamentOver the last two decades there has been serious concern about the escalating presence of criminals in Indian government and political parties.  With each election the inclusion of these criminals increases.  In the 2004 election, 24% of Members of Parliament (MPs) had pending criminal charges against them. In the 2009 election their numbers had risen to 30% with a majority of these cases carrying serious charges of rape, murder, extortion and other forms of violence against women, such as molestations, stalking, and dowry related violence and/or murder. The state wise breakdown of criminal politicians reveals some appalling statistics.  For e.g, currently 50% of MPs from the state of Jharkhand, and 48% of MPs from the state of Maharashtra are facing criminal charges.

Criminals running the Indian government have little incentive to see laws implemented for the protection of women and other citizens.  Indeed there is immense political pressure and maneuvering to allow for crimes to flourish.  It has been often observed that rape and other violent crimes against women are almost “enjoyed” as a political “perks” by the system.

Recently the Supreme Court attempted to clean out criminals from government but faced immense resistance.  The ruling party, the Congress, actually tried to force through an Ordinance to snub the Supreme Court initiative.

In providing the NOTA button as a voting option to Indian citizens, the Supreme Court of India has actually expressed its helplessness in cleaning the government of crime and criminals.  In its statement the Court said, When a large number of voters will press NOTA button, it will force political parties to choose better candidates.”

HOW DO I LOCATE THE NOTA BUTTON?

YE_NOTA_OPTION_EVM_1702143g

 

The NOTA button is easy to locate.  It will ALWAYS be the very LAST button on the electronic voting machine’s list of candidates.  It will read “None of the Above – NOTA.”  See the diagram to you left.

HOW ARE ALL POLITICAL PARTIES ANTI-WOMEN?

ALL PARTIES BLATANTLY RECRUIT RAPISTS AND MURDERERS: Every single party running for election this year has an increase in politicians with criminal backgrounds.  Of the two largest parties, 48 MPs from the Congress party, and 46 MPs from the BJP have pending criminal charges.  Smaller parties like the Shiv Sena have 8, but given that they have only 10 MPs, it means 80% of their politicians have criminal charges.  A majority of these MPs are wanted for serious crimes like rape and murder.

say no to violence no more silenceALL PARTIES COLLUDE WITH FORUMS THAT SYSTEMATICALLY OPPRESS WOMEN: These forums include religious bodies and leaders, like Asaram (charged with rapes and sexual molestations of girls), Ram Dev (who openly advocates methods to procure sons instead of daughters), and Muslim leaders (like Maulana Tauqeer Raza )who impose fatwas on women who oppose their fundamentalist, anti-women diktats.  All political parties also form alliances with khap panchayats (village councils) that are notorious for holding kangaroo courts and meting out extra-judicial punishments like “honor killings,” and gang rapes.

TOP LEADERSHIPS ARE ACCOUNTABLE IN CASES OF SERIOUS INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CRIMES: The leader and/or prime ministerial candidate of the two largest parties, the Congress and the BJP, are also responsible for directly colluding in, or protecting those responsible for the systematic massacre and mass rapes of minority communities.  In 2002, there was a systematic and planned attack on Muslims in Gujarat and thousands were killed, raped and rendered homeless. Narendra Modi, the man who was the chief minister of Gujarat at that time and has been implicated as being directly collusive by many in his own administration, is the BJP’s choice of Prime Minister for India.  Though many in Modi’s government were found guilty, Modi continues to evade justice despite numerous testimonies against him.  A similar, systematic attack on Sikhs took place in Delhi in 1984, when thousands were killed, raped and rendered homeless, with the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s implicit collusion.  Gandhi’s henchman who were known to organize the massacre and rapes continue to be protected by Sonia Gandhi, widow of Rajiv Gandhi, and the current leader of the Congress party.  Indeed Mrs. Gandhi even rewards and empowers these politicians through political positions. Human rights groups who’ve found their cases blocked repeated in Indian courts are now trying to have Sonia Gandhi tried for obstructing justice and sheltering these human rights criminals through a New York court.

ALL PARTIES OPENLY ACCOMODATE POLITICIANS WHO BLATANTLY UNDERMINE WOMEN’S RIGHTS:  Some party leaders like Mamta Banerjee of the TMC party have repeatedly blamed women rape victims, as have other members of her party, even as the state she governs now ranks No. 1 in rapes and other violent crimes against women.  Parties like the SP in Uttar Pradesh, a state with one of the highest rates of rape, have promised men that they will ‘tone down’ rape laws if they win this election! The law minister of the newly formed AAP Party led a lynch mob to the homes of African women in Delhi, and violated the law he was supposed to uphold by demanding the police against all legal protocols, arrest the women because the mobs believed them to be prostitutes.

 

WHY ALL INDIAN WOMEN MUST VOTE ‘NOTA’

India today is the 4th most dangerous country for women in the world.  But since the other three countries have mass civil unrest, it makes India the most dangerous democracy for women in the world.

India has systematically exterminated 20% of women through infliction of every form of violence.  This also reflects in the drop in percentage of new women voters, which now stands at about 40% of the voting pool,  with 60% being men.  This is a message to the women of India, that there is no place for them in this country.  They will not even be allowed to survive!  It is a genocide that is globally unprecedented.

So why haven’t the women of India found a united and strong vwomen unite notaoice and momentum to protest and resist this genocidal violence across the board in the country?

Perhaps because Indian women are so trapped in their identities of region, caste, class, clan, and religion that they’ve lost sight of their identity as ‘women.’  Are Indian women so lost, that they cannot see that the violence that’s exterminating them through infanticide, dowry murders, honor killings and rapes is affecting them all? 

Do Indian women see that no other human group in India has been exterminated by violence to the degree that women have been?

Perhaps the blame lies with political parties who deviously use the caste, class and religion cards to cause discordance among people. Perhaps the blame lies even with India’s liberals who defend human rights of one group but remain silent about the human rights violation of another and thus cause divide among people.  When Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen said he would not vote for the BJP and Modi because we have to protect Muslim minorities, he needed to have also emphasized that he would not vote for the Congress because we have to protect Sikh minorities.  Instead he defended Sonia Gandhi! Indeed we need to protect all human rights, regardless!  When social activist Arundhati Roy spoke out against the rapes of Muslim women in Kashmir by the Indian army, she needed to have also spoken out against the systematic rapes and murders of the minority Hindus and Sikhs in Kashmir which forced their mass exodus.  Indeed she needed to have also spoken out against the control of Taliban in Kashmir that’s increasing its oppressive diktats against women, forcing them to wear veils, threatening acid attacks if they wear jeans, sing, dance or go to school.

All women are human.  And as such we all have human rights.  It does not matter which group violates those rights, or which group a woman whose rights are violated, belongs to.  One woman’s oppression is every woman’s oppression.   

As women we cannot afford to silently submit to this violence and extermination by India and its criminal system of government.  For this to change, the women of India must unite and make our demand for security and freedom in ONE VOICE!  

SO INDIAN SISTERS, PLEASE LET US UNITE!

IN ONE UNITED VOICE LET US SEND A CLEAR MANDATE!

LET’S TELL THE PARTIES THAT WE WILL NOT TOLERATE RAPISTS AND MURDERERS IN GOVERNMENT ANY MORE!

LET US USE THE NOTA MANDATE TO SEND THAT MESSAGE TO INDIAN LEADERS!

LET US INDIAN WOMEN USE NOTA TO UNITE SO WE CAN END THE VIOLENCE AND FEAR THAT WE ALL ARE LIVING WITH!

REMEMBER NOTA IS THE LAST BUTTON IN THE LIST OF OPTIONS ON THE VOTING MACHINE!

WHEN YOU PRESS THE NOTA BUTTON, THINK ‘MY VOTE WILL MAKE INDIA SAFER FOR ALL WOMEN.’

© The 50 Million Missing Campaign. All Rights Reserved. To cite, please see ourcopyright guidelines.

 we demand constitutional rights of women

 

32 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2014 9:51 pm

    I was against NOTA (in this article) initially considering how it will be a non responsive stimulus by women in India.
    Your article is very compelling and coercive in nailing what can be done I just hope many women read this and think before hitting the BJP, Congress or any other party button.
    Well presented.

    • April 7, 2014 11:10 pm

      Niharika — What we’ve observed is that women who for e.g. support the BJP talk about the Congress rapes and murders of Sikhs of 1984 but excuse the fact that BJP did the same in Gujarat in 2002. Conversely, women who support the Congress do exactly the opposite — they criticize the rapes and murders of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, but oddly find a way to explain/excuse the 1984 Sikh pogrom. In fact if you click on the link to Amartya Sen in this article, surprisingly he does the same! We have to recognize that government officials who are rapists and murderers, regardless of whether they are BJP or Congress, will make sure that laws for rape and other forms of gender violence are never strong or enforced. If they do that they’ll be trapping themselves! Unless we clean all these men out of the government we will never have a government that will enforce these laws.

  2. April 8, 2014 11:41 am

    Reblogged this on REVOLUTIONS IN MY SPACE: A BLOG BY RITA BANERJI and commented:

    As long as political parties house criminals, Indian women can never have a government that will be committed to stopping systemic violence against women.

  3. Rahul-fight for real justice permalink
    April 11, 2014 9:05 pm

    I now a 22 yr old boy , a indian citizen now ask some questions to THE 50 MILLION MISSING CAMPAIGN who seems to be be very curious everytime about women & forgets that men are also human being living in nation . I ask you have you ignored rape culture ? i mean death sentence should be limited to only rape and murder and repeated gang rape but women organisations are totally hostile towards men , they are so merciless that they don’t even have any sympathy towards boys thats why they termed if boy as rapist if relationship with girl goes bitter , means girl can anytime file complain against her bf if she is angry with him due any silly girl type reason or if she want a new bf so in order to break the relationship & to give excuses that her bf was pervert & try to rape her ..in other word boy will be punished for doing sex with girl in the name of rape .i think constitution is being misused against men.

    One side you and your loving women organisation forced govt. to pass law against husband in marriage that’s why they successfully passed the law which states “AFTER DIVORCE WOMAN WILL NOT ONLY RECEIVE 50% ASSETS FROM HUSBAND BUT ALSO FROM HIS FATHER” so you were not satisfied with husband’s money thats why you targeted his father to make him more poorer. After completing engineering i participated in company campuses , what i found they always prefer female candidates 1st & leave us boys jobless ! what i discrimination , means boys has to do everything on his own , he has to take all responsibilities while girl can get job in company on the basis of her superior gender , get married to rich man , use his money , will do sex him with only when she want(husband has no right to sex with his wife when he needs ) & finally give divorce , get lot of alimony & again marry to some other man &…same process continues! . Not only this much wives files false complaint & only on the basis of her statement man is arrested even when he say repeatedly that he is innocent , by the misuse of 498a & dowry laws i ask you how many men had committed suicides in india ? do anyone care about such harassment to men & boys ? I am afraid to marry now ? do only women need protection ? & what about men & who are not safe where law is misused like a weapon by woman?

    All media are feminists , they never show any crime against man that’why women’s organisation’s face remained hidden in society such that people thinks men are demon & women are angels .

    Here you say dowry is crime , so why not alimony is crime , 90 % alimonies are taken away from man against his will * make him poor , helpless like dowry were taken away from girl’s parent in past (now dowry is reduced very much so don’t stick to that issue always).

    Now , answer me , all your posts are related to women problems only which looks like misandry , & you all 49 % of indian population (women) want to vote for their rights only , so tell me what these women want to prove , they already got lot of rights & now want more..more & more all against man & innocent boys ? Its now sure man is becoming slave & if he raise his issue you all feminists keep yourself ready with your femina weapons to attack him that’ why men fear to talk at political level about these & when a politician raise issue of men you all attack him & make him enemy.

    In west condition is more worst , court is slaughter house for men , police arrest man if he fail to give alimony(unreasonable amount to wife which she demanded) , American women do more domestic violence against man (indian women cannot do violence against man by killing him that’y use alternate methods to harass him) & domestic violence by american man is becoming history but still no media channel like bbc , cnn show this , they always exaggrates cases of domestic violence & turns in the favour of women where reality is something else!

    So, answer men …how long you are going to do his hypocrisy ? i think you will continue this till all men in world swift out of the earth, don’t you?

    • April 15, 2014 9:34 pm

      20% of women have been systematically exterminated from this country through violence. The ratio of women to men is 40:60 which is the same ratio of gender among the new voters! As an Indian man do you really have no shame at all?

  4. Alexandra ZR permalink
    April 12, 2014 4:12 pm

    Seriously PUNISH rapists NOW, so they STOP raping !!!

  5. April 12, 2014 4:59 pm

    NOTA has no teeth in it. We should rather vote for the best candidate who has no serious criminal charges against him/her.

    • April 15, 2014 9:31 pm

      NOTA is the first step towards making negative votes count. And there is a reason the Supreme Court has put it out. It’s our first step to taking back our system.

  6. Col. M zakarya permalink
    April 12, 2014 5:11 pm

    . Why women only even men should also use NOTA to clean the system.

  7. Dr Hiresh Roy permalink
    April 12, 2014 6:43 pm

    As you rightly said all political parties house criminals, to me not just all Indian women but men should shoulder side by side and vote NOTA. India needs urgent cleaning up of this on going political system and youth should come forward and play their part for the good governance.

    • Rahul-fight for real justice permalink
      April 16, 2014 12:52 pm

      You cannot clean system by allowing indian women to enter into politics & by eliminating men from there in the name of men dominated society ….that women will never clean system completely , they will just make women more empower & men weak . THE WOMEN WILL NEVER CLEAN SYSTEM TILL SHE IS AMBEDKAR WADI who look for everyone equally.

    • April 17, 2014 11:10 am

      We haven’t said anything about removing men and replacing them with women in government. We want the criminals and rapists out of government and political parties. And so it seems in your opinion kicking criminals and rapists out of government will not clean the system! 46% of Indians in a recent poll said they would vote for politicians with rape and criminal records as long as they saw them as “efficient.” We realize we have a deeper problem with public psyche that we need to deal with. And this post is a start. Please tell us it is working!

  8. April 12, 2014 7:48 pm

    I am equally interested like you to protect the women in India & in other countries as well. But please do not play politics while dealing with this issue. You have wrongly brought the issue of Modi to confuse & influence the readers .You could have mentioned ‘Gujarat Riots only. When the highest Judicial body, our honour’able Supreme Court ,respected the world over ,consisting of Judges with immaculate credentials , who deliver their judgements without fear or favour , has completely exhenorated Mr. Modi in the matter of Gujarat riots of 2002, why are you again raising the bogie that too in print media to misleed the women of this country? Are you as an Indian, not to respect the the Judgement of the supreme court? Since this print is on record , you have violated the law . If you are not satisfied , you should have gone into an appeal to the honourable SupremeCourt , like others whose appeals were all turned down after thorough review by the Supreme court and those who appealed , are satisfied & have fallen silent. You have similarly commented on Mrs Gandhi by particularly naming her of Congress govt. in case of Sikh riots in Delhi in which case also the Supreme Court has delivered their learned judgement and punished the persons found guilty.Pl note that Mrs Gandhi, respected the world over , is much more concerned about women’s safety than you, though she does not trumphet it like you . Pl do not act irresponsible by naming her wrongly . By naming her, you insult the very cause you are writing for. ‘LEARN TO RESPECT THE WOMEN BEFORE WRITING FOR THE CAUSE OF WOMEN’S SAFETY” .Why should you not respect the judgement but misleed the public through a print media .? Request you ,”Pl donot play politics in the name of serving the women’s cause” .Write articles in a straight way without bringing or blaming any name or any political party because the people today are well fed with all the news today through various media & you need not REPEAT & misleed them with your opinion . You should blame the “SYSTEM” INSTEAD . Let us hope all political parties sit down together & find right & lasting solution to it . Finally , pl donot consider my opinion as an affront to any body.Regards

    • April 15, 2014 9:37 pm

      The Congress has the same explanations about the rape and murders of Sikh women. Both parties are equally guilty and of serious human rights crimes.

    • Terry Montagna permalink
      April 22, 2014 2:09 pm

      The condemning of all is generally a new offence to the honest thinking people.
      The battle for the defense of women must be a common objective of people of good will.
      On this base the battle should be planned, not in cancelling all parties as indecent.

    • April 22, 2014 3:53 pm

      Surely that parties that deliberately take criminals (rapists and murderers) on board, largely because criminal politicians work through intimidation and are three times more likely to win elections (for the party), the party itself is criminal! We need a root-canal these parties.

  9. Surinder Kumar Mahajan permalink
    April 13, 2014 8:11 am

    Sir,
    The Supreme Court ruling and action by the Election Commission of India,regarding NOTA (none of the above) option for voters in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014,are of immense importance.In the long run,All political parties will have to take a big risk,if they field criminally charge-sheeted,rich and powerful candidates.The canvassing by political parties and powerful media,will highlight criminal cases against candidates and the voters will come to know the character and historysheeter criminal candidates of each and every political party.In addition as per Supreme Court ruling,after the charge sheet,the trial of all public appointments and political leaders must be completed by trial court in one year.If this is not done,the trial court has to give reasons for delay and the High court will give extension for completion of the trial.Criminals like Ansari has already withdrawn from Varanasi Lok Sabha election.We want good governance,good administration,good plans,good vision,good and timely delivery,responsibility of all, government and private sectors,honesty,probity and integrity,which cannot be given by tainted and criminal MPs.
    .The Lok Sabha sessions of UPA1 and 2 government have been frequently disrupted with shouting and even violence.The tainted criminal MPs are mainly responsible for these unruly scenes,which have destroyed democracy and the Constitution,besides causing a loss of lakhs of rupees of public money and tax payer money.Thinking about fielding criminal candidates is changing slowly but surely among public and political parties.
    NOTA is possible if the voters or electorate is educated about criminal candidates and there is unity or consensus among them to press NOTA button on the EVM.It has been seen that thousands of voters want to boycott the poll but do not want to take part in polls and press NOTA button.If a low percentage of voters use NOTA,then the effect of using NOTA to reject criminal candidates is very less.Presently out of about 81 crore voters, about 70 crores are illiterate and semi-literate,poor and cannot understand the NOTA option.These 70 crore voters understand as to which party or candidate they must support in election.Please note even after powerful laws,FIRs,police investigations,forensic labs and technology,the cases of sexual assaults,rapes,gang rapes and murders of women,girls,girl child and even unborn female foeticide are on the increase.Where is the rule of law in India? NOTA will be effective only if there is unity and consensus among a vast majority of voters,in respect of a criminal candidate.
    In view of the above there is urgent requirement to explain and impress the value of NOTA, to about 70 crore voters(illiterate or semi-literate) and then use NOTA to get rid of political criminal candidates which are about 30% of all candidates,in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014.

    • April 15, 2014 9:36 pm

      It is true many people don’t know about NOTA and the information not being adequately distributed. But this is the first time it is being put out and those of us who know how to locate and use the button must use it so that it sets a benchmark to make the NOTA button count towards negative voting next time.

  10. Profulla Kumar Pal permalink
    April 13, 2014 12:17 pm

    Wonderful ! The best democratic way to eliminate criminals from Parliamentary system,.
    Cogratualtions. Keep it up.

  11. April 13, 2014 9:54 pm

    Though I am not of Indian descendant, but I do not agree with the injustice of Women around the world. I will help spread the news for the cause and I hope all Women of Indian descendant will do the same and Vote NOTA…criminals do not need to be on the pay role of its citizens they were elected to protect and abuse that power to do as they please, especially to women, and not paying for the crimes. There is no need for all those pending cases. They should have been prosecuted and kicked out of office.

  12. jaisingh deshmukh permalink
    April 14, 2014 10:50 pm

    The election Commission officer’s poor work was shown by not including more than 46000 peoples name in the list in Amravti alone. Sir your officers were so incompetent that we as citizen did not feel like going to them they were un available most of the time either in meeting or on Mobile the common man was running form pillar to post I had to visit the election office 33 times to get my daughters and sons name registered I filled the forms twice on 17/10/13 and then on 9/04/14 and I sat there to see the names being filled by the private staff to confer my entry still I was spectacle about the working but to my surprise My daughters and sons name was there on the additional list. But still I had to rune form pillar to post to get the election card no ( list no 140 serial no 1289 card no IJ 429285 Renuka .Jaisingh.Deshmukh and serial no. 1279 card no IJF7429277 Kartik. Jaisingh .Deshmukh) which I have still not got the Amravati tahisil office sent me to the consent officer MR Shende his no was never working and he was sleeping in his home he did not even distribute slips as directed by EC we had to collect the slips at the center and for the first time I saw him he said he could not find my house which was bang opposite to the election center no 140 of constituency no 38 Amravati
    Sir strict action must be taken against the concerned officers who have not worked Our BLO was doing two duties and he must have said he was at election office and at election duty he said I was at my original duty where he was at home taking benefits of both pays and doing nothing. The common man names were missing form the list though they had election card and they had voted in Amravati corporation elections which were held two years back the anger and commotion was felt by Mr. P .Thakre SDO Amravati thousands of people were at his office for justice but he could do little due to your officer’s incompetency The staff at you Election office is so bad please dismiss everyone at once or demote them so that common man will not be the victim of government red tapism.
    Indai have rich politicians with poor assets most of the people standing for elections do not declear their assets like Nandani nelkani who showed 770 crores worth of assets he is the true indian

    • April 15, 2014 9:40 pm

      Please send your complaint in an email to the The Association for Democractic Reforms. You can locate the representative for your state here http://adrindia.org/about-adr/state-coordinators

    • Terry Montagna permalink
      April 22, 2014 2:17 pm

      This is a real problem …, the non competence of people that should man the institutions ….. The lazy must be out of the people’s way particularly in the positions that have some effects on the representation of the voters to the politicians.

  13. val caldwell permalink
    April 16, 2014 11:08 pm

    I totally endorse this.How can a government /opposition sanction this treatment of their women.Appeal for your human rights with the united Nations.

  14. April 22, 2014 4:00 pm

    The concern about voting NOTA is that the vote doesn’t count. True, but only as of now. The reason the Supreme Court did this is possibly because there was such a large wave of protest against the Congress party’s attempt to push the ordinance to protect and keep criminal politicians, that the Supreme Court couldn’t be sure if all the parties would get voted out. Elections for such a huge population is expensive and in all likelihood, the Nota count this time is a warning to parties to clean out criminals for the public is not in a tolerant mood. It is something that organizations working to clean up democracy in India can work with. Nota is the first opportunity for Indian citizens to let political parties and governments know that we want a clean system and we won’t tolerate criminals. It is very important for people to use Nota to send that message out, and to create a viable, countable public forum for this fight to clean up Indian democracy. We need a large Nota pool in order to push the Supreme Court to make Nota count! Please vote nota if you want to clean India at its root!

  15. xanthippi permalink
    April 22, 2014 5:12 pm

    world is only going forward..we all must support it! go ahead..with love from Greece!

  16. Paola permalink
    April 23, 2014 1:55 am

    Women need to have the same rigts as men, we fight and work as hard as they do so i think this is a big step for women in India, hands up for them !!!

  17. April 23, 2014 1:37 pm

    I totally agree to spread the word. NOTA is an opportunity to change and empowering girls is a duty in each corner of the world. Past liabilities and what happened does not matter till now on. I have only a question: by voting NOTA,will a voter affect how the Parliament is formed? BTW, it’s a signal. Great initiative. I support Sen jobs as a Nobel Laureate and researcher: he cared for human rights…so I suppose he referred implicitely to anyone.

  18. April 24, 2014 1:38 pm

    May GOD ALMIGHTY save this country and guide people to vote or not

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