Last Call : Mom I fear for my life

Doctor murders wife in Delhi, drives 1000km to dump body in Ganga 

This is the Times of India Headline today.

Another headline says

Last call : I fear for my life 

This is not the first time a woman is brutally murdered by an abusive husband.

This is not the first time that parents of the girl have refrained from prompt action and saved their daughter from the clutches of death.

This is not the first time that a literate woman has stayed in an abusive marriage and paid the price with her life.

The question is WHY? 

Why is it that parents wash their hands off once their daughter is married? Supriya Tussar was literate ( a BTech from Hyderabad and an MBA) she had an offer of a lucrative high paying job which would make her financially independent.Dr. Sahu was not in favor of it. Financial independence means strength to the woman and that would have taken the “control” from his hands. Her parents were literate too.(father was a retired superintending engineer of Jharkhand PWD).  Her husband , a senior surgeon was batch topper in master’s course.  Clearly it shows that education doesn’t really change the mindset of people. Dr. Sahu (31) showed no remorse for strangling his wife and told police that he was “physically and mentally incompatible” with his wife.

I use the word Literate because there is a huge difference between being ” educated” and ” literate” and most of these cases happen because of lack of education. Degrees have nothing to do with education I believe.

He had a history of violence in his ten month old marriage, the local police station was aware of the constant fights between the couple (Tussar had lodged a complaint there)  but no one bothered to take any action. The parents of the girl continued to seek reconciliation between the young couple even after their daughter was thrown out of the house.  She was their Only child and though they educated her for a secure future they never could muster enough courage to save her from an abusive marriage which ultimately took her life. If only she wasn’t raised to be a secure bride and taught to live with dignity irrespective of anything then today she would have been alive.

I fail to understand why the parents always think that “things would get better” ?

Why there is so much social pressure to let the daughter rot in marriage which is clearly heading for disaster?

Supriya was “forced ” to get admitted in Hospital tally challenged by her husband.

My question is

Why do girls, especially educated girls, tolerate such abuse?

She was denied food, pocket-money, he was beaten up, abused verbally even then she continued to live with him for she knew she could not go back to her parental home. This is true of many such Supriyas who are forced to live in abusive marriages for the lack of support system, counselling and fear of social stigma and being left out.

Why was Supriya’s humiliation, mental, emotional and physical pain, her indignity not enough for her parents to support her and get her out of the violent marriage?

Do these parents choose a dead daughter over their so-called izzat (honor) in the society? Why can’t they stand up for their child and help her get back to a dignified life she deserves?

They actually “dispose off” their daughter in the hands of a monster just to abide by some sick social norms. What is the point of crying and all this drama later on when they couldn’t do anything for the daughter when she was alive ?

I want to ask Supriya’s parents what marriage means to them ?

Is it being tied to a man whatever the conditions and at whatever cost ?

What was the point of all this education when it could not enlighten them to break away from the customs that kill ?

I see no logic which justifies why parents would allow their daughter to be tortured thus. And if you can’t stand up for your own child, who can you stand up for?

This whole so-called traditional value system makes my blood boil. It has weakened our fiber and turned it into shreds and this is the reason girls like Supriya don’t have confidence to walk out of the marriage with or without the help of their “social status hungry” parents. Since day one, daughters are taught that subservience is the key to happiness, endure whatever comes your way-for if you don’t, you damage our(parents) reputation, society will condone us.

Most of the time girls have no faith in the support and love of their parents and in Supriya’s case she had seen that her repeated attempts in voicing her fear for life had not evoked any strong reaction. A battered, weak woman with lack of support and confidence often tries to “make adjustments/ compromises) thinking things will change for good which  of course never happens. With a broken spirit and constant reminder that “all will be well” most of these women end up dead either they commit suicide or are murdered.

I have no sympathy for parents who let their daughters to death by putting the blinkers on. I feel they are as much a part in her murder as the husband.

It is tragic that these girls, however educated, often succumb to social pressures instead of thinking about other alternatives. It is the result of  constant drilling by their parents that they should “learn to adjust and stay in the marriage” what ever happens. Most of the time it is the girl ( daughter or DIL) who is lectured but hardly anyone blames the parents for this rotten mindset.

I have always failed to understand What is so special about this so-called “sacred” marriage  that makes people tolerates some insecure, misogynistic bastard beating up their daughter, just to preserve this institution?

Till the time marriage is viewed as a “holy grail” and a “commitment till the end of life ” I don’t think many women will be able to walk out of abusive marriages.

I wonder how many more Supriyas will be murdered at the altar of marriage before this society wakes up from slumber and corrects itself.

When will we see a news headline where parents of a girl report an abusive marriage and help the daughter to put the culprit behind bars?

When will the women take their lives in own hands against all odds and be rid of guilt and pressures to walk out and say NO to domestic violence?

When will families start raising their daughters as individuals and not as prospective brides meant to please and be grateful to everyone, parents, brothers, husband, in laws and the rest of the world?

We have laws against Domestic  Violence  but they are effective only when there is a change within. What is the point of having stringent laws when time after time women are abused sexually, mentally ,verbally, physically in so-called “sacred” marriage. It make the headlines, accused are punished but in a few days another monster appears and kills. The  idea of the “sacrosanct” institution of marriage is dished out by the mainstream Indian cinema and daily soaps on TV is a myth and contrary to the reality. Our society is sick to be honest. It is heart wrenching to see that even after knowing their rights, even after being literate enough to support an independent living women prefer to stay in abusive marriages.

Even those who dare to take that first step and move out with or with out parental support life doesn’t come easy But I feel that it is better to step out and struggle and not give in and die. Ultimately it is your life.

I know this looks more like a rant or a rambling of an angry mind and so be it .Enough essays have been written , enough protests, enough campaigns have taken place. If that hasn’t shaken up the society what else will ? How many daughters need to be sacrificed to bring the change ? 😦

The post was shared on the Bell Bajao Site . An Honor. 

6 thoughts on “Last Call : Mom I fear for my life

  1. Makes my blood boil too Tiku. I mean what the hell is this?? Parents actually “dispose” daughters via marriage. I have been saying this to whoever cares to listen for more than quarter century. They save up and give away whatever they can and their daughter and sit back with a sigh. Their blood pressure goes up if she is in trouble and calls for help. Not because of their concern for her, but because they are worried she might come back. They had thought they had got rid of her (Like Hansel and Gretel were in the forest) and were relaxing having got rid of her. How could she come back and disturb their peace?! So they force her to take the abuse. I hope such parents are happy at this outcome. Really, I am disgusted with ANY parent who will not extend help to their married daughters who are being abused whether verbally or physically. If they put daughters in that position then it is their duty to see that they are safe.

    This is why I am against marriage. The girl could well have worked, earned and lived her life happily on her terms.
    Yes, there is a lot of difference between literacy and education.

    Shail, I absolutely agree with you. However harsh it may sound but such parents deserve no sympathy.I could move out because my family stood by my decision. Though I am not financially independent I still got a lot of support from friends, family, children to step out for my dignity. It wasn’t so bad for me but then what is the definition of bad. Any assault on dignity is bad.
    I also do not support this sham called marriage. I know hundreds would disagree and give logic but I have my reasons and trust me they are not tainted by personal experience. Parental neglect for their daughters esp after they” wash their hands off them ” by “giving them away” in marriage like some cattle is THE main cause for all the suffering.


  2. I don’t know why the woman still stayed with him. If your husband asks you to quit your job, stay at home and do his bidding, why would you? The wife should’ve escaped, lodged a police complaint, then filed for divorce. Sigh!

    Sammy, when a girl is conditioned since birth to serve it really is difficult to move out without a solid support system which would help her face the challenges of life. In most of the cases this support system is meant to be the family and lack of this support makes her weak. In our society , the way our system works. it is rather tough for a tradinally raised girl to do this. Sd , unfortunate but true .


  3. It sickened me when I read this news report. Then people say we are not feudal … but we are. It is only surface liberation and emancipation that has happened.

    Yes Ritu you said it right.


  4. This really is beyond disgusting, Tiku. It’s the same all over India. In my place too, many families raise their daughters for the sole purpose of marriage. Their education is only a part time thing, and that too just another way to increase their ‘worth’ in the marriage market. I always wonder how such educated women could continue to stay in such marriages, but the truth is that there are many many such examples. The social conditioning we give our daughters is just too strong to overcome overnight. And then we praise our ‘culture’ and ‘traditions’. What a load of crap!!


  5. It’s so well written , and so true. yes it does make my blood boil too. half the time women dont walk out, because they are scred of how they they stand up on thier own after playing the subervient role for so long. Their own net worth has been continualy degraded by these ‘others’.
    If parents cannot abide by a child in this step, then what happens to all the unconditional love and support what they profess only in words all through life.
    And tell me, if the parents , for whatever reason , are unable to abide, then why can’t the brother/sister or other family stand beside and support mentally and financially. after all is a family only to attend the annual birthdyas, and fake new year and diwali calls. When a person is in real need , why should they just hide their heads between their tails and behave like an ostritch.
    WE have a collective responsibility to help anyone in such a need, not only our blood ties. What do we glorify the nine aspects of the Goddess in the Navratri for if we cant take care of our living goddesses.


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