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. 

63 Years of Freedom – What is this freedom we are talking about ?

This post is part of Blogadda Mera Bharat Mahan Contest

I am giving all my readers some food for thought on the eve of Independence day . Do read all the links please to understand  what I point I am making.

India Shining – celebrating the 63 years of freedom from ” British Raj” .

The whole country is singing patriotic songs , blogs are getting updated every second telling how proud we are to be Indians and how much we have achieved since that day in August 1947.

The question that comes to me again and again is , what is this freedom we are celebrating ? Is it just the transfer of power from British to Indian  or do we have something more ? Are we truly free nation, free thinking society ?

In a country where the great divides of the society tell a shameful story what are we celebrating any way? The economic, gender, cast based communal and religious  divides that have created the worst possible divides in the hearts of the masses.

We talk of AMAN KI ASHA ( read my poem)but when I talk to common people I still feel that the bitterness that brews in them in much worse than before. Hindu /Muslim divide even after so much awareness is till not sorted out in the hearts and minds of people .

The sweeper who   comes to take garbage  at our place does not drink water from the hands of a Muslim domestic help and that too low-caste Muslim. The attitude makes me sick and ashamed I try to convince but the beliefs rooted from centuries in masses are hard to wipe out .. the efforts still go on ..

We have bridged distances with advance technology but were we able to bridge the distance in the hearts of people ? The Brits went but we carried their slogan of Divide and rule and did justice to it fully and don’t you think it is shameful that the country is much more divided than it was 63 years back ? Separatism and then to top it separate stateism , what more is in store for this “Free nation “?

All the talk about  Women’s empowerment  { LINK } seems so hollow. The term “Women Empowerment ” has a lot of hot air fanned from this end to that end of the country for quite sometime now and nothing substantial has come out of it  other than discussions, speeches, talks by woman’s groups etc.

What have done to improve our society, to change the mind-set of the aam janta who still believes strongly in age-old dogmas, rituals that  are inhuman but still prevail in the name of religion like Witch Hunting honor killings and much more .

A country still where domestic violence , sexual abuse, Rape , malnutrition, poverty, unemployment and many such issues still stare at our face mocking us for all our tall claims. How can that country rejoice Independence in true sense?

Are we truly Independent

When our girls are killed before they are even born ? [ Link } { Link }

When thousands of children go through sexual ,  emotional abuse and there is no specific law for child abuse ? { Link }

When there is an urgent need to make the much awaited changes in the constitution ? Where one  has to question  what are the policy makers doing and for whom ?

When issues like Marital Rape and domestic violence ( male victims) are pushed under the carpet  and are best forgotten  because of social stigma and shame ?

When the masses are ignorant, confused, uneducated and don’t know whom to look up to for guidance and support , when people are dying due to lack of basic amenities like health ,food and shelter even drinking water ,  how can we celebrate freedom and from what ?

When we have census based on caste  what does one expect with this nation?

Do you feel proud today on hearing that  Indian Parliament members have criminal charges on them, “including human trafficking, immigration rackets, embezzlement, rape and even murder” all the time . At state level, things are often worse. People have lost faith in the efficiency of the system due to corruption at all levels. Power , judiciary all are just toys in the hands of some rich and powerful and average person is still figuring out what’s this all about .

What kind of freedom is this where every day there are a ” million mutinies ” Read this TOI article by my brother to know how our country is under siege which is brewing within at a colossal cost of blood and resources .

Who is responsible for the farmers committing  suicides in Orissa and other places and the cast based atrocities all over the country ?

Do we ever ponder about these issues  and actually do something about it – positively  and not just talk or write about them.

How many of us Be the change  they want to see ?

We are free to make our own choices but do we have a choice really ???

and when we do have it  then

Do we make that choice to stand against and fight for injustice and all the evils that infest our minds and in same way our society ?

We send hundreds of messages , mails , blog on Independence Day , congratulate and rejoice  but we hardly spare a thought on issues which are dirty to look at but  are the stark realities of today’s India ?

Till when will we live in a denial mode? Who are we fooling?

I am writing this article today  to roll the carpet on which we have danced, dined and drank to celebrate our country’s Independence Day for so long never bothering  to look beneath . Just as we are criminally indifferent to many other aspects of life including introspection  we are indifferent by choice  to look at those glaring issues that need to be  removed from the core.

I hope when you are through  with reading this  at least in one of you something will stir within and that will be the first step to freedom.. true freedom .. shedding all that is not you , that which needs to be wiped clean and not pushed behind the door.

If our minds , our hearts are in bondage and we have not learned in 63 years how to use the freedom  we got with so many sacrifices then we have  no reason to say I AM A PROUD INDIAN

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