VAWAM – Of the girl who lost her life to dowry

I have never spoken about this on my blog. And with a lot of pain I do so now. As part of the VAWAM initiative, I was tweeting about Dowry Deaths and Bride Burning a couple of days back. I was researching cases and collecting facts, only to be left teary eyed. The truth remains; we do live in a barbaric society.

Almost two decades ago, back in Ranchi, one of our family friend’s daughter got married to a very nice guy from an equally nice family. Although quite older than me, I still remember her distinctly. She was very beautiful and very talented. She was the proverbial elder one in the circle and all the other kids, including me looked upto her trying to be like her. I remember attending her wedding. I remember how nice they looked together. I remember that she soon gave birth to a cute little girl and I remember that we had gone visiting her with lots of gifts.

And then, I also remember the phone call that came one fateful evening. And I remember my dad rushing out of the house along with my mom. She was in the hospital, with very severe burns. It was said that it was an accident that happened in the kitchen. The husband was out of the house, travelling on work to a different city. Only her in-laws were in the house. She was admitted with 90% burns and in 3 days she succumbed to her injuries. I remember her mom and dad’s faces. And I remember their eyes. It was said that it was an “accident” caused by the bursting of the gas cylinder. Obviously, everyone knew that wasn’t the case. She was gone after less than 2 years of being married. Finished for the lack of dowry and the inability to produce a grandson.

The husband was re-married soon. We heard that he got a fat dowry. Her little daughter is now a big girl. She has been brought up by her maternal grandparents, who didn’t press police charges against the in-laws. They were more concerned about the granddaughter. For them, who lost their only daughter, losing their granddaughter was not an option.

This is no stray case. Brides are still burnt in India often for not bringing in enough dowries, so that the young husband is available for re-marriage. The statistics are for all to see, blatant and hurtful. How and when will this end? Is education the answer or financial independence? How will a complete shift in mindset happen? We as a society are surely missing the point and how…

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8 Responses to VAWAM – Of the girl who lost her life to dowry

  1. Jaya says:

    The awareness of abuse against women needs to start from the women themselves. If we as women don’t understand that having a girl or a boy is not in our hands, why punish another of us for the same. The mother in laws who do this are women themselves and need to understand that a healthy child is what one is looking for. In this fast paced world women who act like this should be severely punished. I know it is easier said than done. In a country where women cant trust the law and a society where women are still looked down upon, only a big revolution can change this. My advise to any such vulnerable women is, if you get the slightest hint that your inlaws are such kind of people, try to take an action early on by trying to contact a women activist group, or just mustering the courage to walk out. A life single but safe is much better than the one in this story. We women are not dependent. We need to get up and do what we want and we should learn to defend ourselves.

  2. Such a painful story, Iya.. And I really fail to understand how ordinary people, just for a few extra lakhs, can become heartless murderers.

  3. meghala says:

    Too bad people…. Very painful to hear it…

  4. Aathira says:

    I do not know how if I was put in such a situation, I would be able to protect myself. How would I know when someone is going to get such a fanatic idea of killing/burning me 😦

  5. Orion says:

    Morons murder. Women. For no reason. For no reason is reason enough for such barbarism. Sadly the morons are not only men.

    Woman do not let
    anyone do you wrong,
    Break the hands that choke,
    your soul’s freedom song.

  6. dipikasingh says:

    hey, hows you? I haven’t been around much.generally ill, and work too was berserk. But i’ve decided to do something about a hobby I’ve had for long which is Home Decor. And so there’s a new blog 🙂 🙂 http://www.magicalhomes.wordpress.com. It’s still w.i.p. I can’t find your mail id on the blog or I would have mailed. I am planning a feature of bloggers that i like and read regularly. If you feel comfortable will you mail me pics from your home? Only if you feel comfortable. mail me at dipikadewan@yahoo.com. Love.

  7. Fayaz Pasha says:

    Just bumped into your blog and glad I found a very nice blog and a person who’s also so much emotional and concerned. Well, lya this is the saddest part that in our Society the Evil of Dowry is still prevalent. My blog too addresses this evil and I’m doing my drop of effort and hope to bring awareness.

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