Do you see a connection between this murder and the assault in Guwahati?

Do you see a connection between this 20 year old kicked to death by her spouse and another one raped by a husband, his neighbours and other strangers for four years? Or another one whose husband padlocked her genitals?

And the 36 Biradari Panchayat and the 19 year old kicked out of a train in Karnataka and several other acts of misogyny?

Can a ban on sex selection alone end deep rooted and culturally approved misogyny, when we allow it in so many other subtle ways…?  Like not making accountable, ignorant and irresponsible statements that allow random criminals to make rules for how women should live, dress, drink, work, get pregnant, have sex, withhold consent, look, keep their genitals pure and fair for their pati parmeshwar, be beaten, adjust, marry and stay married etc?

Do you see a connection between the society controlling women’s lives, rights and freedoms and their being less wanted and valued by their own families?

Husband kills wife because she gave birth to second daughter

COIMBATORE: In a shocking incident, a 22-year-old youth killed his 20-year-old wife near Kanuvai on Thursday for giving birth to a female baby last month.

The accused, S Pandiaraj, reportedly kicked his wife, G Nagajothi, in the abdomen repeatedly on Wednesday night and by Thursday morning she started to vomit blood. She breathed her last at a private hospital near Kanuvai. Police have arrested Pandiaraj and his mother, Dhanti, 50, in connection with the incident. [read more]

Do you see how each little act of misogyny leads to another Indian woman being killed at some stage of her life – in her mother’s womb, in public transport or in her marital home…?


29 thoughts on “Do you see a connection between this murder and the assault in Guwahati?

  1. I’m disturbed by how common these attacks are becoming. All the media publicity only seems to encourage them. It looks like men’s belief that they won’t be punished for assaulting women is only being confirmed.


    • I agree, the sheer number of incidents on the media is outright depressing. On the other hand maybe it means it is increasingly reported instead of ignored and hushed up. It means people are getting sensitive, and that’s certainly progress.


  2. I read about these incidents too, and was appalled. The more I get to know of such happenings, the more I wonder how our society will ever correct itself? How many generations will it take before our people become more sensible and just? I appeal to everyone to open their minds, be better and fairer people themselves, and advocate this within their own families and connections. Each one’s action counts.


  3. We have become a nation of louts who have no respect for the rights and dignity of another human being. All we are interested in is the one-up-manship that this culture of might is right confers on the few who can control the others. In a crazy logic, this disrespect for another fellow human being is also causing this kind of violence. No, I am not victim blaming here. The unfortunates who feel they have to control someone else are also victims of the system. It is a vicious circle. Sigh!


    • Yes our national philosophy is “Kiss Up, kick down”.

      So at work, we “kiss up” to the boss, at home the wife “kisses up” to the husband, the DIL “kisses up” to the MIL, women “kiss up” to men, men “kiss up” to stronger men.

      We are a 5000-year old civilisation, yet our group dymanics would make chimps feel right at home. Might is always right in India.

      That’s the truth. THAT is the REAL Indian culture.


  4. Indians in general (even the most proactive ones) are quite complacent, we like maintaining status-quo as long as something doesn’t affect us directly. It is this very sense of complacency that needs to rooted out and people pulled out of their cocoons of comfort. The only problem is how can we achieve this? Any suggestions IHM?


  5. I see a connection between this video in 2010 where a bunch of women assault or molest a defenseless women in Guwahati as the media stands by and captures footage and draws circles around the attackers faces. One of the guilty party admitted her involvement in the incident and alleged that some newspersons had instigated them to beat up the girl. Seems like what happenend in 2012, but the national media choose to ignore the pattern and paint a different picture.


  6. Surprisingly, we are seeing a spurt in the number of such incidents happening…or just maybe, there is an increase in the ‘reporting’ of such incidents.
    Nevertheless, it is terribly disturbing and each such news items sends a shiver up my spine 😦 . Being a mother of a daughter, I can only pray that the society changes for the better as as she grows older 😐


  7. From the article in TOI-
    “When more and more women become economically independent, the social situation and prejudices are also expected to change,’ said T Srinivasan, retired psychology professor, Government Arts College, Coimbatore.

    Do you think that’s true?
    I don’t know, after 10 yrs of living in India- the misogyny & an overall lack of respect for human life & dignity I’ve observed seem so ingrained in Indian ‘culture’ that I find it hard to believe much will ever change.


  8. Of course there is a connection.

    Behind every feticide, behind every instance of inhuman torture and harassment directed towards the mother of a girl child, there are a thousand little acts of “everyday” misogyny.

    The little acts that the female sex is told to just live with. The little acts that we brush under the carpet. The little acts which make life miserable for so MANY women out there.

    Parents and teachers and daily experience teach the sexism, propagate the patriarchal conditioning bit by bit, and when it all comes out, it horrifies all of us. Why should it? Why the surprise? The seeds for the violence were not sown yesterday; they were sown ages ago, sown by the millions of ‘respectable’ people who, while never dreaming of carrying out such an act themselves, helped create an environment where they are tolerated and even encouraged.

    Her own parents knew the full extent of the abuse, yet chose to put marriage on a higher pedestal than their own child’s life:

    As per the police complaint filed by the victim’s father Ganesan, Pandiaraj used to assault Nagajothi almost every day and none, including his parents, cared to intervene and protect her.

    Given the attitude displayed here, can there be any doubt that we will witness this kind of extreme cruelty again?


  9. You got to the very root of it, IHM. Misogyny. For a nation that claims to “revere” their women as goddesses and mothers, there is a horrifying amount of misogyny in everyday living. In buses, on roads, in movie theaters, in the home. It’s become so deep-rooted, we don’t even recognize it as misogyny, and call it “culture” instead. And yet we weren’t women haters always, were we? Where did this start? With Manu’s laws? With the Mughal invasion? With independence from the Brits? Did misogyny come along with the sexual repression the Brits brought to our nation?


  10. And what will happen now to the faultless little girls now – one 2 years old and the other just born? 😦

    This is the background of almost all the girls in our orphanage. Some of them have even been dragged to court by the police before they came to us, to give evidence against their father – as often they are the only witness to the father murdering the mother.

    Given the smallest opportunity these babies blossom into bright young women – have several fine examples. Some of them have even become very vocal advocates of gender equality.

    But sometimes I do wonder – will they ever get over the trauma of their early years?


  11. Hi IHM
    My dad just told me today that one woman from our neighborhood in Mumbai was kidnapped in a taxi. She has been missing for 4 days now. No one knows what happened to her or where she is. I am so much in shock. I appreciate that you continue to blog about this issue everyday. It has only been a few days and I feel numb just reading these articles. I cannot even begin to imagine what the victims must be going through. I use the word victim because we have not empowered them to become survivors yet. For every incident that gets reported there are so many instances which go unreported. This is a crisis and an emergency situation. I did not think of it that way before. Thank You for making me realise that through your blog


  12. You know IHM, after reading all these things every single day, i have started to feel that killing girl child in the womb is better than letting them come in this toxic world. We are actually doing those unborns a favor by not subjecting them to more humiliation and torture. What is the point fighting for the right of those unborns when we dont have a safe environment for them to thrive in the outside world.


  13. Exactly, IHM. All these things are very related and the result of a male dominant society. Apart from a male dominant society, I have come to believe ours is a very “quiet” society. We dont protest, talk about, put forth our opinions and stop a particular act/thing unless it affects us directly. I have seen a very disturbing trend (if I can call it that) these past few years. And that is, we as a society are turning less sensitive towards our fellow human beings. We are turning into mere spectators when girls get molested or kicked out of trains. We dont think about helping a fellow human being, who is doing the right thing by protesting against molestation and who gets killed in the process (the case where 2 guys were killed in mumbai when they protested against the molesters). It is ok to care about our own safety, but when a group of say 20 people see a group of 4 people sexually assaulting a girl or anyone, who is stronger in this case? the group of 20 “spectators” or the 4 molesters. Imagine what would happen if even half of the spectators decide to beat up the group of 4 molesters. Wouldnt a girl’s life be saved? What more, the 4 molesters would think twice of repeating their act in future. One of the things that also makes offenders so brave is the fact that we are a quiet society. And it is really frustrating. And it really must change. It is just so hopeless sometimes, knowing that change in a positive direction is coming, but it is coming so slowly and we have the power to speed up the process but we are not. I agree creating awareness is definitely contributing to change, changing people, but can we not do something else to speed up the process of this change?
    IHM, how about you do a post sometime on simple things we must do (should do) to make sure we are not mere spectators. Simple things like protesting when you see a guy touching a girl in a crowded bus, helping out someone if he/she is being troubled on the street, gathering people up and drawing their attention to such acts, calling the police.

    PS: Sorry, I am sounding a bit frustrated in the comment, but reading about these things, and thinking about them continuosly really makes me feel hopeless at times. (especially knowing that we can do much more, and yet we cannot.)


  14. I am not Indian. I have not read all of your posts. If I say something stupid or wrong, please correct me. My question: Do they not know the sex of a child is determined by the man? In France, the father of many daughters is often congratulated for having daughters.


    • That’s a very simplistic way to look at a very complex phenomenon.

      It’s true that the chromosomal composition (and therefore, sex) of a human baby is largely determined by which chromosome the fertilizing sperm cell happens to have inherited from the father. But it also true that the father has as little control over the fertilization process itself as the mother.

      There is absolutely no way for either parent to ensure that their child is a particular sex. All environmental factors being equal, the process is very nearly random, which is why any given human population tends to have similar numbers of male and female babies. Populations where feticide and other kinds of artificial selection are not practiced actually tend to have marginally more females than males, because females have higher survivability as infants.


  15. “As per the police complaint filed by the victim’s father Ganesan, Pandiaraj used to assault Nagajothi almost every day and none, including his parents, cared to intervene and protect her.”

    Things like this will happen until attitudes like the one displayed by this young woman’s parents change. These parents were mute spectators until their daughter lost her life and left behind an infant and a toddler, both unwanted by the father. I can’t even imagine how life for them will be growing up, with mom dead and dad in jail for murdering her.

    If parents raised their daughters right then they won’t have to take crap from the world when they grow up.


  16. Good point IHM! What is the point in introducing toothless measures like banning foeticide, dowry etc. when every other action ( or inaction) by the government/society degrades a woman and allows injustices against her without rebuke? When there is an atmosphere of “tolerance” towards violence against women, simply passing laws is useless. And then we are horrified when something like Guwahati happens? Why?


  17. Yes! there is a connection……these people are sick at their head. They aren’t countable among human beings, they are worthless people who don’t know how to use their mind, who don’t know if there is a heart in their body which feels sympathy, empathy & have emotions for others; which doesn’t differentiate between men & women, which knows just one thing that we are all equal.


  18. It is depressing to even watch the media, cannot imagine what the victims face. I am searching for a way to contribute to changing this even if its really small. Living with such negativity has doom written for our country.


  19. Reading all that,altogether on the same page made me realise what kind of people we have around us.
    And yes even I want to know why are men not punished for having baby girls,when its actually the man who determines the sex of the child.

    I really wish there was a strong organization for women so that we could gather up the forces. Not just those organizations that put up fasts and think this is it,if we cant do something powerful all together then incidents like this will keep happening.


    • its actually the man who determines the sex of the child.

      Argh, no he doesn’t!

      Probably not important, but for some reason, this statement always irks me. Parents don’t determine the sex of the child. It’s impossible for either one of the parents to decide the sex of the unborn child.

      It’s the complex process of fertilization and a huge element of random chance which decides the sex.

      Whether patriarchs like it or not, humans are doomed to give birth to nearly as many males as females and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Which is a good thing, of course.


  20. There is a difference. The Guwahati incident was largely instigated by the mediapersons who filmed the attack (a bid to raise TRPs for his channel, which is rather infamous for creating scandals). I watched a video shot with a mobile phone that contrain unaired footage preceding the much publicised ‘attack video’ where voices instigating the men to ‘make her naked’ (in Assamese) were heard, which apparently was the voice of Gaurav, the guy who shot the public footage.


  21. Pingback: “…you think I am unworthy of you. That’s a crime that can never be forgiven.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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