“The police let Arjuna, who runs a snack cart, go after a stern warning.”
A stern warning.
Three days after the delivery, a mother (22), in a nation that claims to worship mothers, was fighting to save a baby’s life in her own house. [And this is not a rare case, will link.] Nobody is grateful, nobody appreciates what she has been through, her health, her womb, her body, and even her baby, don’t belong to her. She is seen as a liability by the family, the spouse and the society. Such is the power of patriarchal brain washing.
[A thought: What if she was empowered enough to just stopped doing whatever she is not doing anyway? Stopped having and raising babies unless assured, legally, that she won’t have to pay with her self reliance, rights and freedoms; stopped running a home that she doesn’t legally own (atleast partly); refused to make getting and staying married her goal, and still have legal assurance that she won’t have to pay for Getting ad Staying Married with self reliance and freedom?]
No wonder the Supreme Court pointed out, ‘a feeling of emotional numbness in society‘ [link]. Does this mother wonder why she must tolerate this? Does she see this as abuse, when every ‘respected’ tradition, custom, family value, movie, TV serials, mythology, her own family and community, and even some law makers and law enforcers, are going all out to reinforce, subtly or directly, the same cruel and shockingly unjust social laws? Does she compare herself to the other parent (this man) who bore no labour pains, no health risks, no blame for giving birth to a girl child, has all the rights on the baby and the mother; and now he is getting away with attempt to kill the baby?
If this is how he attacked a three day old baby, how did he treat the mother? How does a mother, or any parent, benefit from such horribly patriarchal values, culture, customs and traditions?
Does such violence come out of nowhere, or is it a result of a deep rooted conviction that he could get away with it? (And he did). Are all Indian men and women who hate girl children and even those who abort them, and those who demand dowry and male children, capable of such brutality? Such is the power of Patriarchy and Custom that the police, the relatives, even the mother has been persuaded that somehow it is okay for this man (dangerously violent) to be out of prison. They tell themselves that he attempted to kill the baby because he didn’t know how he was going to arrange for her dowry. That he, a helpless and burdened poor Protector and Provider, didn’t know that there was a 50% chance that the baby would be a girl baby. That he didn’t attack the baby because he knew he had that option. That it’s okay for half the Indian population to be let loose to be helplessly provoked into doing things that hurt other people. That these attackers are actually the victims.
Such is the power of patriarchal norms.
Taking actions that require common sense here would threaten traditional patriarchal norms, it would mean supporting the mother and the child in becoming self reliant. Self reliant mothers and wives would not risk their children’s lives to make their marriages work. That’s against Indian Family Value number one: Paraya Dhan must Get Married and Stay Married.
Will this baby recover from this attack? If she does, then what kind of life will she live? I wish there was more information about how she is coping.
VIJAYAWADA: In a shocking incident, a man tried to kill his three-day-old baby girl at Wynchpet here on Saturday. As he did not want a girl child in his family, the father threw the baby on the ground and tried to strangle her with his legs. Hearing the infant’s cries her mother rushed in and shouted for help. The neighbours who gathered in strength thwarted the man’s attempts to kill the baby and thrashed him before alerting the police. The baby was injured on her neck and was admitted to government hospital in the city. The police, however, did not register a case against the accused identified as P Arjuna, who runs a snacks cart, after his wife Lakshmi withdrew the complaint under pressure from relatives.
Lakshmi had given birth to a baby girl three days ago much to the chagrin of P Arjuna. He had been quarrelling with his wife ever since the birth of the girl. The quarrel turned violent when he threw the baby on the floor and tried to kill her. The neighbours rushed the infant to the government general hospital and alerted the police. The police visited the spot and took Arjuna into custody. But police did not register a case against the accused as his wife withdrew the complaint under pressure from relatives. The police let Arjuna, who runs a snack cart, go after a stern warning.
An acquaintance once pointed out, “But these women are used to all this.” Can poverty, hunger and violence get someone used to torture? Have ‘they got used to it’ and or have those-not-going-through-it-at-the-moment got desensitised to it?