The father threw the baby on the ground and tried to strangle her with his legs: No case registered.

“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.

Father tries to kill 3-day-old girl. No case registered Mother withdrew complaint under pressure from relatives.

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?

Related Posts:

Mere consent to conjugal rights does not mean consent to give birth to a child for her husband.

How are mothers treated in Indian culture?

Society benefits immensely from childbearing, childrearing, and caregiving work that currently goes unpaid.

How can the society ensure that marriage (and homemaking) does not result in women becoming financially dependent on their husbands?

Of Housewives, Beggars and Prostitutes.

38 thoughts on “The father threw the baby on the ground and tried to strangle her with his legs: No case registered.

  1. Have ‘they got used to it’ and or have those-not-going-through-it-at-the-moment got desensitised to it?

    It’s both. Unfortunately, those who’ve become desensitized are the ones who hold more power to change the laws than those who are going through it.

    At the same time, the if the 22 year old woman was to press charges, she may well be ostracized by her husband, his family, her own family, and even the entire society to which she belongs. Someone from a more privileged background may not understand that kind of pressure. There isn’t remotely enough ‘social support’ available to these women in the developed world, let alone a country like India which has gazillions of really, really poor people.

    Something else to consider is that jails, courts, public prosecutors/ defenders, police staff, etc all require ample funding from taxpayer money, a lot of which, according to a lot of people, is stored in Switzerland or as gold bars under marble flooring. If the man is a threat to his wife and children and not to society at large, it is understandable why a deeply underfunded and apathetic public system would turn the other way.

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    • If the man is a threat to his wife and children and not to society at large, it is understandable why a deeply underfunded and apathetic public system would turn the other way.

      But, isn’t he also a threat to society at large? If he holds such disgusting views about his own flesh and blood, and could act in such a despicable manner, what is to say he does not behave in sexist and misogynistic ways in other aspects of his life, mistreating other women and girls?

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  2. This rips my heart apart but trust me there are many more families where the violence is not as visible as here but silent and more vicious towards the girl child and her mother,worse still sometimes the mother is a participant or silent witness. What is even more sad that so many educated and so -called independent women let it happen to them and their daughters.
    One of our educated neighbors in Gurgaon a few years back had put both their girls in an average school so that their boy could go to a better school.he was always served the meals first,the girls had to attend to him,obey him(he was younger) and call him only bhai (not take his name),because he would be their mayaka(their mom said.)

    I did not know them well but one day the eldest girl came to me to seek some help on a school project,and I can never forget what she told me-” pehle mummy bete ke intezar me dukhi rahti thi ab bete me busy rahti hai,mujhko aur meri behan ko kabhi pyar nahi karti hai,aunty kya beti hona itani buri baat hai”she was just 11.

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  3. The only thing I feel happy about in this whole episode is that the incident got media coverage and public glare. I can only imagine how widespread this must’ve been in the day when there was no form of pressure on the perpetrators.
    Hoping charges are pressed on the man!

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  4. In a society where as a woman, you are taught that rape is your fault, and marital rape is sex, and that being a woman means being part of a man’s property to do as he wills… it is no wonder that we are emotionally numb.

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  5. This, in the land where Godesses go by the name Shakti. Meaning Power !

    IHM,I am guessing the pressure from relatives went in this direction- if you press charges,how will you fill your and your baby’s stomach? You have a baby to take care of, so you better leave the earning money part to your husband.
    We do not know for sure that the pressure did not take the form of violent threats,do we?

    What could the poor woman do after all?

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  6. Horrible, senseless cruelty, based on the erroneous idea that a mother determines her childs gender. In fact it’s always and only the father who is responsible.

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    • And I wonder why in a country like ours where women are always held responsible, and atrocities committed on them, for bearing female children, the fact that it is not women who determine the sex of the child is not given more publicity and awareness.

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      • I don’t know if it is necessarily a lack of awareness/publicity – I mean, sure for the uneducated, this is likely. But how can we explain the educated class engaging in similar behaviours using the same reasoning? This reminds me of the SMJ episode where the doctor who had twin girls faced horrible treatment at the hands of her similarly well-educated MIL (and family).

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  7. What i dont get is how the mother has the right to withdraw the police complaint…the violence was against the baby and not the mother…so how can they let the man go free just bcoz the mother withdrew the complaint? Maybe there is some legal stuff here that i dont understand!!

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  8. If only the guy knew that there’s a procedure called abortion available. But even that wouldn’t have helped as sex-selective abortions are illegal. That’s where the law has got it wrong. If either parent doesn’t like sons or daughters, who is the law to force them to give birth to a child of particular gender. In fact, the law forces the child birth, but has no provisions to protect the child from discrimination once it is born. If sex-selective abortions are made legal, such incidents of cruelty are bound to stop. The same goes for anti-dowry law. If certain individuals are mutually agreeing to exchange stuff in the name of dowry, who is the law to stop them? The law needs to interfere only when an individual is harassed in the name of dowry just as in case of harassment for any other reason. Violence and harassment should be dealt with firmly as in the above case.

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    • “who is the law to force them to give birth to a child of particular gender”.. except the law isn’t responsible for the gender of their child. THEY are. And when you conceive, you are bringing on YOURSELF the responsibility of a human life. It’s not like buying something at the mall and deciding you don’t want it anymore so returning it/throwing it away. It’s a lifetime responsibility you take on voluntarily.

      The rest of your comment made me so angry I don’t even *WANT* to reply to you. You need an education, really, really badly. Maybe get one before shooting your mouth off. Or even thinking, really, because people who think like this are the worst thing for society.

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      • It is evident by your anger where you are coming from. Conception by itself doesn’t mean an individual loses her right on her own body. Such a mindset was what resulted in the death of the Indian lady Savita Halappanavar. A woman should have the right to her own body which includes the right to chose to have an abortion. If she doesn’t want a child of a particular gender, the law cannot force her to undergo childbirth. Either you support abortions, or you don’t. You can’t go around saying “This reason for abortion is valid, but this one isn’t!” The responsibility is when and after the child is actually born. That’s why I specifically mentioned how the man should be punished for what he did. To understand the logic behind why sex-selective abortions should be legal, please read the following.

        http://www.bhagwad.com/blog/2013/rights-and-freedoms/abortion-pro-choice-and-sex-selective-abortion.html/

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        • Not saying a person loses the right over their own body when they conceive. If that’s what you took away from that, that’s your problem, not mine. But wanting only a specific ‘kind’ of kid, as it were, that’s not how it works. It’s not like saying, oh I got a Ken doll and wanted only a Barbie. You’re choosing to bring a life into the world. I’m pro-abortion, absolutely so – my only proviso being that it is voluntary and the choice of the mother and father alone.

          To liken sex-selective abortion to all abortion, and blanket it like that, then compare THAT to Savita Halappanavar, is idiotic.

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        • @ Sanjay,
          Are these entirely your views ? Or are you just trolling here quoting from other weird sources ? If these are your own views, you are nothing but deluded about the world being an ideal place. No woman (at least in India) would voluntarily want to abort a girl child without societal pressures. Something which I don’t think you will understand. You seem to believe that by prohibiting female feticide, the govt. is forcing women to undergo childbirth against their wishes. Well, at least the govt. is not deluded on that issue.

          The same goes for dowry but I can see you are inspired by bhagwad who is himself deluded about a lot of things which while may sound ideal do not happen in the real world but applying those idealistic ideas to the far-from-ideal world will surely result in the breakdown of the social structure of the country the skewed sex-ratio being just a part of that breakdown.

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        • Not wanting a specific kind of kid is valid and feasible before the birth of the child. Not after birth. The same goes for taking responsibility of a child that is born. Before a child’s birth, abortion should be the right of a woman irrespective of the reason of having an abortion. If you could not understand this simple fact, and if you took away from the previous comment that this right is to be taken away from the woman and should be given to someone else, then all the best to you.

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    • “If either parent doesn’t like sons or daughters, who is the law to force them to give birth to a child of particular gender”. The law has an interest in maintaining certain population characteristics- like women. So, it does allow parents to abort foetuses , just not based on gender. It’s about the sex ratio, and also, you know basic human decency.

      “In fact, the law forces the child birth, but has no provisions to protect the child from discrimination once it is born. ”
      That’s actually a great idea- maybe we should have a law that fines parents for treating girls unequally. We could have a hotline where a relative or neighbour could call and report this type of childhood abuse.
      Must add here that it’s sad the way the Indian state needs to keep exhorting and reminding it’s citizens that girls are also worth something.

      “The same goes for anti-dowry law. If certain individuals are mutually agreeing to exchange stuff in the name of dowry, who is the law to stop them?”
      Perhaps you’ve forgotten how dowry works. A family gives away a woman to a man, along with lots and lots of goodies like appliances, cars, and houses. Doesn’t sound like an exchange to me!
      And if you think anybody likes to give away free stuff to others (as opposed to forced by societal norms)- well, stop that delusion right now.

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      • It is not any individual’s responsibility to keep the sex-ratio at a certain level. Wanting to give birth to a girl or a boy should be an individual’s choice. How can the law make that choice for someone? As far as dowry goes, no one is forced to pay dowry. If there is any use of force or harassment, one is free to complain to the law. And if one is demanded a dowry by the groom’s family, one has the freedom to scrap off the marriage instead of agreeing to pay the dowry. Dowry is morally wrong, but how can the government legislate laws based on morals?

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        • “how can the government legislate laws based on morals?”
          All laws are technically based on a culture’s sense of morality. Rape, murder, theft,deceit, etc are first and foremost morally wrong – so that’s why we have laws against them.

          Of course, some people have a different set of morals to the ones espoused by the laws of the land. My morals (or lack of them) violent disagree with the laws in Saudi Arabia. Similarly, your own personal morality is in conflict with the laws of India. It happens.🙂

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        • I agree with the abortion bit, if someone wants only girls or only boys they should have the right to choose. BUT if i want to have only girls andmy MIL forces me to have only boys THEN she needs to be tossed in jail🙂 my body my right law…
          unfortunately for this baby, she was born wherein she is no more a foetus, the father attempted MURDER for which we have adequete punishments in our law books, so no he cant go scot free, he has to pay the price for his behavior. and that’s where the system fails us.

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        • desidaaru12, then who gets to decide what is morally wrong or right? The so called Indian culture’s sense of morality doesn’t agree to western style of dressing. So if tomorrow the law decides that it is morally wrong for females to wear a certain type of dress, would you agree to such a law? Will you follow such a law as being the law of the land?

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  10. He tried to kill a 3-day old baby!!!!! And the police let him off after giving a stern warning. So he has all the licence in the world now to abuse the baby and the mother. And did we say in our land mothers are worshipped, Goddesses are considered epitome of power and strength?

    This beast is not going to let the poor woman live in peace until she begets a son! Then you know she will be hailed as a worthy mother. Sick!!!!!!

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  11. This is truly a sad incident. Does this only happens in India? I mean, killing a girl child? How the hell do we call ourselves progressive? This is not an incident contained to lower/mid class of India, it happens everywhere even in the urban/business classes….

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