“let me ask – how many girls in city remain pure till marriage ?”

After reading about actor Jiah Khan’s suicide note, I wanted to blog about the need to create awareness about Intimate Partner Abuse, because it’s awareness and understanding can save lives.

It seemed obvious that the first steps in preventing abuse is understanding, acknowledging and recognizing it, but it seems this is not how everybody sees this. Take a look at this link and message shared by Swarup Biswas.


Was reading up on Jia’s suicide note on TOI (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Aditya-Pancholis-son-Suraj-held-for-abetting-Jiah-Khans-suicide/articleshow/20529521.cms) when I came across this comment in response:

Women are at fault (Feminism spoiled many)

We have already lost our values thanks to these FEMINIST IDEAS. let me ask – how many girls in city remain pure till marriage ? Most of them are polluted either physically or mentally or both from an early age.Too much involvelemnt and open interaction with males has led to this situation.Marriage is an institution which is disrespected now by the new generation women.Some of them even go abroad for work,go for higher studies even after marriage leaving husband,children.And after going there they interact with many men and what happens thereafter is not unknown to many.The entire society is undergoing lot of pressure due to these issues.

What do you feel like upon reading such stuff? Don’t you sometimes feel like hanging your boots and let this country rot (not much left to rot though)?


Related Posts:

1. “why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more”

2. Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

3. “…offenders who raped unmarried (and virginal) women got higher sentences in contrast to men who raped married women”


81 thoughts on ““let me ask – how many girls in city remain pure till marriage ?”

  1. “Most of them are polluted either physically or mentally or both from an early age.”

    Poo hooo .. Seriously, Dude? If even mentally the pollution is to be taken in to account, then guys would be more polluted by a larger margin in terms of the no. of guys and the level of pollution too…


    • Also, these so called polluted girls are called polluted, because they get into relationships with other MEN.. And MEN can’t be polluted.. they are the all pure-doodh ke dhule- types, no?


      • They mean ‘polluted’ men are acceptable. But ‘polluted’ women is another matter. Even the most ‘polluted’ of men are afraid of one thing and that is if the woman they are marrying is ‘polluted’, Oh yeah, they probably shiver in their sleep too wondering if anyone else has been there before them. Hypocrites.


  2. “And after going there they interact with many men”

    Shock, horror!!! Those freakin sluts.. they.. they.. oh I can’t even say it loudly.. they *interact* with men.. even many men!! Oh my dear god! Kalyug!!


    • Ya, Carvaka. You see shaking hands with men, talking to them about work and generally being progressive about everything in life can ‘pollute’ women. Kya hoga hamaare sanskruthi ka?Ghor kalyug!!!


  3. Some of them even go abroad for work,go for higher studies even after marriage leaving husband,children.And after going there they interact with many men and what happens thereafter is not unknown to many.The entire society is undergoing lot of pressure due to these issues.
    I am all that. Poor society!


  4. OMG!

    my classmate(boy) once said(when we were talking about a rape): “though she(rape victim) wont like it mentally, she would definitely enjoy physically know..”

    i was shocked. how do people think like this?!? SERIOUSLY!!


    • What the media brings about is what the rape victim was wearing, what was she doing there and most of the questions related to her. But the right question to ask is, “What made the male think that it is unacceptable?” Virginity is so over rated by the society. Stop Gender Policing!


  5. Women get raped it is their fault. Women have male friends it is their fault. Women interact with men it is their fault.

    Men rape women, mannequins are removed from shops. Women are asked not to wear clothes that provokes men, not to go out of the house after 7.
    Men throw acid on women. They are never caught.
    Men interact with women, sleep with them, promises to marry them, get their children aborted and we read such news everyday.

    It is always a woman’s fault PEROID!!


    • Well said, Ambika. Women have to control their desires, cannot ‘pollute’ themselves by going abroad for work or for higher studies and thereby put our society into trouble by losing moral values. But men can mix freely with women, go abroad on work or for higher studies, have one-night stands and yet be labelled as ‘eligible bachelors’. You see they are not entitled to be ‘polluted’ by such things. Aakhir mard to mard hotien hain.Aurat ko sochna chahiye apne izzat ke baare mein.(Men will be men. Woman should to think about her chastity (read virginity)) Isnt this repeated zillion times in movies, tele serials or books which are predominantly patriarchical?


  6. And they didn’t comment on how wrong the act was ….. all they were saying was that the groom was ‘foolish’ not to wait for sex with the bride. Women are ‘polluted ‘ cos they ‘interact’ with men for work and higher studies and the man who rapes a girl in his own wedding how is he supposed to be categorized ??? ” Fooolishh”!!! thats it! Wow . On top of they say it is the women who do not believe in the sanctity of marriage … and supposedly this “Foolish” man did!!??


      • What in the name of the god does he mean by “An illiterate man may see naked pictures but then may entice a 4-year old with offer of candy because he doesn’t know the law and never reads the papers. All he knows is he wants to do it, with whoever it is in his power to entice as victim. That’s how child rape happens.”

        No seriously. I am sick to my stomach at the attitude in that blog.


  7. Upon reading the reply–the guy sounds like someone who’s really bitter by financially independent women in urban areas. They wear what they want, they do what they want, and they clearly do not care for people like said commenter.

    I think what he really means is that 20/30 years ago, when economic opportunities were more limited, these women would have been prospective arranged marriage brides for people like him to lord over. Now, he’s someone insignificant and these women lead far more interesting lives than he can ever dream of. So society isn’t really ‘under pressure’ he, and other men like him are.


  8. I find this point of view not only disgusting but also conservative and archaic against women. It is horrifying to read such double standard and hypocrite point of view. These are the same people who will ogle at women and mentally undress them. Why do we give importance to such uneducated people. Jiah was a victim and we should pray to her soul to rest in peace and not abuse her memory.


  9. “Don’t you sometimes feel like hanging your boots and let this country rot (not much left to rot though)?”
    Yes, that is exactly how I feel. Not just by this one comment, but by a majority of the TOI comments. I wonder if these people all belong to some special moron schools.


  10. another comment which i think quite sensible
    To be honest, how did Suraj abet the suicide? The call was completely made by the person who committed it. So what if Suraj refused to meet her? It is his prerogative, and no one can mandate him to meet some one he doesn’t want to. Relationship is a mutual understanding where both partners need to be respectful to each other as well as mature about the any/every situation. It seems like the girl was not mature enough to handle the potential break up and killed her self. Now the family produced the so called suicide note after almost a week after? Why didn’t the police go through Jiah’s belongings as part of the investigation? So many unanswered questions need to be addressed before pointing fingers. I believe the Indian police has made a snap judgement and arrested the guy. My apologies if I sound a bit in sensitive.


    • //how did Suraj abet the suicide? The call was completely made by the person who committed it. So what if Suraj refused to meet her? It is his prerogative, and no one can mandate him to meet some one he doesn’t want to. Relationship is a mutual understanding where both partners need to be respectful to each other as well as mature about the any/every situation. It seems like the girl was not mature enough to handle the potential break up and killed her self.//

      Absolutely agree.


      • IHM, this is something that has been worrying me too. It as if any emotionally disturbed boy or girl can write a note mentioning anyone and they get arrested for abetment of suicide! Seriously we need some rethink on this.


      • To continue,what if it was the other way round? A guy pestering a woman to marry him? and what if he had put a restraining order on her?” Would that have covered his bases?

        The crux of the issue is not who abetted the suicide, It is that a highly successful, affluent, educated girl thinks her life is not worth living because she was jilted in love. Moreover it could also be possible that the abortion she had triggered a post partum depression of sorts. What kind of society is this is if a Ms. India like Nafisa Joseph and models like Viveka babjee, and a starlet who debuted opposite AMitabh Bachchaan think, their life is less because of lack of a man?
        Maybe that’s what needs correction and attention.


        • //The crux of the issue is not who abetted the suicide, It is that a highly successful, affluent, educated girl thinks her life is not worth living because she was jilted in love. … What kind of society is this is if a Ms. India like Nafisa Joseph and models like Viveka Babjee, and a starlet who debuted opposite Amitabh Bachchan think, their life is less because of lack of a man?//

          This is what I have been trying to say.


    • This is something that I have been asking over and over again. If somebody doesn’t want to be in a relationship, you cannot threaten that person by committing suicide.


      • Isnt this something that abusive men usually do tionally manipulate and control, their partners in India “If you leave me I’ll kill myself”.

        I agree, if he doesnt want to be with her its his choice.


  11. So if interaction with men is so bad for women, WHY aren’t these men being proactive and stop interaction with women? Come on, do something! Stick tape over your mouths and stop talking to women. Oh no. They have to walk around whistling, harassing, feeling and grabbing. All that is fine. It is healthy interaction that is the culprit here. Imbeciles. Once again I wonder what our great culture is about that has created such a society of sick people?!


  12. Follow our revered culture ladies — why do you trouble the guys by becoming equal to them ? huh where will they find brides who will be their willing slave now? huh .. bad bad girls going abroad and shining, bad bad girls not listening to elders and tolerating crap. bad bad girls thinking and using your god given brain. bad girls going to office and earning money and not coming home to make hot hot puris.. 🙂 he he he i love it. gives me a kick to read such comments .


  13. This made my anger spike “Some of them even go abroad for work,go for higher studies”.. It just comes from men who are jealous that there are women stronger and more intelligent than them to soar great heights professionally AND personally. Grow a pair. These women did 🙂

    Plus, I have a different level of respect for a woman who does so “even after marriage, leaving her husband and children”. Grow up. Open your eyes. Two large incomes, is better than one. One breadwinner is NO longer enough if you want to raise your child well.

    Seriously, grow up.


  14. All I can say here is Helen Gurley Brown’s (editor-in-chief of cosmo magazine for 30 years) best quote
    “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere” ..

    I am damn proud to be the bad ass Indian girl in every respect pointed out by this moron’s comment. I have worked/studied abroad alone, not married (yet) in my late twenties, interact with men everyday either when bossing around 5-7 that report to me at work or downing tequila shots with friends, definitely “not pure” anymore and not ashamed or guilty one bit about it.
    Thank god for feminism that I am not stuck under a ghunghat making chapatis in a hot kitchen for assholes who write such TOI comments — i.e fate of most women in my family just a generation ago.


      • “I am just wondering how you would feel about a man who boasts about all the women he is bossing around.”

        This entirely ignores male privilege. A man being women’s boss used to be the default state of affairs because women were legally and socially restricted from employment opportunities. A woman being men’s boss is notable and ‘boast-able’ for exactly that reason. I don’t see why we need to trivialise it. It is kind of a like no one says it is notable that Bush was a white president, but it is considered an achievement in itself to have a black US president. That’s not being racist or sexist, that’s just recognising the privilege that one group of people had and the progress we have made.

        I think you are also misunderstanding the intent of her saying that she bosses men. I think she mentioned bossing men because the original comment rues women interacting with men. She probable feels the same way about ‘bossing’ women.

        Many countries in the world monitor the level of women at top positions in industry because it is a measure of social progress. We know that men and women don’t have equal footing in workplaces, although it is getting better. Studies show that gender bias in the workplace is real and is often sub-concious, which makes it even harder to tackle (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/09/14/1211286109#aff-1).


  15. Although I agree this is overwhelmingly the sentiment of the country, I also want to suggest that folks who comment on TOI/Youtube appear to be significantly below average intelligence. We’ll probably go nuts analyzing their thinking 😀

    I’ve seen people write way worse stuff than this, stuff that would be outrageously illegal if carried out 😛


  16. What I see happening here is – something unfortunate happens – like a young woman’s suicide – and instead of discussing how we can teach our young women (and young men) that a failed relationship is not the end of the world or discuss abuse, a bunch of wierdos start writing comments that get us completely side tracked.

    I’ve read comments on other such links and they are not only illogical but shocking in their meanness. Who are these people, I think. And what kind of world do we live in? Now, it’s come to the point where I don’t read these comments anymore ….

    The sad truth is …. many people do think this way. Many people sense that India is changing for the better in some ways – women and men are being more independent than their parents’ generation – they find these changes very threatening. Their fear is reflected in these comments. Any crime happens – they blame it on ‘modernity’, ‘Westernization’, ‘immorality’, and ‘disrespect for Indian culture’.

    If truth be told, it is they who lack morals – suppressing women’s equality is immoral, denying them the same rights is immoral. However, you will repeatedly hear the word ‘morals’ being used by these fear mongerers. This is unsurprising – since fear mongering is such a reliable, time tested and successful method of influencing that happens in many countries like India.

    ‘Hang your boots and let the country rot’? Tempting. And I’ve felt this way many times. But let’s not. Because India is still one of the few countries (among a subset of countries with similar misogynistic cultures) where I see young women getting educated, working in companies, where young men are comfortable and secure with these women. These young men and women are struggling to break through – they have no precedents, no ‘wheels that have been invented’. They are starting from scratch, exploring new territory. I see a lot of these kids (20 somethings) in my company. They are unsure, they take 2 steps forward, one step back. Let’s not give up on them.

    I think change is inevitable. It’s coming – unlike in the relatively homogenous US, where you can neatly divide change by eras and decades (the peace movement of the 60s, the environmentalist movement of the 70s, etc.), in India, with it’s heterogenous population, change is going to be messy – it’s going to happen in bits and pieces, it’s going to be so scattered and confusing at times that we may not even recognize it. But, it’s definitely happening.


    • “They are unsure, they take 2 steps forward, one step back. Let’s not give up on them.”
      – I agree 🙂

      “I think change is inevitable. It’s coming …. in India, with it’s heterogenous population, change is going to be messy – it’s going to happen in bits and pieces, it’s going to be so scattered and confusing at times that we may not even recognize it. But, it’s definitely happening.”
      – You are right; this confusion blinds us to whatever little change happens around us. I guess we need to work harder at noticing these sparks of hope, and make them last.


  17. Such comments though depressing, make me even stronger feminist than I currently am (if that makes sense!). But seriously, such comments make me realise how important it is to participate in discussions at workplaces, among friends, at home when these issues crop up. Earlier I used to be a “quiet” sort of feminist. Where I used to do the things I wanted, but did not care much about correcting acquaintances when some misogynist thing was said. My level of giving opinions on these issues was limited to my close circle of friends, family and of course, IHM’s blog 😀 !
    But over the past few years, I do not shy from giving opinions and talking about these issues at workplaces and in any group I am a part of, irrespective of the level of familiarity with the group. So yes, such comments do show that we are far away from “ideal” but they are also a constant reminder that we as a society need to take a more active role in bringing about a change!


  18. I don’t understand why that pancholi fella is in jail. abetting what??? Jiah khan for some reason took her life. so why is he in jail, are they going to gather up all her ex-boyfriends and throw them in jail or only the latest??

    So tomorrow my son may fall in love with a girl, she may fall in love with him, have sex ( hey they are adults), she may or may not get pregnant since both of them are being morons and ignoring birth control and even more worrisome AIDS and STD’s. if they get pregnant , he may not want the child , she may decide to keep it or abort it. ( choice is hers – her body) , she waffles, decides to abort and then feels guilty , fights ,argues and kills herself and my son will be in jail???? seriously!!!! i haven’t heard of a more stupid logic.
    then why is her mom not in jail, you have a out of control , psychotic child on the loose, depressed and obviously not stable, why did you leave her alone ? to hang herself?

    This is a bunch of idiotic bull. if he/she is not ready to face the consequences life then they are not ready, male or female, if you are ready to deal with the consequences of a relationship dont have one. i really don’t get why we have to find a scapegoat to go after all the time.


    • @Radha –
      I am not sure if it has been proven that she was psychotic, depressed and unstable.

      Unfortunately all suicides in India are blamed on survivors, and since more than 20% of suicides are committed by young women in relationships (marriage or relationships) – we should be talking a lot more about moving on, break ups and divorces as possible options for women. Many in Indian society views women in premarital relationships the way this email does, this makes it tougher for them, and suicides like this one are not uncommon.

      Also, I am not sure if all suicides are caused by mental illness.

      1. Ruchira Girhotra committed suicide. [We had heard rumours of what had happened with her, heard may be she has been molested, and may be there was more to it than just molestation… ]

      2. Sweety ( I don’t know what to do and how to gain a place my husband’s heart. ) also committed suicide and left a diary behind.

      3. Nirupma Pathak allegedly hanged herself. Suicide is seen as the appropriate, unwritten penalty for a premarital pregnancy in our society.

      4. Geetika Sharma, Geetika Sharma suicide: former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda charged with rape and unnatural sex

      5. Juhi Nakawa – She called me on the very day she committed suicide. She said that she was being battered so badly by her husband that she no longer wished to stay with him/

      6. Anjali Gupta – Live-in-relationship with a married man leads to suicide… one marriage is saved, one life is lost .’

      7. Neha Chikkara (Allegedly he continued to beat her here and one day she just couldn’t bear it any more and killed herself.)

      These are just some of the cases – one doesn’t see as many young, married or heart broken or disappointed men taking their lives (they are more likely to drink alcohol or ‘teach a lesson’ by molesting or throwing acid etc) – which means social pressures do play a part in these suicides. I think instead of blaming the suicide victims or those who were close to them, we need to create awareness about the hypocrisy of loss of ‘purity’, and life after unhappy marriages and abusive relationships for women.


    • Radha,You are talking like a SON’s mother. At best , girls who commit suicide in theses scenario have become too emotional or dejected and frustrated. How can you conclude that girl was ‘unstable’, ‘depressed’ to kill herself to point a finger at the guy !
      Girls even modern Indian girls find it very difficult to be accepted by society after abortion ,bad break up where she was physically involved !
      ANd secondly, why do Indian men promise to marry to sleep with women ! I think promising to have a future, sleeping and manipulating the relationship and the woman’s mind is abettment to suicide especially in Indian context. How about more women teaching their sons’ about not promising to marry and keeping rational mind in relationships.

      Its again like pointing fingers at the girls and saying its all their fault !


      • having a relationship and ending a relationship happens all the time, irrespective of it’s a boy or girl. and No i’m not talking like a boy’s mother 🙂 i’m talking like a woman who has had a few relationships ( decades ago ) in repressed india and have dumped and been dumped a couple times.
        When we women want the choice to live as we like then we have to accept the choice that it may not go all our way.
        As for men promising marriage to have sex. some do some dont, somtimes it’s assumed that if hang out with the same person for a yr and are intimate it leads to marriage, why? and if that’s ok why can one not change their mind.

        I dont’ mean she was depressed or psychotic i’m sorry if i put it that way, i ment she could be and if so shouldnt her mom who lives with her caught it before the boyfriend?? all i mean to say is why blame him. why blame anyone? we have a suicide hotline at our hosp, although i dont work in it i read up on it and am privy to a few cases. about 80% of them are either students who get less marks or women/girls with what they call ‘love failure’ .. what is love failure. — someone failing to love you like you love them back????
        i think it is idiotic, yes society plays a role i agree but the same society frowns on having boyfriends, premarital sex, skimpy cloths, etc., etc., so if one can turn their back on all these issues and ask society to take a hike then why cannot they face that they were dumped?
        Im just venting out sorry not because i have sons, i’d break their skuls if i heard they had unprotected sex. i didnt raise them as idiots, i would also give them a piece of mind if they played with someones feelings. they know what love is , they see it , they know what cheating and abuse of trust is but i’m completely ok with them falling in and out of love a couple of times till they are sure. not many finds that one true soulmate at first shot. no one knows the level of involvement in th eother persons mind, at best you hop ethat’s the one and try it out if not walk away and chalk it up to experience. If indeed jiah khan’s suiicide was due to unrequited love then i’m sorry, she should have stayed away from the perils of love . A suicide is no one’s fault. and unless her boyfriend gave her the rope and asked her to hang ( that is murder) he should not be in jail. This i say sitting @ my lovely neice who i raised like my daughters home and this is whay i would say to her too.


  19. Am I the only one who sees the irony here? Not only is the man Suraj being blamed by society for the actions of a woman, he is in fact being dragged off to face a jail sentence for it!!! A man is not just being blamed, he is being held criminally liable!

    And you are using this event as an example of how society blames women for everything? Seriously?


    • The letter mentions that he was violent, maybe he will be charged for that, though it’s doubtful if they would be able to prove anything against him. He didn’t seem to respect her, the letter also mentions emotional abuse. He didn’t have to be violent to end their relationship, but many Indians do not see break ups (and divorces) as possibilities in any relationship. The comments that sympathize with Jiah do that because he was the only boyfriend she had and she died trying to save the relationship (according to them).


    • This came off somewhat jarring to me as well. The way people declare him guilty because SHE killed herself. I don’t believe a person should be held criminally liable for another person’s inability to handle a breakup.
      And breakups do get nasty at times. When you have witnessed or been a part of as many as I did, it is not always easy to tell declare who is guilty and who isn’t. I wouldn’t pass a judgement on a person based on unilateral ex-parte ‘evidences’ like suicide notes. It is going to encourage jilted lovers to blackmail their partners, by threatening the legal consequences of a possible suicide. A form of individual terrorism, if you will.


    • Abhishek, there’s 2 bad things that happened here – the woman’s suicide and the man’s arrest. Some of the people here are responding to the former, others to the latter. Regarding her suicide, people are looking at society’s influence on how we think abut breakups, failed relationships, etc. If there was abuse, again people are saying this needs to be recognized and dealt with, not hushed up.

      People who commented on the latter – the man’s arrest – said it doesn’t make sense if it’s only regarding her suicide. No one here is suggesting he should be arrested for her death – because although sad, that is/was ultimately her choice.

      But if there was abuse, then it needs to be investigated. They can’t just go by the contents of her letter. I’m sure they will need other evidence that comes from the autopsy, unbiased witness reports, etc.


      • But IHM in her blog post, didn’t even make a reference to this extreme injustice of the man being arrested. IHM is usually so vigilant about regressive laws and regressive attitudes that not even random internet commentators on ToI articles escape her keen eye. Isn’t it truly stunning that she would let such an obvious injustice pass by without remark?

        Is it because this injustice is happening to a man? Even if he is acquitted tomorrow in a court of law, do you really think his reputation can be salvaged? IHM was so deeply hurt when SRK said “I love women”. But…the plight of this man doesn’t seem to bother her, or at least she seems to think its a less serious issue compared to the hurt caused by one anonymous internet comment…wow!!! truly …wow!

        What does that tell me, a man, about feminists?


        • The man is alive, he can prove his innocence or the law can prove his involvement in some way. I am neutral and I don’t think relatives of people who commit suicide should be automatically considered murderers or completely exonerated without investigating how the person died.

          The young woman is dead, and she is being ‘accused’ of everything from mental illness, to being a blot on Indian womanhood.

          Also, whether or not he should have been arrested for abbetment in suicide, he did not come across as a very responsible, intelligent, respectful or caring person. I am not sure if she mentions that he broke up with her (which would be his right), but he did come across as a manipulative and violent man. Emotional abuse victims are vulnerable to the abusers’ manipulations (married women too, they live for years with abusers even when they are financially independent) – so I would not blame her.

          Also please note, the comment shared above is condemning the young woman not him. There is no mention of his loss of purity.


        • So what if the woman is dead? She decided to do it herself. What is this “involvement” you speak of? This is not a murder case, but a suicide.

          Prove what in court? The accusation itself is ridiculous. You want him to go on trial for not being a “very responsible, intelligent, respectful or caring person?” What is this “emotional abuse” you speak of? Anybody can claim to be a victim of “emotional abuse”, it is a non-crime which relies on non-evidence. Putting this man on trial for being a bad boyfriend is equivalent to trying a woman for witchcraft. Both the accusation and the evidence (for and against) are ridiculous.

          I am stunned that you do not see how regressive the law is in this case: being “disrespectful” is punishable with up to 7 years of rigorous imprisonment! Everyday you complain about how regressive Indian law does not recognize marital rape, about the idea that a man is entitled to sex with his wife. But when a man is being sent to jail for not marrying someone he had sex with, you don’t seem outraged.

          In fact you are supporting the worst anti-female stereotype here: Jiah is a woman, so she cannot be held responsible for her own suicide, because women are just brainless toys, puppets in the hands of men and so if anything bad happens to the puppet, the puppet-master should be punished.


        • Abhishek, only you can decide what you think about feminists. IHM may not have referred to Suraj’s imprisonment in her post, but there are a plethora of comments here that have criticized Suraj’s imprisonment and sympathized with his predicament…Should we read anything into the fact that you’ve chosen to ignore those comments while attempting to pass judgment on feminists :).

          I’m a guy too and I realize that, theoretically, tomorrow I could be in the same situation that Suraj finds himself in. All things being equal, I too would agree with you that it’s highly unjust to take criminal action on Suraj for Jiah’s suicide. But all things aren’t equal. The reason I have not come down wholeheartedly in support of Suraj is because the content of the suicide note talks about rape and abuse.


          Maybe these charges are fake and Suraj is completely innocent…or maybe he’s not. Until this is resolved, some of us may not feel comfortable supporting Suraj.


  20. Another reason not to read comments on internet articles. The internet has this way of bringing out the worst in people. But this is just someone who afraid of change, it’s also fashionable for people to blame feminism for every social ill that arises. The more women progress the more backlash there will be


  21. I read all the comments here and I am thinking about how we feminists, liberals, whatever-you-call-us must also acknowledge this more bigoted, chauvinist point of view as real. In the sense, that whether we agree or not, many people in this country and all over the world still think like this. Only from acceptance of the reality can we begin to extend out a platform for dialogue. The world is changing too fast. Change does not come easy to many. How do we negotiate a world is which people with very different ideologies co-exist? I would educate my daughter and son to assess a boyfriend/girlfriend against her/his own thinking and beliefs in addition to whatever else she/he has found attractive in an attempt to assess whether intimacy is something they are comfortable with in the first place, or how much of it is ok. Intimate Partner Abuse leaves you scarred in a deep way and this sort of assessment is a good protective tool. We must teach children and counsel peers not to be afraid to let relationships go if they push us to go against our belief systems and this is true for people at either end of the feminist-patriarchal spectrum, don’t you think?


  22. I have to agree with Radha and a few others here. It is a shame that a beautiful young life is over and my heart goes out to the family who have lost their beautiful child who had a life full of possibilities. But blaming the poor guy and putting him jail for something she could not handle is stupidity. He might have been a jerk in the relationship but she could have moved on and chosen to walk away.

    To play the devil’s advocate like most abusive relationships the abused person does not have the courage to walk out of the relationship. But this is where one needs to be strong and make the choice. Maybe she was not strong and could not make a choice. Maybe she felt that she needed him in her life so badly that she could not let go. But I still feel he is not to be blamed. Also what about her parents. Aren’t they also to be blamed in someway as well?

    I have seen a few suicides or read about them where people end their lives because of a small quarrel or a misunderstanding. They choose to end their lives but the family and the people involved are left with terrible trauma and guilt for something that maybe not even a fault of their own. It could be that the person who committed suicide was depressed or psychotic or was just trying to scare them and took it took it too far.

    I believe my life is my own, no situation can be that bad that I would take away this precious life that god has given me. I feel sorry for the poor schmuck, imagine the stress and guilt he and his parents might be going thru. She is gone but he will live with this stigma forever.


    • Nobody is to be blamed except the system that does not care to acknowledge that nobody should be held responsible for saving any relationships; and that a long lasting relationship is not a badge or certificate of good Indian womanhood. If moving on, divorce, separation; and women’s bodies and personal lives and choices were not controlled by the society we would not see Indian women so willing to die when expected to save abusive relationships and/or reform abusive partners.


      • So well said. Back when I was 10/11 years old and had an elder cousin in her mid twenties, She had a long relationship with a guy that finally broke up. I vividly remember my mom, her parents and my grand parents constantly yelling at my cousin for days when we were visiting them. They kept telling her she was a whore (bajaari auraat) and would be better off for the family if she took rat poison or jumped off from the roof. She refused to eat 1-2 days and I used to bring her biscuits. I was so utterly shocked at my family who are all very educated, well to do folks to even say something like this. To this day, no matter how devastated I am after a breakup, I would never discuss with my parents knowing very well how they reacted to my cousin. That cousin eventually married a guy of her choice and now has two kids. She has cut off all contact with most of her family and my parents which is understandable. Why can’t Indian families be more supportive at times of breakup to help the person move on instead of making her feel like she has ruined her life forever.


  23. “Some of them even go abroad for work,go for higher studies”.

    Oh the horror of human beings wanting to actually make something of themselves and not tie their value with that of another human being! I love how the idea of a girl going abroad for higher studies inspires so much shock and disgust in this lady or gentleman. The idea that a GIRL of ALL PEOPLE, a GIRL who should do nothing but allow herself to be downtrodden and beaten into submission DARES do something actually worthwhile and contribute to society in a way that she defines for herself, is so awful that it is disrupting and polluting society.

    Don’t you know ladies? You shouldn’t be out there in this world. Go back to where you belong, in the dark shades of your houses and your kitchens. Slave away under the orders of others, and don’t you ever dare think that you’re equal to a man. After all, you’re not, and if you think you are, YOU are single handedly responsible for the downfall of society.

    Well, if that’s the case, I’m glad that I’m putting a bad taste in the mouths of people like these. 🙂 Jealous, good-for-nothing, small minded children shouldn’t be paid attention so, and it’s their views that are polluting and choking our country. I would rather let my country rot, if my country has values like these.

    After all, isn’t fertilizer what we use to grow a more beautiful garden?


  24. Hi,

    I have been wondering. Have you written any article on the glorification of suicide in Indian Media before? Or do you have links of other blog that has talked about this topic?



  25. Oh I am one of those ‘married women’ who went abroad and interacted with ‘many’ men. Sheesh, how bad. And my husband being so stupid didn’t say anything to me. Must be joru ka ghulam. I also choose the way i live and go out wherever and whenever i want with people I like, including men. Now definitely my husband is a bakra or a very nice man for ‘allowing’ me all this liberty. So sorry I’m putting so much pressure on the society. But what to do I am like this only.
    And for Jiah Khan, pretty weak and stupid decision I say.


  26. I have gone through all the comments here. I agree with some and disagree with others. But one thing that stood out to me was the insensitivity or ignorance of a few comments regarding the act of suicide.Suicide is the culmination of many complex forces. It can result from developmental or situational crisis.

    We cannot even begin to realize how overwhelmed and confused these individuals feel. The intense loss, the frozen anger, fear, loneliness and grief along with feelings of depression, hopelessness and helplessness or feelings of being a source of shame for their close others can constrict the person’s ability to see alternatives to his or her present situation and can make suicide appear as the only choice that they have -the only way out of terrible psychological pain that they have been experiencing. .

    I read in the newspaper somewhere that during a recent the court hearing a doctor testified in court that Jiah had been depressed. We are talking about clinical depression here, not the usual being in low spirits for a while or the occasional down in the dumps. While to us -as thrid party observers- who were not entangled in all those emotions-it may seem like just a nasty breakup, it might not have been the same for her. It’s easy to fault the victim. Why was she stuck in the relationship if she was so happy? oh she is weak for committing suicide. You would never know it because you have never been through what she has and then there are individual difference. Somebody else might have come out of all this a stronger person. But she didn’t, she couldn’t. which should not be the reason for suicide Depression is like Hell on Earth, it’s dark and lonely. Research has shown that 90% of adults who have committed suicide were suffering from a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death and a very large percentage of these people have depression. Let me also tell you, people with depression could keep up the act, pretend to be normal and Jiah seemed all normal until her suicide.

    If what’s stated in those letters is true, then she had been through a lot of emotional abuse and adverse circumstances. These events may have precipitated and triggered depression. And since depression is a vicious cycle, the further rejections by her boyfriend (Yes, he has the right to refuse to reciprocate affection, to break up with her and no I am not yet implicating him in anyway) could as well have been the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Regarding Suraj’s dramatic arrest and charges of abetting Jiah’s suicide, we should try to understand the investigative and legal point here. In case of suicide investigations more often than not suicide cases are open to the discretion of the investigating police officer. Police officials often charge individuals (especially those known to the person who committed suicide and those who were in contact with them days or a month before the suicide) as alleged abettors- there are arrests and at times several rounds of questioning. Even though Jiah’s letters, which is not exactly a suicide note, doesn’t bear Suraj’s name, abetment to suicide is a cognizable offence (that means police can arrest or question without a warrant) and the fact that this a high profile case and the distraught mother after reading those letters has complained is probably why Suraj has been arrested.

    Also it is important to note that abetment of suicide- an offence under section 306 of the IPC requires rigorous proof of actual instigation by an abettor. The section has rarely resulted in a conviction. In fact, a landmark Supreme Court judgment in 2010 which dealt with abetment of suicide clarified that to convict a person of abetment of suicide, there has to be a clear mens rea (a guilty mind or intention) to commit the offence. There should be a positive, active and direct act on the part of the accused to abet, instigate or aid in committing suicide. What makes up a positive act has not been defined clearly but SC has held that if involvement of a mental process of instigating a person or intentionally aiding a person in suicide cannot be conclusively established then conviction cannot be sustained.

    Lastly, regarding the misogynistic comment, I concur with what the commentators have already said. I only wish that such thoughts die out soon.


    • I realize there are a few typos in the above comment but I am in a hurry and cannot really correct them. So sorry for the in coherent arguments if you happen to find some. Hope you get the message.


    • Nikhil, I agree with you. Someone’s suicide is a sad, unfortunate thing. To call it ‘weak’ shows lack of empathy, a quality that is scarce in our culture. We cannot fight for our rights as feminists without empathy. When we say, as women, we want to be treated as human beings first, we need to treat EVERYONE as human beings too – and that includes men, and people with depression, people with other psychological issues, or people who’ve simply lost control over their lives and need help.

      Here in the US, recently there was a case where a mom with an autistic som committed suicide. When they investigated they found that she was very involved with her son and her family, she had many friends, was active in the community. Over the years, she became more and more isolated but nothing was obvious – she didn’t draw any attention to herself, didn’t do anything alarming. Until one day when she just quietly took her own life.

      There were so many discussions on what should’ve been done, how this could’ve been prevented. People were sad, devastated. She was a very giving woman. No one judged her. Everyone felt the answer lay in the fact that having someone you can talk to could’ve made a difference. The difference between life and death was simply getting help in a time of need. in the end, she had no one to talk to, no one to acknowledge her fears. It may not have been that different with Jiah.


      • I agree. whether or not she was depressed, she must have felt her life was not worth living. Depression is not a choice or a happy feeling, even if it is a medical condition. And any death, suicide or accident is still a loss of life.


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  29. Jiah, RIP! You’ve gone to a better place. Pray that you are not born again in India.

    I feel it is solely society that is to be blamed for the many suicides that take place in India. People basically have no choices at all.

    By a certain age people are expected to be married. Pressures start building up by society on the family. With passage of time men and women have started having more interaction with each other, leading to relationships and choice marriages. Giving in to this change, according to society any marriage is better than no marriage. Not marrying is no option. Delaying marriage is also not an option.

    But here is the catch. Once a person is seen as a couple, they are expected to be a couple till death do them part. As the relationship progresses, one learns things about the other which they did not know earlier. There is no scope for a breakup even if they find themselves incompatible. Society is observing them with a hawk eye. Even celebrities have trouble handling gossip and mockery. But what about the common man? Its worse for women because the onus of upholding the family honor is on her. The family gets fed up answering everyone’s questions. “kya hua?”, “when is the wedding?” etc. We as a nation feel the need to save face all the time. The person feels he/she has failed in love and goes into a shell on the one hand. The scandal is too much to handle on the other. The feeling of shame, shock and failure can be too much for some people. In India people do not even have the privacy to grieve. Though we are teeming with millions, it is possible that one does not have a single solid support system (that does not judge the person harshly) during such a crisis. God forbid! Stigma is attached to counselling and therapy. Has anyone heard of counselling and therapy for a breakup in India? And why does everyone have to know about what is happening in another’s life in the first place?


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