Dad knifes girl for speaking to lover

What kind of society tolerates the idea that a 23 year old is not capable of knowing what and who makes her happy, and somehow another adult – and this is someone who is capable of inflicting grievous violence, is seen to have ‘her best interest’ (or anybody’s best interest) in mind? This violent person also finds sympathisers – including in the TOI comment section.

What makes so many non violent and seemingly civilised people excuse violence under certain circumstances? Is it just that we are so used to seeing violence being justified that we see it as a normal (or practical) method of coping with disagreements?

We also know that more than half of young Indians believe it’s okay for a man to beat his wife. [53% Indian boys and 57% Indian girls believe it’s okay for a husband to beat his wife]

And we tolerate educated fathers openly threatening their daughters with honor killing. (link)

It seems many Indians believe:

1. It is necessary to control other (mainly young) people’s personal lives, happiness and liberties to save Honor, ‘Society’, Patriarchy, the Institution of Marriage etc (i.e. the status quo).

2. Use of violence to save culture, religion, tradition, family values, honor etc has to be tolerated.

On Wednesday, Suma had gone to her father’s weaving unit in Dommasandra where she also works. Chinnaswamy came to meet her defying Reddy. When he saw them talking, an enraged Reddy ru8sh8ed at Chinnaswamy, chopper in hand. A shocked Suma tried to save her lover but received the brunt of her father’s fury. She received grievous blows from the weapon. 

And here is a comment explaining the circumstances under which violence is tolerable to many Indians.

It could also be because this Chinnaswamy is a vagrant, a no good, unemployed married looser with bad hygiene. We don’t know.. if this “lover boy” is indeed unemployed and belongs to an underprivileged family he could very well be seducing the girl in the hope to one day usurp the business and improve his financial conditions… The hatred that Ashok Reddy displayed against the lover boy could be because he wanted to protect his innocent, gullible daughter against the well thought out, sinister plans of Chinnaswamy.

A Question: Is there any way this can change without media campaigns creating awareness about women being ‘people’, capable and deserving of making their own decisions –  right and wrong, and learning, unlearning and moving on?

Related Posts:

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

26 thoughts on “Dad knifes girl for speaking to lover

  1. A speedy justice system for such cases of violence where civil society groups encourage victims to complain and a special set of sensitised judges mete out swift and sure punishment. The outcomes may not be very severe but regular, swift and firm. On the other side, counseling cells in every city/district/ward working through schools, colleges and other institutions that advise families, work with them to change this thinking. All this is only possible if the State takes an unequivocal stand against the use of violence to solve any problems within families and considers these acts clearly illegal and reprehensible. Other solutions to address/discuss issues of honour and traditional values will need to be found, conflict resolution and a process of arbitration and consensus building will need to be institutionalised for communities to begin to see them as viable alternatives. As of now, everyone takes the law into their own hands in the absence of faith in the system.

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  2. But the Indian legal system as well as Indian society persist in treating adult women as children. The government has done nothing to promote the idea that women are independent and can make their own choices. Because with independence and power comes the responsibility of accepting the consequences of those choices if something goes wrong.

    In my opinion, you can’t have one without the other. As long as consensual sex is treated as “rape” if the guy doesn’t marry the girl, as long as women are treated like big babies in court when it comes to divorce, and dowry, as long as courts say that parents have a say in the marriage of their children (http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/Parents-Have-a-Say-in-Marriage-of-Their-Children-Kerala-HC/2014/03/01/article2083620.ece), this is going to continue.

    Indian society needs to accept that freedom includes the freedom to make mistakes, and bear the consequences.

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    • “Indian society needs to accept that freedom includes the freedom to make mistakes, and bear the consequences”. Thumbs up for this! You’ve identified the core psychological value required, which is probably much easier to explain than rights / culture / duties.. it’s just about letting go. You don’t have to agree with your kids actions; you just have to express your disagreement differently.

      Indian society is probably the society that has glorified ‘letting go’ the most, through the ideals in the Upanishads & the Gita, and also the society that has implemented it the least, thanks to a controlling community and family that is obsessed with worldly honour & dishonour.

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      • The fact that we could achieve this paradox speaks volumes for our great capacity in the ability to talk and write without achieving🙂🙂 Ok, I couldn’t resist that, but I am not trying to bash India. I’m proud of being Indian. This is, after all, the eve of our election conclusion!

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        • Yes, that’s what I was trying to say. It’s a contradiction between the ground reality of the situation of women in India & the philosophical side of the religion. I guess that’s true for all religions.

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  3. The case is sad, and the sad part about it is that it doesn’t surprise or shock anyone. We all have experienced or seen family dynamics (even in “educated” families) that threaten those who dissent with violence. This is nothing new. People who do not fall in line to what is the “standard”, who dare to change things, and make life better for themselves and for others are considered as threats to those who have power. This young lady speaking to a man without her father’s permission flies directly in the power that he has over her. And so, she was punished for that transgression. At this point, reading about cases like these make me really tired. Not because I feel futility about fighting against such beliefs, but because it’s the same thing, over and over again, and you eventually run out of words to discuss these things with.

    However, that comment is something else entirely. According to them, it’s perfectly alright to knife your daughter because of the ASSUMPTION that someone she is speaking to might be a criminal no-gooder. Not even concrete evidence, but on an assumption. And not even knifing the possible criminal no-gooder, but the DAUGHTER (the person who would have been the VICTIM had the assumption proven true) who speaks to him. Because that is the way to keep your children safe from potentially (stress on the potentially) violent criminals.

    It shocks me the extent to which some people employ cognitive dissonance in cases like these just to justify them. Like, seriously. Did the person who left that comment READ what he wrote a second time? Was he aware of what he was saying when he come up with that? Does he know that what he’s typing has the same amount of believability as Harry Potter does?

    Where in the world do you find these commentors that are such stellar examples of humanity?

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  4. What we need is a moral code of conduct that should govern everything we do. The case in question is not about honor killing but about uncontrolled rage and even worst, individual choice. You like the boy or no is different thing, killing or going there with chopper is worst reaction ever.

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  5. The direct answer to your question is no. Media needs to play a big role in this awareness. Be it social media, news media, entertainment people by way of films / messages, books being written about it. So many decades of misogynist autocratic behavior cannot be washed away in so less a time. Only recently people have started talking / participating in such talks positively.

    A large part of our society (women included) still don’t talk about it openly, even though they believe in the cause, for the fear of facing extreme criticism from their family. Girls raised in open environment, who talk about this openly, also sometimes stop doing it after marriage because of the fear that they will not be accepted fully into the extended (read inlaws) family.

    This mind set needs to be changed. Media will have to play a big role. You are already doing it by way of your blog. So are many others. But it will take time. A little more time than we want. Because the people benefiting from patriarchy (though I dont think this particular case is only of patriarchy) won’t give up their unfair share of benefits easily. Men will also have to come forward and start talking about it.

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  6. “It could be that they thought” is used so many times to defend such moronic actions. What if it was the daughter who thought that her Dad ‘could be’ doing this or her Dad ‘could be’ doing that and had lashed out at her Dad with the same weapon? Would these people respond in similar manner? Or even if she had hurt her father while trying to defend herself, would these people defend her actions? Until unless people start thinking by themselves instead of letting the society or ‘elders’ control their thoughts and actions, these kind of incidents will keep happening. Pity!

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    • Women are permitted, even encouraged to use violence if the violence is in the interest of Patriarchy – so if a woman slaps or violently attacks a man to save her ‘honor’ – the act is seen as laudable. Also, a woman taking her own life to save her ‘honor’ is also a part of the same objectification/dehumanisation. Anybody else taking a woman’s life to save anybody’s honor is also seen as perfectly understandable.

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      • @Rekha – Like I don’t think this murder should have been justified while reporting,

        //Still the bad father’s crimes should be taken into account, as that drove the daughter and friends to desperate acts.//

        Delhi: Daughter kills ‘abusive’ father in his sleep

        “In one of the most brutal murders to have been reported from the capital in quite a while, a 23-year-old woman and two of her friends were arrested for battering her father to death with a cricket stump last week in west Delhi.

        For good measure – and apparently to make sure that he was dead – the trio involved went to the extent of slicing open the 56-year-old’s chest with a shard of glass and removing a pacemaker attached to his heart.

        Kulvinder Kaur later told police that she had decided to get rid of her taxi driver father Daljeet Singh because he had been sexually harassing her ever since her mother passed away three years ago.”

        http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newdelhi/delhi-daughter-her-friends-butcher-man-with-cricket-stump-over-abuse/article1-1215863.aspx

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        • Murder or violence of any kind cannot and should not be justified. Brutal it indeed was. I am not justifying the father’s deeds, but the brutality shown by the daughter too wasn’t justified.

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        • But how do we know the allegation was even true? Anybody who commits any crime would attempt to put the blame on the victim.

          Do you think brutality like this is a normal reaction of abuse victims? Millions of people (it seems one three children have faced abuse) have been abused – how many commit such crimes? How do we know she is not lying?

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        • Very true. There is no way one can be sure about the authenticity of such claims/accusations. Moreover, why would her friends be helping her in such a case?

          The other day I was discussing your post on the marital rape announcement by HC with the husband who happens to be working closely with Chief Justices and lawyers of Supreme Court. He said how the same laws that we accuse and abuse were constituted keeping in view the need and rights of the weaker party. For eg: the law which prohibits abortion after a certain number of weeks into pregnancy was made keeping in view the rights of the voiceless unborn child.

          It is sad how criminals mould different laws (which were constituted for the betterment of society) to suit their case. Claims like these are indeed difficult to be judged. People are misusing the law quite frequently these days.

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  7. I don’t know, IHM–at the very least, what you ask for requires well defined, up to date, laws and a court system that doesn’t get back logged for years on end. I’m a foreigner so I can’t really speak as to whether that’s actually ever going to happen in this country, but I’m not exactly holding my breath.

    Something that may work is social campaigns–make people who knife their daughters/sisters into social outcasts. In a place with so much social pressure in any socio-economic strata, this may be something that will work (in spite of the lack of actual laws/ enforcement of said laws).

    But do I see society making those people outcasts? Not exactly. The man who molested that young tennis player kid in Chandigar (the kid’s family was harassed and she committed suicide I believe) still seems to be quite a social figure.

    IME, well travelled, educated people have defended the guy who killed seven cops while driving drunk on the road by saying ‘they gave good money to the victims families, what more could they want?’ I was stumped the first time I heard this argument–but more than a handful of people have expressed the same sentiment every time I bring this guy up. These weren’t even ordinary citizens, they were public officers who were making sure everyone else on the road was safe by conducting DUI tests–they didn’t deserve to get killed like that.

    Social/ethical rules here are really different than anything I’ve ever experienced so I don’t know how anyone would go about defining the factors required to bring even a tiny bit of social change and legal reforms.

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    • India is incredibly diverse so I wouldn’t get too caught up in the opinions of some, no matter how spread out they were.

      A lot of Indians make flippant remarks on morality, not because they really mean it, but because that’s how they stay sane. It’s better to feel ‘this is how stuff happens’ than to think, ‘this is really messed up’ every single day. When there is zero justice to start with, you automatically set your sights lower. Even so, everyone who lives in India goes through many more moments of shock and outrage than they can handle. It’s a mystery to me how IHM handles all this negativity about crimes against women and still manages to retain such a sunny outlook on life.

      I’ve heard ‘true stories’ about people who committed drunk-driving accidents and got away without anything. No money, no trial, no settlement – nothing. And that’s not even really shocking, compared to the other stories I’ve heard. Hollywood’s horror movies and Shakespeare’s tragedies got nothin’ on India’s travails with corruption.

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  8. yes media can help, but not fully. Peoples mindset has to change. No i dont expect the patriarchiarcial mindset of the older generation to change. but women should change. the younger generation can defy this mindset without violence. they can do what they feel is right and slowly the family will change too.
    older gen will accept – especially if they have no choice.
    I married a guy from a traditional/ conservative family, i didnt mind how they were since i didnt plan on being with them, my future husbands mindset , views and opinions concerned me not his parents.
    . i do whats best for my family and me, i dont go them harm or gossip. I’m a valued member in the family . i will be a support to them but my kids and my family comes first. we have a great relationship.
    i’m as far away from conservative and traditional as one can get, but that
    has never been an issue. we all have individual tastes, desires and interests, no need to follow the herd. that must be respected and that is upto us to enforce.

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    • “. but women should change. the younger generation can defy this mindset without violence. they can do what they feel is right and slowly the family will change too.” This.

      I would extend this to kids starting at a young age. Our education system and home taught values need to teach kids to think, analyze situations for themselves, understand that they have the freedom to use their own judgement, but also have to face the consequences of their actions. We need to stop stunting critical thinking ability. Only then will these kids apply this to their personal life as adults.

      One of the biggest changes I noticed after I moved West was the way kids think here. You see it in the way they express themselves, their body language, their confidence. They are not taught to simply follow the herd, to give respect simply based on age/authority.

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  9. There are folks who accept our society the way it is, without making crime pages fill their lives and cloud their views. They don’t believe in washing dirt with dirt.

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  10. It is always the girl who is controlled and irrational apparently. The same headline would never happen for a boy “Dad knifes boy for speaking to lover”. Apparently only women “need” to be policed.

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