Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can it get worse...?

Twin Tragedies

It’s difficult to decide which act was tougher – murdering two female newborn babies still struggling for their fragile lives in an incubator…. or raising them? The grand- mother and mother responsible for their deaths are being held in a prison. But the tragedy continues. What was heart- breaking was the ‘explanation’ given by the two women when the cops picked them up. The mother claimed her husband and his family had categorically told her not to come back to her marital home since she had disgraced herself and them by giving birth to girls – not one, but two! The grandmother stated that she was sure the babies would suffer from deformities after coming out of the incubator, so, in any case their lives were worthless. Two ghastly distortions are evident in these macabre confessions - one, that a mother who gives birth to females is instantly discarded by her husband , as if she has committed some terrible crime, and two, that incubators cause birth defects in normal infants. The level of abject ignorance in this day and age is not just shocking but dangerous. Those two women feared not only for their own lives, but believed killing those innocent babies was some sort of a bizarre solution to the problem.
What will happen? Absolutely nothing. The media will lose interest as soon as something still more grisly takes place, and this shocking case will soon be forgotten. Perhaps, the husband who threatened the young mother will get picked up for questioning. Perhaps his family members will also get hauled in. Then what? The thing is, even the police will be on the side of the husband, even though the law dictates that he be considered a co-accused for instigating the twin murders. Nothing of the sort will happen. For the cops will decide it is a ‘family matter’ and leave it there. Cops are not super humans… most are men from similar backgrounds as that awful, heartless husband. They may put themselves in his shoes and conclude they would perhaps be tempted to take the same route if placed in an identical situation. Babies unfortunate enough to come into the world with vaginas in place of penises, are doomed before they can take their first breaths. This is the grim reality in our country. So it has been for centuries. And so it may remain for a few more.
When we talk of empowering our women, I often wonder which women we are addressing? Women like myself ? Empowered to start with ? Most times we are preaching to converts and wasting our time. No amount of legislation can bring about a change in this archaic mindset that continues to view females as liabilities who drain the family of resources. We can have more and more women in panchayats, more and more women in parliament, but till such time as these sort of brutal killings come to an end, there can be no real hope of ‘progress’ much less, genuine empowerment. I watched the impassive faces of the two accused on tv as they were being led away. They appeared unnaturally calm – almost like they were resigned to spending their days in prison, since life had absolutely nothing to offer them post- the arrival of those twins. And I wondered – what if the mother had given birth to just one, not two girls? Would that baby have stood a better chance of survival? Or would the husband have adopted the same rule? Was it the shock of the double whammy that pushed the women over the edge? And worst of all – did they actually do those babies a favour and save them from an even worse fate - as unwanted, rejected and loathed burdens, not just for the family but society at large? In which case, we are all guilty, each one of us. But where are the courts to try us??
*************************
Tomorrow is D-Day for Maharashtra. And I shall spend it hurtling between tv studios, starting with Arnab and Times Now, followed by Rajdeep Sardesai and CNN-IBN. It is horrible to know that our assembly elections are running along IPL lines, with bookies placing bets on the outcome. As of now, there are over a 100 crores riding on the poll results. The aam aadmi is filled with apathy.... even ennui. It is as if we have all surrendered to our collective fate which says anybody can become C.M. at this stage, it's just a question of who brings how much to the table.
Disgusted by these shenanigans, I went off to watch 'All the Best' in the crazy hope that a crazy film would take my mind off the election results. How wrong I was!! It was such an awful film, I was ready to commit harakiri with a fork. Mugda is no murgi (or even mulgi) worth spending five seconds on - horribly styled, with the worst make-up ever, she took away even those few fans she may have attracted post-'Fashion'. Bips - here are a few tips : stay miles away from such bilge, and stop rolling those eyes. Fardeen was the fat farm escapee, while producer-actor Ajay Devgun had all the fun - not just with the chicks but those cheesy lines , too. God! Why am I bothering to key this in ?
'London Dreams' promos look pretty slick and entertaining. But so did the promos of 'All the Best.'' Jeeeez. I need some rest.

30 comments:

obssesor said...

All the releases were horrendous this week. Btw did you vote?

Gulshan said...

read this a news articlefroma london paper -
Jail for men who raped family member

· Buzz up!

· Digg it

Three men were given long jail sentences today for repeatedly raping a family member as she grew from young child to mature woman.

The victim was assaulted between the ages of five and 22 and became pregnant at 14. She was locked in a wardrobe when visitors called so her condition would not be spotted. After the child was born she was separated from the baby and flown to India for an arranged marriage.

Judge Patrick Curran, who oversaw the case at Cardiff crown court, said the woman had been treated like an unpaid and unwilling prostitute. Outside court police praised the woman, now 27, for her bravery in giving evidence and called for other such victims to come forward.

The woman's step-uncle, 55, and stepfather, 50, were jailed indeterminately, with terms recommended of 20 and 15 years. Her step-cousin, 27, was jailed for 12 years. None of the men, from Cardiff, can be named to protect the identity of the victim.

Marion Lewis, prosecuting, told the court that as the girl's pregnancy began to show, her family made her hide away. "She was hidden, sometimes in a wardrobe, and visitors were told she'd gone back to India," she said.

The prosecution claimed the woman's mother beat her all over her body, apart from the face, with a curtain pole when she found out she was pregnant. The victim believed her mother knew about the abuse, the court heard.

Lewis continued: "When the baby was born the girl's parents told friends and neighbours it was their own – before flying their daughter to India for an arranged marriage." The woman returned to the UK when she was 18 and the abuse continued. Finally in 2008 she went to the police and told them about the abuse.

DNA tests showed the step-uncle was the father of her child. He was convicted of seven counts of rape, three of indecency with a child, and one of indecent assault. The step-father and the cousin were each convicted of three rapes. Both the step-uncle and step-father are illegal immigrants, who will be deported after they have served their sentences.

Vyas said...

Atrocities against women are still continuing inspite of so much awareness nowadays. This is strange. I was appalled to know that somebody can kill her granddaughter just thinking that she won't be normal. Why don't they think that they are also woman. In this case as you mentioned may be the father is real culprit but I am sure that in most of the cases even women wants to kill her daughter as she does not want her to lead the life she is living. So culprits are on both sides and this heinous crime will continue as long as we don't change the mindset of these people.
Awareness has to be at the grass root level, their is no point in educating people of urban areas first as 90% of crime is committed in small villages. Steps have to be taken as we cannot sit idle and keep repenting about these cases. Sometimes I feel there is lot more important to do in this world.....

Anyways... I just watched "all the best" and I think it was a good time pass movie at least better than 'Do knot disturb"

Vyas

Jogeshwar said...

Such a shameful act. It all comes down to being considered a liability, it is the same when someone passes away in a family, society suddenly turns a back to the ones left behind. Cowards they are, those who perceive individuals as weak and consider them as liabilities.

Samindra Das said...

It is all in the frame of mind that you are in. It us a pity that you had loved a crass film like 'Do Knot Disturb" but did not like a seedha saadha comedy 'All the Best'. Nothing wrong, this happens when the mind gets diluted by the inane people and surroundings that one wallows in. One starts loving the trash that one starts believing in.

Samindra Das said...

By the way. Hope to see you at the forthcoming "MAMI" international film festival from 29th October to 5th November 2009. There are some great films that have been selected for the festival. You will be seeing some great world cinema.

Zeba said...

Read this 'the Newsweek'. Nice article. Sad but true.

Shachi said...

Hi Shobhaa, wat a sad story! It's just cruel and awful....

I like your post as well - it's not women like us who need empowerment....it's women who are discussed in this article that need to be empowered to make the right decisions.....

As for the movies, I just cannot watch any and every hindi movie - I feel its a waste of my time :)

Keep writing - I love your blog!

uthaman said...

Can it get worse? Except the anguish shown in the writing, what else can be done? POVERTY is the reason why these people detest having female babies.Not that they dont love their female kids.They dont think of bringing that kids........ but the system of spending for their marriage and again the poor class mind set of having boys as if a security and still believe sons will feed[?] them when old.Sheer poevery stares at their faces....... and that drives them to this level of being inhuman and brutal.Govt gives TV sets, cycles,rice, free marriages and hospitals without medicines,but who thinks of long term plans of minimum security in life for those born below poverty line.They can hop over in their helocopters and go and say hai to those in the huts and partake something and eat showing everybody is equal in this country.But are these BPL people equal?

gb said...

The two women murdered two female children reveals shocking situation. What does it mean? Woman is the worst enemy of woman. The accused and the victims both were females. Who needs empowerment is the question of debate. Even in literate and affluent families female babies are still unacceptable and left to their cruel fate. How woman is responsible when both parents are responsible for bringing the child into world. Only distorted minds can do so whether he/she is literate or illiterate.

Peter Williams Amalraj said...

hmmm.. In ways and almost feel that the grandmother-mother duo did they actually do those babies a favour and save them from an even worse fate - as unwanted, rejected and loathed burdens, not just for the family but society at large

Isn't this similar to an "euthanasia", as the terminal illness here being the society and to be more specific the family which doesn't want any girls..

Anyways, Nothing can justify a twin-murder.. but i'm happy for those girls as didn't get to see this gruesome world which is even more superlative than their very own murder.

May their souls ..RIP ..

kala said...

It may be shocking. Who are we to judge? It is a personal decision taken by two unfortunate women who dont have anybody to help them. After the incident, everybody knows about their existence and before that?
Many middle class families, who face difficult situations kill their children before killing themselves so that their children need not suffer in the long run. Recently during recession, some in US did it quite successfully.
It is all very easy talking about being brave and face difficult situations. While some can, some cannot.

Chandni.. said...

it sucks when you see these things happening in 'free india'... yeah right, free India. Forget about the rural and sub-urban areas but its shocking when these things happen in my bloddy neighbourhood. Its shattering. And as usual, we are unable to do anything about it than just frown over it, abuse the political leaders, the police. Then we sit back and wait for some other issues to come up.
Its sad when you know that there aren't any people to hear the cries of women. Sad it is.

Mind and Money said...

Hi Maam, next time you are annoyed by the world around you and planning to watch a movie, drop me a mail...I like watching movies..and definitely free ones..

Or may be i can keep checking every week to know when you are annoyed....

Cheerz.....

mahatru said...

Seems as if you read or watched such news for the first time. Its not only in India, women have always been and will be considered inferior to men. Someone has rightly said "aurat hee aurat ki dushmann hai"

Only when the menance of dowry is stopped will the fate of women improve.

Very true bout the blues of ATB.

Regards
movies in Delhi
movies in Bangalore
movies in Mumbai

Abby said...

This indeed is a pathetic news!!..Already our nation has such an abysmall sex ratio and add to it such ghastly incidences..Many such horrendous incidences go unnoticed by the aam junta. I must say media plays a radical role by highlighting these grisly stories. All we can do is hope that this news would have corrected some more gender maniacs!!. Women empowerment is nothing but a farcical concept in India. Too much is said and nothing is done:-(
Apropos Maharastra polls...I wish that that "anti-north India rogue"( I suppose yu got me!!) doesnt rule the land of unerring fortitude and undying spirit.

cmpershad said...

female foeticide is nothing new in India and despite such henious crimes, no one bothers...neither the government nor the society:(

DayDreamer said...

It indeed is a shame and extremely sad to hear such news..and I wish something seriously could be done about it..I do share the same emotions as you or readers who read this post..

But somewhere down the line I agree to what @kala said..We only notice the things after it has happened..I don't think most of us would have done anything..in that case..

It is perhaps the lack of "Help" that prompted the ladies to take such action..

I guess we could raise an awareness about the law and in our own way..try to contribute to "Save the Girl Child"...

Readers: Please share this post and tweet about it..maybe our efforts can help save some life..

Navpreet said...

Hi Shobha, I read your blog everyday. I am originally from India and now a canadian citizem It is really sad but true that our community continues to practice the same rituals even here in canada. So I don't see poverty as the main issue for such thinking. It is absolutely disgusting for my generation atleast, who are doing well, to seek options once they found out they are carrying a girl.

Reema Mistry said...

Hi,

The cases discussed are terribly unfortunate but some of the comments I read are even more unfortunate I feel. I see people here are so 'used to' such kinda things that it seems 'no big deal' or its a 'personal choice' or 'why bother? Nothing new afterall!'... I do not know what to 'comment' on all of this... It feels so disgusting to even read it, let alone the feeling of going through it all be. I do believe its your deeds that decide your fate or destiny, whatever you call. So it was the fate of the victim and the deed of the accused... and the chain of 'karma' shall go on and on..... but I'll be waiting for my deed to make a difference in even a small way....

ms said...

mz de, such anguish we suffer. please tell the powers that be that there are TV shows promoting female homicide while printing disclaimers. and know the shameful truth? women are producing such shows. why are we not seeing the ammaji of "lado" being hauled over hot coals and whipped for her part in killing the girl child? no, she is powerful and respected. the idea that women are trash is evident in all the official forms: father's name, husband's name. why not parent's name, spouse name? even if fashionplates fragrant with chanel create NGOs to help women, they have no impact. and notice another shameful truth? it is women (as mothers of husbands) who destroy other women. surprisingly, if the wife and grandmother had not been caught, the husband and his family would have happily welcomed the murdress back into the family. just shows that we people are made of sterner stuff, not like our namby-pamby western friends.

Latha said...

I agree with Kala absolutely. It is all very well to take the 'holier than thy' attitude & say 'I would've done differently'. Anybody can do that. Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.
Afterall 'mercy killing' needs some mercy !

Latha said...

BigB says in his blog (Day 549), 'It has been a distressing past few months with regard to the kind of talk that I hear emanating from various quarters. Talk of money being spent to sabotage rival films, money being spent to buy reviews, money being spent to bolster failed enterprises, money being spent on negative write ups for the other. I am appalled at the alleged goings on. Heads of media in print have confessed quite unabashedly how they had received large funds to ‘kill’ a rival project, through untruthful and deliberate debasing articles, to snatch away any importance that the merits of the film in question would garner.
What is all this, Shobhaaji ?
Hope you can clarify !

numerounity said...

It is very disheartening that we still have female infanticide happening when a lot of alarm bells have been raise about the depletion rate of females in society. It is very saddening that people have hearts to kill new born babies and come up with such an idiotic excuses. Come on if you have committed the crime…be fair to accept it.

ATB has drawn pathetic reviews from all circles and places. I wonder how do ppl release such movies without even watching it. Looks like lot of kala dhan doing khujli and the urge. Pathos pathos…

Anil Kumar said...

It's very easy to give divine advice from a comfortable position. The crime against women is a bigger issue and Media has increased it many-folds in last decade or so.

As long as the FOCUS of this filthy Indian news channels is on what bollywood sluts are eating, wearing and dating and what cricketers are doing, you will keep seeing these kind of crimes due to iognorance and poors having absoultely no hope from society.

The kind of sadak-chhap dialogues people are used to watch in bollywood movies, TV serials and EVEN children's cartoons are shaping our societies and it's evident how people treat each other in India.

As long as the icons of this country like BigB and others are more interested in making money by assembling sluts and failed idiots in a room for 90 days, the Indian society will keep sliding in the mud.

BOYA PED BABOOL KA
TTO AAM KAHAAN SE HOYE ???


The media should have helped to make Indians better people. But they are doing exactly opposite by making every CHUTTAD news as BREAKING news and ignoring there real duties.

The media is spreading "Andh Vishwaas" by having so many tantriks asking viewers to buy this "ring" or "Tabeez" on major news channels. There are fortune tellers and other loads of sh?%.

What kind of societies our MEDIA is creating???


Let's harvest the fruits of what the media in nexus with bollywood sluts are sowing for last 10 years and applaud their efforts for increasing crime against women in general.

Alex Engwete said...

This story of murdering female newborns is so revolting I've come up with a program or a countermeasure-a "violent" one unfortunately; and I know you so often complain about the violence of Naxals, but this is women's state of emergency...
We used to hear about a female bandit leader roaming some areas of India. Well, I'd urge some "enlightened" women in those regions where sexist men push women to the brink like this to set up all women's secret brigades of retribution against those men; and clearly broadcast their warnings as well as the retributive actions they'd have taken in case their warnings went unheeded... Change will be coming very fast in the mindsets ("archaic" or not) of the sick men in those regions as these amazons would put the fear of Shiva into them.

Sidhusaaheb said...

Female infanticide and foeticide will not stop until the practice of giving and receiving dowry stops, I think.

Maharashtra seems to have voted for the lesser evil, in the form of the Congress-NCP combine.

Ritwik D said...

If you found All The Best awefule...i just watched Main Aur Mrs. Khanna and Blue!! Now what should I do if ATB made u think of committing harakiri with fork

Arindam Pal said...

If Shobha De keeps blogging and denigrates men like this, the problem will be solved immediately!

maha said...

this blog is best.....

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