THE GREAT INDIAN HORROR

7

You see a woman with 80% burns on the body and you think suddenly – can man be so cruel as to burn and char the existence of another? You think – can an entity be so uneducated to burn a newly-wed for some petty issue? And then you find out that the husband is a former student of the Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai and later the Indian Institute of Management Kolkata.You enquire further knowing this can’t be for money and you meet another shocker. The man shamelessly admits he didn’t enjoy his wife as she was way too reserved and not giving into things. And then in bewilderment you write and fill the IPC/MLC form. Before the husband is escorted away, you – out of shameless curiosity ask – who will pay the bills? The husband replies -Not me in this lifetime!

And you suddenly start feeling a repulsion towards the complicated structure of society we reside in with so much unspoken and so much still left to be done! Top institutions, big Money and a grand lifestyle mean nothing. Life is better defined by the way you think and act; people have seen a rickshaw-wallah lovingly bearing all the expenses of his wife’s delivery by working hard day and night. On the other hand, educated people burn their wives maybe just because sex or something else became the most important issue in an institution called marriage.

Never judge a person’s upbringing by his education! As somebody said, the grooming is most important. And this is perhaps modern India’s greatest paradox. We stand at the threshold of superficial liberality towards subjects and yet harbor pre-colonial superstitions and beliefs that often border on barbaric. Only a blind person would fail to miss out how many contradictions exist in this mess called India.

Recently, an India Today article highlighted on the cruelest possible form of dehumanizing – the concept of female foeticide and female infanticide. The article pointed out such facts that would shock your heart out of your body. Due to the Indian Government’s new Rules regarding female child practices, which include banning of pre-natal sex determination, parents have found new ugly ways to carry out their dastardly practices. Since killing a child before birth is now not as easy as before (though it would be foolish to say it has stopped completely) some new methods have been invented to bypass Government regulations by making post-birth deaths that look like natural deaths.

In a Rajasthani village, parents decided to kill their only female child by “inducing” pneumonia. The trick? Dip the three-month-old infant into a tub of cold water and then leave the child out on the windy porch. The process hardly takes an hour, and by the end one has a lifeless little corpse. Another now-popular method is to mix one drop of strong alcohol, drunk by the heavy drinkers at taverns, with the baby’s milk or by directly giving it to the infant. The child dies within half an hour. Not only is this shocking to hear, such practices are tantamount to torture. And of whom? Small little innocent babies who have done no wrong other than being born into the supposedly “cursed” race of humans.

Hearing such things often makes people sick to the stomach; how can a parent be like this? HOW? Such questions abound in your mind always, and the worst part is that at the end, you just look up at the skies and say this :-

“I’m glad it didn’t happen to me”.
(Contributions from Milind, Jasp and Aloof from SB)