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Friday 15 November 2019
Views Articles Crime Sans Frontiers Of Sex & Politics

Crime Sans Frontiers Of Sex & Politics

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On Wednesday last, a murder most foul seared through India’s collective consciousness yet again. Only the misplaced rage that the crime fuelled was just that — fuelled. By the media only interested in bringing down a State government that belonged to the BJP. And the feminists whose sole aim remains bashing the other gender.

An octogenarian grandmother was supposedly sexually violated and a Harpic bottle stuffed into her rectum, which caused such immense internal bleeding that her lungs shut down. A prima facie report in the same newspaper whose link appears above in this article had declared this was Nirbhaya revisited!

The truth as reported later is that the younger daughter-in-law Satwanti Devi (33) and the domestic servant Prabhu Mandal (36) were caught in a compromising position by the mother-in-law who threatened to reveal all to the unsuspecting son. By the culprit’s own admission, they first tried to strangulate the victim, failing which they committed the more heinous crime. As of now, both are in custody.

These are the purported facts. Which bring questions to any rational, thinking mind.

Haryana’s own skewed misogynistic social structure notwithstanding, men are not the enemy always. There must be countless examples where the opposite may ring true. They can be a woman’s best friend and a woman — her worst enemy. Professional feminists, with their own warped thinking, have to recognise this fact.

crimeIn this case, both women hated each other. The apparent reason being that the illicit liaison was caught and threatened. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a mindset of the relationship between them and the complications that it brings with it. Who abused whom, who threatened whom is a point that needs to be investigated. If caught on Monday, why wait till Tuesday night to kill? And why no disclosure of the affair by the old lady for over 24 hours? Was the daughter-in-law the abuser in the equation between them?

Has one forgotten that there are also two men involved here? It boggles the mind that if the neighbours knew of the affair all along and led the police to the culprits, why and how was the husband unaware of it in such a closed, cloistered society? Or did he choose to turn a blind eye? Did he love his wife that much? Could he be a typical, feudalistic husband who saw no one but himself? Or, yet again, is he a wimp?

Regardless, does he not deserve support? In one stroke, his family has been destroyed. His masculinity in that patriarchal system sullied for good — cuckolded, so to speak. By a wife who was supposed to honour his name and his family and by a servant who owed allegiance to him as an employer.

Which brings us to the ‘other’ man — the lover and accomplice. All we know is that he was a simple cowherd of sorts. From where he came, whether married with a family or not, no one knows. Just the name suggests Bengali origin. So what drives a man to conduct an affair with the wife of his employer under the family’s very nose without any fear? And that, in turn, ignites such passion that he willingly and so horrifically murders the matriarch of the family in anger at being caught? Scheming psychopath or stupid village bumpkin?

But the true mystery here is Satwanti Devi, a young woman married into a mediocre farming family, the wife of the younger son in hierarchy. What devil-may-care trait in her character gave her the courage to conduct a clandestine affair in a State known to be brutal towards its women? What wily mind enabled the subterfuge for long but for that one slip that led to such monstrosity? What unbridled hate for the mother-in-law or fear of punishment by society pushed a seemingly normal woman to not only hatch but cold-bloodedly lead a murder shocking in its brutality? What beauty managed to rule the body and mind of two men so confidently? A femme fatale or simply a cornered woman?

And at the crux is the victim. A mother who simply did what she was conditioned to do — look out for her son’s interests. A mother-in-law who probably hated the daughter-in-law as much as she was hated. A matriarch who had the interests of the family at heart. And finally a woman who believed that a woman’s place was with her husband — good, bad, indifferent. Someone who spoke her mind and did not imagine that she would have to pay with her life for doing so. Especially at the hands of a girl that she must have welcomed into her home many, many moons ago.

That’s the story of the crime and its angles. And am sure by the end of this case, there will be far too many more to count.

But for all the placard-holders out there — the feminists and their sympathetic male friends. Is it not important to think before you shout? Where is the rape that you were crying foul about? Where is the man who was supposed to have committed it?

Sure, a man did do the needful, but did a woman not support his doing it? Did she not herself admit that it was she who handed him the ‘weapon’? Why has the hue and cry died down once a woman caught trapped in her own supposed deceit been outed? Does it make it legit because she is a woman? Is the victim not a woman too? Does she not deserve a voice? Abuse by mother-in-laws are much maligned, is this not abuse of the extreme kind by a daughter-in-law?

India needs to wake up. Think for itself. Stop judging good and bad simply from a gender viewpoint. Recognise political hypocrisy when it is so obvious. A crime is a crime, regardless of who commits it. We were born equal, about time we understood that we need to be treated as such. Not just in the good but also for the bad.

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Paavani Sinha
Editorial consultant, सिर्फ़ NEWS, commentator on social issues

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