It was midnight, in a semi- developed village of Uttar Pradesh it was the time of sound sleep, but that night was not a usual one. Suddenly some sounds blew out from the neighborhood, although noise at that hour was not a misery at the place as it could be a rat, a cat, their chase or even a fox from the nearby jungle, but this was different.
It was the sound of sadness, atrocity, harassment; it was the sound of atyachar.
Domestic violence is as common in India as the requirement of water for survival, it has become an integral part of an Indian marriage, no matter where you live, which religion you preach, what is your income or age, it’s always there, may be in different forms. The third National Family and Health Survey talks about domestic violence in their 15th chapter, demarcating it in three- physical, sexual or emotional. It also discloses the expansion of this squalid problem, ranging from the least of 17 to 19 % to its highest of 55 to 65 % in every Indian state.
But the thought of the blog is not solely domestic violence but the reasons behind it which includes a huge arena from dowry demand to bad cooked food; from quarrel to outing, it can be anything or everything that stimulates the husband’s temper.
The next morning as any other child on their voyage for fun, roaming around in the hot summer, the great encounter happened, swelled face, blackened eyes (only seen in a tele-soap drama), she was the same lady from the neighborhood. And to her shame she was hiding her face with her saree. What happened to her was quite clear even at that age- she was beaten up and definitely by her husband who was a much renowned drunkard of the area and infamous for all sorts of wrongs possible to be known at that age.
Here comes the million dollar question, what is the percentage of such violent acts being registered?
Not much, to my surprise, whether it be a rural women or one living in the urban slum or an urban non-slum woman, a least of 40% of any form of domestic violence cases remain unregistered, with its upper limit of 70-75% among non-slum urban women as disclosed by a multi-site household survey.
The great encounter was still alive but from the curious side, neither she wanted to reveal the details of it nor the act of her husband, for her it was the respect of her family on stake. To her innocence she must have known that this fake respect was diluted the last night. The question of reporting such violence took her nerves and the silence even communicated the answer to the immature. It remained a question to the little brain- what she is taught is not applied here; this was her first encounter with the reality after the great encounter.
What is the reason behind it?
What is the teaching behind it?
What is the consequence of it?
There are many other question marks that hold one answer- the Indian women mentality. They are our mother, sisters, aunts and grandmothers but before anything else they are women. The one who teaches her daughter to endure violence, who treats her daughter above her in law, who sees fault only in the divorced daughter of her relative, who always questions the freedom of a widow, who criticizes the inter-caste marriage of every couple, who questions the parenting of a single mother, who judges a girl by her clothes, who acts nothing like the loving mother of mine, but some dual beast of the society, the carriers of the orthodox customs in the society wreaking our country from the foundation. This is proved by what happened that night.
The streets of the village were buzzed by the oldies gossips of the last night, what she was trying not to disclose was selling like fish in the open market, but the surprise was not her tortured face or her silence but the last night and the present streets. She was beaten brutally with no savior around but a monster who didn’t even let her cry, this monster was no other than her mother in law who put a cloth in her mouth to block her voice and this street is praising her for this act.
This story not only belongs to that woman in the neighborhood but to all of us who are either the sufferers or the spectators of this crime– the crime to endure the wrong, the crime of the dual mentality. This dual mentality changes the blessing of the Indian mother from a gift to a curse as she grows up, to pass on this duality.
You will never see defeat,
You care for your family,
You bring up your children,
You will be a perfect homemaker,
A wife, a mother,
You will run your home,
You will make it a heaven,
You are its soul,
GHAR KI IJJAT,
You will respect your husband,
You will treat him as God,
You will preach him,
You will never disobey him,
You are his slave,
And he your master,
You will make all adjustments,
You will be beaten up,
You will be tortured,
You will be defamed,
You will be abused,
But still that’s your home,
You will never leave it,
You will not complain,
You will not cry,
You will sacrifice,
You will compromise,
You will adjust,
You will not come back,
Until you die,
You have to bear it,
It’s your fate,
It’s your life.
Even if that living is no more than dying, this is what we are taught, to be the culprits even if we are victimized.
The act of domestic violence, this act of atyachar will not end unless and until we realize that it’s not the fault in our stars but the fault in that man we are cobwebbed with; it is not our duty to care for a house which has no foundation but to understand that we are the fate changers not only ours but also of the zillions suffering with every breath by eradicating the wrong teaching and murdering the long lived rituals.
The choice is ours to live a curse or a life………. defeating the atyachar and changing the dual mentality?
About the Author
Dimple is a law student from Symbiosis Law School, Pune, who believes that hardwork always pays off as it adds perfection. A candid straightforward person, she writes poetry and loves the art of paper quilling & combines both for her close ones. Her mantra of life is “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”. The greatest influence in her life is her mother who taught her the most important lesson of her life, which is there is only one way of doing things- doing it right. She is currently pursuing her internship with Alexis Centre for Public Policy and International Relations.