November 8, 2010

Dowry Murders and Torture in India

Last week, the following article appeared in the Times of India newspaper:
NEW DELHI: Shaken by the large number of women being killed for dowry, the Supreme Court said Indian society has become sick. "The hallmark of a healthy society is the respect it shows to women. Indian society has become a sick society. This is evident from the large number of cases coming up in this court and also in almost all courts in the country in which young women are being killed by their husbands or by their in-laws by pouring kerosene on them and setting them on fire or by hanging/strangulating them," an anguished bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra said in a recent judgment.

"What is the level of civilization of a society in which a large number of women are treated in this horrendous and barbaric manner? What has our society become," asked the Bench before upholding life term for the husband and mother-in-law of a woman killed for dowry.

The bench had a point. Data compiled for 2008 by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) showed that there were 8,172 dowry deaths in the country . (RPI comment: The actual statistics are probably much higher as many deaths go unreported or are reported as suicides.)

Read more: Our society has become sick: SC on dowry deaths The Times of India

Please read about the RPI SHE programme that is aimed at improving the status and treatment of women and female children. An integral part of our programme is college presentations where we present a powerpoint on relevant social and moral issues, and discuss these issues with the young students.

Photo copyright © Ron Harmon: In-laws or husbands will frequently pour acid on a wife's face in an attempt to force her family to pay more dowry.