Dowry death and bride burning: A look beyond the smoke screen

16-days of activism against global feminist terrorism

burning-wedding-dressThe phrase “bride burning” conjures up images of a cruel husband and his family members dousing a young woman in kerosene, flinging a lighted matchstick on her and gloating as the hapless bride goes up in flames. The term “dowry death” also sparks off vivid imaginations of a woman being taunted and harassed for money and finally, hanged to death within the four walls of her house. We also have watched movies and TV serials where a malicious mother-in-law poisons the unsuspecting daughter-in-law’s meal or quietly causes a gas leak and locks the new bride in the kitchen right before she lights the stove to make tea for the family.

There must be many families who burn their brides for dowry as a routine practice otherwise, why would there be so many news reports about dowry deaths? As they say, there cannot be smoke without a fire. Right?

Feminists would have you believe that every unnatural or untimely death of a married Indian woman is dowry death. Not only that, the feminist hyperbole on “bride killing” and “dowry harassment” makes it look like Indian men have an uncanny propensity to commit violence on their wives for money, while men in other countries commit domestic violence for other reasons.

In reality, it is the number of registered suicides of married women which are passed off as statistics of dowry death, and even these numbers are almost always exaggerated. It has become a custom to claim that all the women have been “driven to suicide” due to dowry harassment.(Links No.1-6) The husband and in-laws are immediately arrested under IPC Sections 304B and 498A and incarcerated for a couple of weeks to several months without bail. They are promptly subjected to media trial and labeled criminals even before investigation or trial can begin.

Even if all the noise about Indian brides being “driven to suicide” for dowry is indeed well-founded, one would expect that the number of suicides of married women would be significantly higher compared to that of unmarried women. However, the National Crime Records Bureau’s statistics show that there is no significant difference in the rates of suicide by married and unmarried women.

Justice Saldana’s remarks (in Crl.A. no. 589 of 2003) are testimony to how anti-dowry laws are being misused to the detriment of innocent citizens:

…we need to sound a note of caution that the police and investigating authorities should not improperly and technically jump to the conclusion that merely because death has occurred that ipso facto a criminal offense has been committed . In as many as 44% of these cases prosecution is thoroughly unjustified. Unless there is cogent and convincing evidence and unless there is material to sustain these charges, it would be totally impermissible and completely unjustified to embark upon legal action. The consequences of these charges are extremely grave because the accused husband and invariably family members are placed under arrest. There are serious social and economic repercussions.

The fact that we do come across considerable number of instances where prosecution was unjustified seems to indicate that in every case of death of young woman or recently married women that prosecution and filing of charge sheet has become automatic. There does not appear to be a proper application of mind at the stage of scrutiny and having regard to this position we direct the concerned authorities to ensure that requirements of the law are correctly and responsibly followed.

It is important to note that more than 56,000 married Indian men end their lives every year. According to statistics obtained from the National Crime Records Bureau, every year, twice as many married men, compared to women, commit suicides unable to withstand verbal, emotional, economic and physical abuse by their wives and in-laws. Deaths of these men make for the brief stories we often read in newspapers stating that a certain man “killed himself due to family issues or financial problems”. (LInks No.7-12)

Thanks to the concerted efforts of the feminists, thousands of men are also becoming victims of “legal terrorism” unleashed through laws like Sections 498A and 304B of the Indian Penal Code, Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, adultery laws, laws against rape and sexual harassment, and even divorce, maintenance and child custody laws. Many men are ending their lives unable to endure the fear, humiliation and trauma caused by the legal harassment.(Links No.13-18)

While it is insisted that the death of every young married woman is a case of dowry death requiring immediate arrest of the husband and in-laws, accompanied by media-hype, male-bashing and breast-beating, driving thousands of men to commit suicide is considered social service in India.

Feminists have always wanted “dowry harassment” and “bride burning” to remain hot issues that fuel the Indian Domestic Violence Industry.

The feminist Taliban will surely burn in rage as we look beyond the smoke screen and call their bluff.

  1. http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/kem-doctor-suicide-police-register-dowry-case-against-husband/407514/
  2. http://www.thehindu.com/2007/02/11/stories/2007021114290300.htm
  3. http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/fivemonth-pregnant-woman-commits-suicide-3-held-for-dowry-harassment/275318/
  4. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/woman-commits-suicide-husband-held/494150/
  5. http://www.hindu.com/2007/03/28/stories/2007032823500500.htm
  6. http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report_techie-held-for-suicide-of-wife_1252098
  7. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Husband-commits-suicide-after-wife-calls-him-ugly-impotent/articleshow/3781322.cms
  8. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Man-pining-for-separated-son-commits-suicide/articleshow/4382247.cms
  9. http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/kolkata/Man-commits-suicide-on-metro-tracks/Article1-475927.aspx
  10. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/Man-commits-suicide/articleshow/5276875.cms
  11. http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Man-commits-suicide-at-Delhi-metro-station/432125/
  12. http://www.kolkatamirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=13&contentid=2009111320091113132759296662d0415&sectxslt=
  13. http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/ministers-gunner-kills-self-fearing-dowry-charges-against-family/463274/
  14. http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/False-dowry-case-Man-kills-self/270124/
  15. http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=%E2%80%98Harassed%E2%80%99+husband+commits+suicide&artid=QlzZUAwpVaA=&SectionID=Qz/kHVp9tEs=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=UOaHCPTTmuP3XGzZRCAUTQ==&SEO=
  16. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/19204/treated-cruelly-wife-techie-ends.html
  17. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/PSI-shoots-himself-dead-with-service-revolver/articleshow/5249121.cms
  18. http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?section=subcontinent&xfile=data/subcontinent/2008/february/subcontinent_february242.xml

13 thoughts on “Dowry death and bride burning: A look beyond the smoke screen”

  1. My Dear friends,

    I am ready to proove that there is no “DOWRY DEATH” in India.
    My self is a victim of Dowry Death allegations and very well know about the truth of this phrase.

    I am open to debate on this topic anywhere in this world in front of any authority or person.
    before going into this discussion, I would like to get the answer of my two questions:

    Q1. Do you have attended any marriage in which you know that, this bride will be murdered for not fulfilling the demand/ expectation of Dowry.

    Q2. If you go outside for a week then, “Will you keep your doggy/ pet into the place where his proper care will not be done”?

    YAKSH

  2. The feminists stories conjure a picture that the Indian woman is the most inflammable substance found in India who can spontaneously ignite the moment they enter the house of the husband . If we have so many inflammable women then we could easily solve our fossil fuel crisis, why do we need to import oil at such high prices from the middle east . We need to tell the petroleum ministry about the feminists who apparently seem to know how to make any woman flammable . These feminists are a bunch of jokers , does anyone believe their storis anymore . The dowry vehicle has run its course it is time to pick up a new agenda for funding now .

  3. Consider nature of cruelty in suicide by women: court

    J. Venkatesan -> Original post at: http://www.hindu.com/2008/08/01/stories/2008080162121500.htm

    New Delhi: The mere fact that a woman committed suicide within seven years of her marriage and that she had been subjected to cruelty by her husband or any relative of her husband does not automatically give rise to the presumption that he or she abetted in it, the Supreme Court has held.

    A Bench consisting of Justices R.V. Raveendran and Mukundakam Sharma said: “The court is required to look into all the other circumstances of the case. One of the circumstances which has to be considered is whether the alleged cruelty was of such nature as was likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health of the woman.”

    Quoting an earlier judgment, the Bench said: “Section 113-A of the Evidence Act was introduced to meet a social demand to resolve the difficulty of proof where helpless married women were eliminated by being forced to commit suicide by the husband or in-laws and incriminating evidence was usually available within the four corners of the matrimonial home and hence was not available to anyone outside the occupants of the house.”

    Writing the judgment, Justice Sharma said: “Under Section 113-A, the prosecution has to first establish that the woman concerned committed suicide within seven years from the date of her marriage and that her husband or any relative of her husband had subjected her to cruelty. This Section gives a discretion to the court to raise such a presumption, having regard to all other circumstances of the case, which means that where the allegation is of cruelty it must consider the nature of cruelty to which the woman was subjected, within the meaning of ‘cruelty’ in Section 498-A IPC.”

    The Bench said: “The presumption in that Section is not mandatory; it is only permissible as the expression ‘may presume’ suggests. In a criminal trial, however intriguing the facts and circumstances of the case are, the charges made against the accused must be proved beyond all reasonable doubt.”

    In the instant case, Shanti Bai set herself ablaze. The prosecution alleged that she took the extreme step, unable to bear harassment by her in-laws. The trial court in Madhya Pradesh convicted her mother-in-law, Munni Bai, of abetting in suicide and sentenced her to three years’ rigorous imprisonment. The Madhya Pradesh High Court confirmed the conviction and sentence.

    Allowing the appeal against this judgment and acquitting her, the Bench said there was nothing on record to prove the prosecution charge that the mother-in-law abetted in the suicide.

  4. SC ruling on suicide by married women

    New Delhi, July 30 . -> Original post at: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20080731/nation.htm#22

    If a woman commits suicide within seven years of her marriage, it cannot automatically be inferred that the incident was abetted by her husband and in-laws who had ill-treated her earlier, the Supreme Court has held.

    “The mere fact that a woman committed suicide within seven years of her marriage and that she had been subjected to cruelty by her husband or any relative of her husband, does not automatically give rise to the presumption that the suicide has been abetted by her husband or any relative of her husband,” a bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and Mukundakam Sharma said. The apex court passed the observation while acquitting a woman convicted for abetting the suicide of her daughter-in-law.

    Under Section 113-A of the Indian Evidence Act, a court may presume, on proof of circumstances, if the victim had committed suicide within seven years of marriages that her husband or any other relative had subjected her to cruelty.

    “One of the circumstances which has to be considered by the court is whether the alleged cruelty was of such nature as was likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health of the woman,” the bench said.

    In the instant case, the deceased Shanti Bai had committed suicide by setting herself ablaze. The prosecution claimed that Shanti Bai had resorted to the extreme step as she was unable to bear the harassment by her in-laws.

    On the basis of the evidence the trial court in Madhya Pradesh convicted the deceased’s mother-in-law Munni Bai for abetting the suicide and sentenced her to three years RI, which was affirmed by the High Court, upon which she appealed in the apex court.

    The apex court after perusal of various evidence and records noted that there was nothing on record to prove the prosecution’s claim that the mother-in-law abetted the suicide of her daughter-in-law. Accordingly, it ordered her acquittal. — PTI

  5. Hello Everybody

    I am also a victim of misuse of 304B. My in-laws are AWARE of the fact even they lodged an FIR. Currently I am on Bail from Patna high court BUT after coming from jail my office has NOT allowed me to join (waiting for their reply since 9th sept, 2010). I was a senior software engineer in a MNC in NCR.

    Incident Details:
    1. We are blessed with twin baby boys in sept, 2009
    2. My office planned to send me London so I took them to my native place.
    3. Planned was postponed after this she assumed that I did not want to keep her with me so I made a false story (even after showing the VISA she was not ready to believe me).
    4. I was not taking her back here because my VISA was valid till 13-Apr-2010, so office may send me any time and one more important reason was take care of twins will be difficult for her.

    Now we come to know that wife of my brother-in-law(who has lodged the FIR) has also committed suicide in 2001 and they were also facing similar case. My wife (before marriage) was also in one of the accused. Three accused arrested/surrendered in court and my wife was sent to his MARRIED sister.

    Six year latter they married this girl to me in 2007 with changed (duplicate) name against her wish. She wanted to marry younger brother of her brother-in-law, where she was hidden during police investigation in 2001. She had started threatening us like she will commit suicide and you all will be forced to sell each bricks of this well furnished home. We had informed her Father, Mother and Brother many times.

    She was studying in class 7 at the time of incident (2001) with the same as in FIR lodged against them. I think they did not follow the process of name change like making affidavit and publishing in the news paper.

    We have their FIR No, Anticipatory bail request number at Patna high court and we are in process of getting the complete case details. My father-in-law was a army personal so we are also trying to get her name from his service record.

    Now I want to know that whether it will be helpful in defending us or making a counter case against them.

    Best Regards,
    RK Raja

  6. Women are equally good and evil as men.
    We Indians, especially Hindus, deserve a BIG BLAME for constantly saying,
    ‘WE WORSHIP WOMEN! WE WORSHIP WOMEN!’.
    WHY? Yes, by all means, respect your mother.
    Respect your wife, respect your kids and elders.
    BUT GET RID OF THIS STUPID IDEA OF WORSHIPPING WOMEN.

    Women can commit every single crime a man can.
    Moreover, it is psychologically proven that women don’t entirely understand
    the concept of justice and fairplay in the sense, men practice it.
    This has to do with the evolution of different genders over thousands of years.
    It also has to do with the way boys learn to play games and fights …
    and understand that winning or losing is a one time event.
    It is not worth holding a grudge against the winner or the loser.
    In fact, a friend today can fall out and become a foe.
    Also, an opponent today can become the best friend tomorrow!
    It is not necessarily the mindset that women possess.

    There is great truth to the fickle nature of women.
    So, why then are we crazily singing ‘WE WORSHIP WOMEN! WE WORSHIP WOMEN!’.
    SHE IS OUT TO MAKE LIFE MISERABLE FOR YOU,
    AND YOU STILL WORSHIP HER?
    HOW STUPID OF YOU! BREAK THIS HABIT. AND EDUCATE YOUR FRIENDS ALSO.

  7. Good point Arvind “Moreover, it is psychologically proven that women don’t entirely understand
    the concept of justice and fairplay in the sense, men practice it.
    This has to do with the evolution of different genders over thousands of years.
    It also has to do with the way boys learn to play games and fights …
    and understand that winning or losing is a one time event.
    It is not worth holding a grudge against the winner or the loser.
    In fact, a friend today can fall out and become a foe.
    Also, an opponent today can become the best friend tomorrow!
    It is not necessarily the mindset that women possess.”

    Hope this conditioning changes as women get into the thick of things so that something more constructive can result!(than gory gender wars)

  8. It is a blemish on our society that still these type of cases coming out from our society n delhi is on top about dowry deaths nothing can be wose than it weather its capital of india

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