Why This Young Woman Jumped Into The Sabarmati River To Her Death
Since I was a little girl, not more than 10 years old, my mother would often sit me down and show me all the precious jewellery she has collected for me, to pass on to me at my wedding. At the time, I didn’t really understand why she’d started collecting my wedding jewellery so well in advance. Almost 15 years from then, I know why. Not that I would ever marry into a house that seeks dowry, but the fact that a girls’ parents feel that pressure to be prepared is what the problem really is.
With almost 7000 deaths linked to dowry being recorded by the National Crime Bureau of India, as recently as 2017, the rate at which women are being slaughtered for dowry is disturbing to say the least. As is the recent dowry death reported in Ahmedabad, where a 23 year old recorded her ordeal before jumping into the Sabarmati river to her death.
Ayesha Banu Makrani (23), a resident of Almina Park in Vatva of Ahmedabad was working in the ICICI bank in the city. On Thursday, the woman had left her residence around 9 am for work and at around 4.30 pm, Ayesha called up her father, Liyaqat Ali Makrani, telling him about her intention to end her life. Making a small yet heartbreaking video about her the decision to take her life was purely out of will, she sent that video to her father moments before she jumped into the Sabarmati river and died. Her body was recovered from the riverfront west side by police and fire department later that evening, which is when the saddening details of her life came to the fore.
23 year old Ayesha releases this Video before Jumping in the #SabarmatiRiver #Ahmedabad! Just listen to this poignant misery of ill treatment at the hands of the In-Laws and a Ruthless Husband! Are We even Humans? When millions of Women are treated in such Tragic Fashion! pic.twitter.com/sPQf9za7Pp
— zafar sareshwala (@zafarsareshwala) February 28, 2021
Ayesha was married to Aarif Khan Gafurji from Jalore in Rajasthan in July 2018 and had been recently estranged from her husband. Her father shared, “My daughter was married to Aarif on July 6, 2018 in Jalore of Rajasthan, however, her in-laws started demanding dowry from her. On December 5, 2018, Aarif sent Ayesha back to my place after a fight. We then sat with the couple and came to a solution and she was sent to Jalore. Then in July 2019, she was again sent back to my place by her husband. Then on January 26, 2020 Aarif took her back after taking Rs 2.5 lakh dowry from me.”
In 2020, Ayesha’s father had filed an FIR with Vatva police station against Aarif and his parents for domestic violence against his daughter. He went on to admit, “However, he and his parents then started physically assaulting my daughter for dowry and on March 10, 2020 Ayesha was again sent to my home.” The video message that she left behind started with her greeting and said, “My name is Ayesha (a brief pause) Arif Khan. Whatever I am going to do is my decision and nobody has pressured me for this. I have nothing to say now. Understand that the almighty gave me a short life.”
She went on to say, “Arif (her husband) wants freedom. I will give him freedom. I am happy that I am going to meet Allah. I’ll ask him what was my mistake. Ek cheez jarur sikh gayi hoon; mohabbat karni hai to do tarfa karo, ek tarfe se kuch haasil nahi hota (I have learnt one thing; if you want to love, let it be two-sided. Nothing can be gained from one-sided love).”
23-year old Aayesha committed suicide by jumping into river Sabarmati @ Riverfront in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Aisha's husband Arif Khan deserted her asking for dowry. #UniformCivilCode in India is must & I hope Indian Muslims will support to save another Ayesha.🙏 #JusticeForAayesha pic.twitter.com/juhY7qLQyj
— Gulshan Sirohi (@SirohiGulshan) February 27, 2021
“Main hawaaon ki tarah hoon; main behna chaahti hoon… Main khush hoon aaj… Mujhe duaon me yaad karna, kya pata jannat mile na mile (I am like the winds; I want to flow… I am happy today… Remember me in your prayers. Don’t know if I will go to heaven or not),” were Ayesha’s final words before the tragedy. Even though she braved a smile in the video, her face could be easily seen covered in grief of having to deal with an unloving and greedy husband, who pushed her to the point of taking her own life.
Sometimes through torture, other times through suicide, how many more women would have to lose their lives before the society stop treating them like commodities that they think can be bought. The dowry system needs to be carefully brought down.
The police has lodged a case under IPC section 306 for abetment to suicide against Aarif at Sabarmati Riverfront West police station. We hope that the family and the husband get due punishment for their crimes.