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A Man And His Relatives Performed Rituals And An Exorcism On His 8-Month Pregnant Wife When She Was In Labour. What Even?

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You know, part of my job requires me to keep track of the crimes that occur against women. It’s the part that I don’t like very much because the sheer volume of ghastly crimes is overwhelming. Every day, more like every few hours, women are targeted and abused in ways that are beyond nightmarish. Despite numerous conversations, protests, candle marches and seemingly useless government initiatives (Beti Bachao, really?) women are still suffering in silence. This recent case where a man and his parents performed an exorcism on his 23-year-old wife, who was eight months pregnant and in labour because they thought she was under some spell is a testament to how ignorant, insensitive and prone to superstitions people are. It’s the 21st century, FFS, not the 1850s!

On Monday, police officials said that a man and his family members have been booked after they neglected to take his 23-year-old pregnant wife, Dipali Bidkar, to the hospital while she was in labour. Instead, the family chose to call a “godman” and perform exorcism rituals on the woman believing her to be under some spell. Needless to say, Dipali and her baby perished because of their ignorance and well, sheer stupidity. How do people confuse labour pains for some sort of possession or spell? It’s ridiculous.

According to reports, this incident took place on February 10 in Shillim, Lonavala. An FIR was filed under relevant sections of the IPC and the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013. A Lonavala rural police station official said, “Dipali Bidkar was 8 months pregnant and started having labour pains on February 10. However, her husband Mahesh Bidkar, his parents, brother and brother’s wife, did not take her to hospital and instead performed some rituals at home.”

Also Read: Man In Ahmedabad Flashes 21 YO Girl Because His Wife’s Pregnancy Left Him Sex Deprived. Sickening!

While Dipali’s family insisted that she needed to be taken to a hospital because she was in labour, her husband and his relatives urged that she was under some spell and needed an exorcism. Finally, she was rushed to the hospital, but by then it was too late. Dipali and her baby were pronounced dead.

When I was reading the details of this case, I kept wondering why Dipali’s husband and his family thought she was under a spell when she was actually in labour. Even the women in the family didn’t speak up for Dipali and her baby’s sake. This shows the lack of education Indian men and women receive in matters of pregnancy, childbirth and menstruation. And because of this prevalent ignorance and blind faith, we are really failing our women.

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