In Orissa, A Man And His Family Tortured His Wife, Poisoned Her Privates And Set Her On Fire Claiming She Is A “Psychiatric Patient”
The world has its way of freeing itself of all responsibility when it comes to protecting its women. The fact that women “need” protection in itself is a mirror to a tainted reality. They say actions have consequences. But all the crimes that happen against women—as we seem to have become the most endangered species in the world—are not caused by anything that we’ve done. And yet, the imbalance in power and the subsequent abuse often turn a crime into another opportunity of victim-blaming. A man will shred a woman’s dignity, life and body but society will still find a way to blame it on her. If a woman drank with a man, and he raped her, it’s her fault. If a woman didn’t go home and commit suicide after being raped, a judge can character-assassinate her. If a woman was out after sunset and/or in short clothes, it’s still her fault. If a wife is raped by her husband, it’s not even rape. Men are absolved of all responsibility, right? And why not? That way it becomes easy for those in power to continue abusing the power they don’t deserve and neither rightfully own.
So when an author, Dr. Jessica Taylor wrote a book titled, ‘Why Women are Blamed for Everything’ it made all the entitled men feel uncomfortable. Would a decent human being not feel bad for the terrifying condition of women’s safety around the world? Feminism is equality is humanity. And yet, Dr. Taylor found rape and death threats on her Facebook profile. Even her computer was hacked and remotely accessed to threaten her. Slow claps for these men.
Closer to home, in what brings a little relief and hope, the Orissa High Court refused the bail application of a man who allegedly subjected his wife to unimaginable cruelty for dowry. And what did he base his bail application on? The man justified his behaviour claiming that his wife is mentally ill. The Bench of Justice S. K. Panigrahi at Orissa High Court observed, “Even the allegation of psychological illness of the complainant-victim does not give the petitioner and his family members the handle to treat her like slave bereft of any mercy and human compassion.”
They got married in 2015 and after two years of marriage, she alleged that her husband and in-laws subjected her to torture for more dowry of Rs.10 lakhs. The woman also said that they threatened to burn her alive if she didn’t give in to their demands. Due to the pressure, her father apparently could manage around Rs 2-4 lakhs over instalments.
I just spoke about men raping women and this is the comment I got from a bloke.
Apparently equality will never happen if I keep talking about sex offender stats cos it makes men feel worthless.
Oh, get over yourselves! pic.twitter.com/PoxuRXFHgC
— Dr. Jessica Taylor (@DrJessTaylor) February 9, 2021
However, greed doesn’t settle and nor does the monstrosity of monsters. Completely apathetic to her pain, her husband, along with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law assaulted her with a sharp wood object. The woman then further mentioned in her complaint that her mother-in-law and sister-in-law applied baidanka, a plant with poisonous spores on her privates. After torturing her enough, the husband poured kerosene over her and set her on fire. She was able to escape and not die only by getting rid of her clothes that were on fire.
She wouldn’t have been alive to file a complaint if she hadn’t fled the spot immediately. And yet, the husband is the one to say that the wife is a psychiatric patient. If the allegations are true, I positively believe it’s the husband and his entire lunatic family that needs to be mentally treated. They are a threat to life, to society. However, I don’t understand. Hypothetically speaking, even if the woman was a psychiatric patient, what kind of treatment is this? In which stream of medicine or humanity, is it okay to subject a mental illness patient to torture? What cure is setting a patient on fire?
These are not your errors, faults or values.
It’s normal to feel completely betrayed by them. Often, we think our families and parents will be the ones to believe us and be there – and it hurts even more when they are the ones who blame or deny it ever happened.
— Dr. Jessica Taylor (@DrJessTaylor) February 7, 2021
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Thankfully, the Orissa High Court dismissed their plea and logic and humanity prevailed. “From perusal of the FIR, it appears that offences under the Indian Penal Code, are prima facie definitely made out, though it requires thorough trial. A perusal of the FIR and charge sheet filed in the present case shows that there are very specific allegations against each of the family members of the petitioner who are arrayed as accused,” the Bench observed, as reported by Live Law. The Court further said, “Upon reading of the FIR and the charge-sheet as a whole, it is not possible to come to the conclusion that they do not make out even a prima facie case against the petitioner for the offences in question.”
And so the bail application was dismissed. I am glad because men who feel no remorse don’t bother too much about reasoning. Their ego becomes so inflated that they will go after the victim, even though it could further weaken their case.