Another horrifying case of domestic violence emerged in India when a young mother and her infant baby girl were burnt alive in the eastern part of the country.
Such incidents show that while India is making progress on several other fronts, it is struggling to keep the country’s women safe from brutal acts of this nature.
The local police have arrested the woman’s husband and his parents for the crime. Police said that the victim was unable to meet the dowry-related demands of the three suspects and that is when they set both mother and daughter on fire.
The infant girl died instantly while her mother, 22-year-old Devi, made it to the hospital but did not survive her burns.
Jharkhand state police superintendent N.K. Mishra believes that the child’s female gender could also have been a motive for the heinous crime, but “it was mainly for dowry”.
Devi and her baby girl’s murder was just one of the thousands of slayings of women committed every year in India – now the world’s tenth-largest economy.
While the Government of India’s annual expenditure on defence and technological fronts runs in the billions, its insensitivity to the diminishing number of women in its country due to violence and forced abortions is baffling.
The illegal abortion of female fetuses, killing of women over dowry disputes, rape, domestic violence and basic neglect of Indian women are to be blamed for this growing gender disparity, which, according to a 2011 census, has turned into the giant figure of 37.5 million.
Last year’s high-profile gang-rape case of New Delhi reluctantly forced the Indian government to take some actions, but their efforts were minuscule considering the mammoth nature of the problem.
It isn’t like the authorities there aren’t capable of dealing with the issue.
A few weeks ago, India was declared a Polio-free country, and it wasn’t a coincidence that this country of 1.2 billion people got rid of the viral disease. Effective measures at national level and other commendable efforts spanning nearly two decades were taken to make it happen.
It tells us that if the right people put their minds to it, domestic violence too can be curtailed and every daughter can breathe a little easier in the South Asian state.