The Bride Burning Hoax
About a week back, I promised that I would prove that "Bride Burning" in India for dowry is a hoax. In this regard, I had posted an article on dowry deaths on Desicritics, as bride burning is a subset of dowry deaths.
Firstly, we will look at the definition of bride burning.
"In bride-burning, a husband or the family of the husband douses the man's wife with kerosene, gasoline, or other inflammable liquid, and sets the woman alight."
Many enlightened Indians, especially in the field of literature have felt proud over the years that thousands of Indian women are burnt for dowry. Many more finished their PhDs on these dead women. Many wrote wonderful books. If these unfortunate women had not died, then these socially conscious people would not have made money, got awards and recognitions. (Link)
Western society feels that Indians are specialists in bride burning. It will not be strange if a middle-aged European woman looks at an Indian girl in a tram in Europe and feels relieved that at least this girl will escape from "bride burning".
Recently, at the India Today Conclave, Suketu Mehta and Feminist Naomi Wolf (of anorexia hoax fame) spoke on the Topic: Can Power Feminism talk to Power Machismo? Rohan Sippy was the moderator. The other speakers in the Conclave included Gerhard Schroeder, Nelson Mandela, and Queen Rania of Jordan among others famous people. (Speech Suketu, Speech Naomi)
Suketu in his speech:
But the Westerners are also partly right. Last year, five thousand women were burnt alive because their families couldn't give the dowry their husbands' families demanded. In the last century, fifty million Indian girls were aborted or killed immediately after birth, for the simple crime of being female.
Lies and misrepresentation of facts will not help any society. We will return to the female foeticide statistics and its root cause in some other post. The fact that an enlightened person like Suketu Mehta can talk about 5000 wives being burnt in India will make any one of us angry and cry for blood of "every" man. In fact, one "Tsunami Oriented" Indian feminist blogger shouted for men to be boiled in oil for bride burning.
According to National Crime Bureau, there are 7026 dowry deaths "reported" in India in year 2004. About 5000 of these cases are "dowry suicides". So, the murders are about 2026 in number. These murders are carried out by stabbing, by hitting, by strangulation, by pushing from a building, by poisoning and by burning etc. Women can also commit suicide by burning themselves and that is not "bride burning" as per the definition. Here, we must also note that men use more violent methods of suicide than women.
Save Indian Family (SIF) puts the burning of wife by husband at a figure of 150 for dowry and also other reasons like anger, suspecting infidelity etc. The burning of women by husband and his family members together can be a number below 40. Interview of a woman, who is burnt 70% or more, making a statement against her in-laws will always be much more sensational for media than the case of a "dowry suicide". Even though, Indian Crime Reporters in TV Channels show us so many bogus dowry death cases as genuine ones, somehow they are not really able to get bride-burning stories (genuine or false).
So, let's compare the figure of 5000 "bride burnings" mentioned by Suketu Mehta to an actual number of 190. If the cruel Indians increase the deaths of women even by 10 times still the figure will not reach the claims made by him.
We do not blame Mr.Suketu Mehta. It's a chain of perpetual lies, which had infected him. This makes us conclude that so far as lying is concerned, the Indian Feminist literature is in no way inferior to the western feminist literature.
Now, SIF has given somewhat better news that just 190 women are burnt every year by husband/relatives for dowry or other reasons. If the claims by SIF are verified to be true, then we have a much better situation than the dismal situation painted by Suketu Mehta. This can of course disappoint many people, who will feel frustrated that they can no longer write stories and plays on burning women and get international awards.
Regarding the India Today Conclave topic on the bogus talk between Feminism and Machismo, Save Indian Family(SIF) believes that "power machismo" is extremely harmful to Indian men. We have seen enough number of Machismos getting irreversible nervous breakdown within months of a legal conflict with wife. We mentor men to call on their feminine side rather than stiffening themselves with ultramasculinity.
Finally, what about "groom burning" in India? Does it happen? We have found only one case of groom burning (till now) even though one SIF member "claims" that one-day his wife poured hot sambhar on his baldhead. (Groom burning audio).
The Bride Burning Hoax
- » Published on April 19, 2006
- » Type: Opinion
- » Filed under: