One of my favourite columnists, Kalpana Sharma, produced a disturbing piece yesterday – on dowry deaths. Kalpana was appalled to read a headline, ‘One bride burnt every hour’. Not 50 years ago, but last week. It’s the kind of fact that we in India are inured to. It doesn’t have shock value for the average reader. I can’t imagine the equivalent in the West – domestic violence, possibly. Dowry death, like domestic violence, is the kind of term that hides the reality. It should be called murder, because it’s not an accidental or natural death. It’s a premeditated, deliberate, cold-blooded act of murder and solely for profit, because the bride’s parents could not pay up.Imagine the horror of being forcibly held down, doused in kerosene or petrol (the commonest modus operandi) and set ablaze.
Mari Marcel Thekaekara on New Internationalist.