Earlier this week, we were talking about how the best way to ensure women’s safety would be for them to just stop living with men. This was against the backdrop of four horrifyingly brutal instances of domestic violence, including one case in which a man told his wife he had a ‘surprise’ for her, and then chopped off the fingers of her right hand as punishment for enrolling in college courses without his permission.
Today brings a new and equally horrifying piece of news that follows the same pattern of senseless violence stemming from a man’s sense of ownership over his wife. A 38-year-old Indore woman has alleged that she was raped by two men after her husband ‘lost her’ to them in a game of gambling. The woman made her complaint on Tuesday during a weekly public hearing organised by police, but an official complaint in yet to registered.
Police say they have summoned all the people involved to record their statements on the complaint, and a case will be registered when the allegations are corroborated.
The case of course brings some obvious Mahabharata comparisons to mind, but then again, for some reason Mahabharata comparisons always seem close at hand in the worst and weirdest ways in Indian news. Last week, a BJP leader named Vijeta Malik, whose social media profile says she’s ‘a Haryana State Executive Member of BJP and a sewika in RSS’ shared an image on social media of a woman having her sari pulled off of her while surrounded by a jeering crowd, in an attempt to stoke already simmering communal tension and purportedly show the ‘plight of Hindus’ in Bengal. Except the image wasn’t from Bengal at all, or even from real life: it was a still from a Bhojpuri movie called Aurat Khilona Nahi, which, by the way, starred BJP MP and Delhi President Manoj Tiwari.