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The public humiliation of a woman in MP for having a relationship post-separation proves how we still think of women as men’s property!
In a shocking incident from Madhya Pradesh (MP), a woman was humiliated and ‘punished’ by her former in-laws for having a relationship post-separation. The video that went viral on social media showed the woman walking with a younger boy on her shoulders. She was followed by men on bikes holding sticks and cricket bats. They often hit her and seemed to celebrate the humiliation she was subjected to.
According to reports by The Quint and NDTV, the woman was abducted by the family members of her ex-husband. It was followed by this incident of public humiliation.
The woman and her family are residents of the Bhuna district in MP and this outrageous incident was perpetrated by the ex-husband and his family. They were aided by the people from the village who were seen enjoying physically assaulting the woman with sticks.
While police have filed a complaint and arrested four individuals, such incidents have become a norm in the state of MP. In 2020, another woman was paraded around the village with her husband on her shoulders over suspicion of an extra-marital affair.
In addition to bringing light to the situation of law and order failure, such incidents also show us how society continues to mistreat and assault women. This woman whose fundamental rights and physical safety had been violated had already divorced the ex-husband. Yet that family continued to treat the victim as their property, taking away all her agency.
Women find themselves being treated as the property of their fathers or husbands. It continues to be a fact of life for women across the length and breadth of the country.
They are stripped of their very basic rights as human beings. Women are humiliated, physically and emotionally abused, sexually assaulted inside the marriage, at the will of the husbands and his family. This incident proves that this does not stop even after the disintegration of the marriage.
On the other hand, men get a free pass from society to exploit their agency, even at the expense of the women associated with him. Had it been a man and not a woman in this victim’s shoes, this incident not have taken place. The man would have actually been encouraged to engage in another relationship. As is his right, which is denied to his female counterparts.
This widely different approach in treating men and women by the society continues unabated even to this date. These hypocritical double standards of the society turn women into mere objects to exploit.
Every individual has to be more vigilant and committed to the cause of justice. But more importantly, families have to learn to treat their women as equals.
Picture credits: Still from the video that went viral on social media
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An undergraduate student of Political Science at Presidency University, Kolkata. Describes herself as an intersectional
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