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Family Members Of 17 y.o. Neha Of Deoria, UP Allegedly Kill Her Just For Wearing Jeans?!

That the family members of Neha of Uttar Pradesh killed her just for wearing jeans seems unbelievable, but these things are a reality in a society that believes in controlling its girls and women. 

That the family members of Neha of Uttar Pradesh killed her just for wearing jeans seems unbelievable, but these things are a reality in a society that believes in controlling its girls and women.

This has been translated from the original in Hindi.

Trigger warning: This article has descriptions of child abuse and violence against women and may be triggering for survivors.

17-year-old Neha Paswan was killed by her grandfather and paternal uncles, supported by her aunts and grandmother, in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh.

Neha’s mother said that Neha had learned to wear jeans when they were in Ludhiana, and wanted to continue learning them, but the rest of the family did not like it, and for that they beat her to death.

I’m shocked…

Yes, you read that right. Neha was murdered for wearing jeans! Shocked? Stunned? I am too! Apparently our society values the life of a child based on the clothes that she wears.

Where are the people who claim that the girls in our country are independent and can take their own decisions? When they are not even allowed to pick their own attire, it is not too difficult to imagine how much freedom they have in making other decisions.

Girls are still prohibited from questioning the decisions made on their behalf

Neha’s mother told the police that Neha’s grandfather and uncles had forbidden her from wearing jeans.

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Neha refused to accept this dictatorial attitude and questioned the reason for this censure. She did not know that, in our society, girls, even today, are prohibited from questioning the decisions made on their behalf. Because of this she paid the ultimate price and lost her life.

These heinous crimes are committed in the name of ‘preserving our culture’

Reports have emerged this month from Dhar and Alirajpur in Madhya Pradesh, in which women have been brutally thrashed by their families. The reason for these atrocities was the same – girls in the family daring to think differently from the rest of the family members.

The perpetrators of these crimes claim to commit such acts in the name of “preserving our culture”. They commit these crimes in public, and with extreme brutality in order to set an example. The objective is simple – no woman should again dare to cross the boundaries defined by these men. Many videos of such crimes come to the fore – the ‘righteous anger’ and the ‘desire to cleanse their society of such impurities’ whips these mobs into such a euphoric frenzy that one could mistake the scenes for a celebration. It is also ironic and heartbreaking that a large contingent of women seem to support the men in such crimes.

Is this the ‘progressive’ India that we are all so proud of?

We keep talking of the ‘progress’ made by India, every time a nationalistic fervour overtakes us, and there is certainly development in many fields. But should we be so quick to pat ourselves on the back? Are we really turning into a progresive country?

While some march ahead with blinders attached, ignoring what is going on around them, the rest of us do not go a day without hearing about such heart-rending incidents. There are daily reports of crimes against women in newspapers, television and social media. What is even more alarming is that these are just the reported incidents, the true number of such crimes is many times greater.

Is the honor of the family tied to the clothes the girls wear?

How long will women need to continue to seek the approval of their family members for even the most basic decisions in their lives? We cannot even begin to talk of equality when women, in large parts of the country, are denied even the most basic of human rights.

Why must women bear the burden of the family’s “honor”? How can the honor of the family be tied to the clothes that girls in that family wear? Neha is no longer in this world, but she has left behind many questions, questions we must all keep asking if we are to change this shameful mindset prevalent in our society.

Image source: Kat Jayne on pexels

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About the Author

Ashlesha Thakur

Ashlesha Thakur started her foray into the world of media at the age of 7 as a child artist on All India Radio. After finishing read more...

6 Posts

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