Thursday, July 4, 2013

The 8 year girl who didn’t make it past her wedding night

A few weeks back I read this article titled “The eight year girl who didn’t make it past her wedding night”. (NOTE: Please DO read the article before you go through this blog post). It was one of the most touching, thought provoking and soul stirring articles I’ve read in the recent past. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a woman or a mother, or I was at a vulnerable moment, or because of the way it’s been written or just the event itself or a combination of all of the above. But if the article did not stir something within you, then I’d say that something’s really wrong!

As a human being / woman / mother, my emotions went from shock, to disbelief, to anger, to grief, to deep sadness, to rage, to anguish, to remorse, to fear, to helplessness…..

My first thoughts and emotions were for the little 8 year girl. I mean at 8 years of age children are supposed to live the lives of children – right? “Childhood is after all the best time / phase of one’s life” anyone will say. And rightly so – We all know, hear and see 8 year olds as a part of our everyday lives. An 8 year girl is supposed to live, laugh, learn, enjoy, play, read, dance, etc etc.. ; Not really enter into matrimony with someone old enough to be her grand-father, and without having any clue on what to expect or do as a part of the marriage?

Can you even imagine any 8 year old girl having to go through this ordeal – Whatever be the reason / situation or circumstance?  Or where ever in the world she was born? The very thought gives me shudders and shivers.

I don’t even know what this episode should be called? – Child Sex Abuse, Rape, Marital Rape, A crime, A murder or just no words to explain what it means?

All I can say is May she rest in peace ; in a probably better place and time

My next strong thoughts and emotions are towards the girl’s parents. What thought / heart could any parent have to marry off their child (and that too into a second marriage) at 8 years of age? I know that child marriage has been around for a while now in some parts of the world – But does any girl even know what marriage is when she is 8 years? Is any 8 year old girl ready for marriage and all that marriage entails at this age? I mean I know women well into their 20’s / 30’s / 40’s who are still not ready for marriage and all that comes as a part of matrimony. In this case, was there really no choice – especially for the parents?

My next strong thoughts and emotions are towards the girl’s husband. Why would any married man well into his 50’s want to marry a second time with an 8 year old girl – someone who is young enough to be his grand-daughter. Is it purely for physical pleasures? And can anyone really get physical pleasure by indulging in the crudest form of physical injury to a child? Given that man already had children, would it be too much for him to understand what childhood is? And did he not know what he was robbing off the little girl? Was he not aware that he was taking away from her more than her virginity? Just what did he think he was subjecting her to by the use of a knife and the injury he subjected her to? Was he blind to the blood? Could he not understand that loss of blood would eventually lead to death? Was the need for physical pleasure so supreme that he was blind to what the girl could be going through - physically, mentally and emotionally?

My last thought is around the society / community in which the episode took place. For any man / parents to even indulge in such a gruesome act / event – they have to be part of a society / community which is either blind to what is happening around them or support such practices. Do episodes like this indicate a “collective loss of conscious” of communities / society at large?

I don’t really know what more to say.. Just that this one article has made me think about so many things in the world around, made me lose my sleep for several days in a row and I’ve also not really been able to write anything for a while now.. (This was a personal shocker given that no matter what, I’ve always always been able to write  (for years)– no matter what else I can / can’t do at a given point in time…)

As I conclude, I can’t help but end with a few parting thoughts:

My first request is to parents | Childhood is indeed the golden phase of one’s life. If you cannot make it special, at least DON’T make it a NIGHTMARE and rob your children of a right to live!

My next request is to men | Give respect to women in your life – Be it your mother, wife, children, colleagues, neighbors, etc. Respect is a basic human right, and women are human! If you can’t say / do anything good to the women around you, at least please DO NOT do anything BAD! But for that, you should know what is GOOD and what is BAD! Please do make an effort!

My last question is to the community / society at large | How long… Just how long can you be silent observers to all the BAD and UGLY around you? Do you think it will not touch / hit you ever? And when it does, whom do you think you will go to? – Think about it!

What's your view? Leave a comment to let me know...

A couple of readers wrote in to me that the story shared in the link may be a hoax. I am not sure about whether the story is true or not. My view shared in the blog is assuming it to be true. Nevertheless, my points are still valid, and should be food for thought based on the realities we see today!   

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  1. This is the most horrifying incident I have ever read. Is the person getting punishment? Is there a way we can ensure he gets one which is death sentence.

  2. This was such a shocking account. How on Earth can someone be so ruthless! My daughter will soon turn into 8 and this shocked me beyond words. Can't imagine what that poor kid would have gone through. Height of cruelty. Sad. Extremely sad. I have no words to express my anger, shock, and disgust.

    1. I know. It is one article which moved me beyond words.. Really, I wonder just HOW?

  3. The parents of the girl are ruthless and deserve harsh punishment.The harsh punishment should deter other parents who even think about such a horrendous crime.The man who married an eight year old is insane.He too deserves harsh punishment. Childhood is a golden phase and should be snatched away.

    1. Kalpana - I was surprised by my own reaction when I read the piece. Seriously, any kind of punishment is too little for the act.

  4. I remember reading this news article. It is shocking and disgusting. It is hard to believe that such cruel and barbaric practices are common in some parts of world and parents are a party to it too!

    1. I know.. seriously, how could anyone do it beats me!

  5. I am shocked and sickened by such cruelty and abuse. Surely the man who did this heinous act received punishment. In my opinion that man should have been put to death and even that would be too good for him.

  6. I too remember this one and also something similar to this... that was a girl of 10. The irony is that such cases are so wildly been reported in the country and still noone is doing anything to avoid these.

  7. Parents, husband and the society that is us all should be ashamed at some of the things that humans put other humans through. I guess some are yet to evolve from their animal instincts. :(

  8. Not one bit something I thought should happen to an eight year old. Here we wonder why child marriages in which 'gauna' or vidai happens later are not banned but this is soo gory. It I believe has a lot to do with us as indians taking a lot of shit in the name of society. I will stop before I go on and on. I share my feelings with you and millions of women like us on this subject,..

  9. its just sick. its a horrifying ordeal for any child..

    seriously though - what were her parents thinking?!! That too married off to a 50 yr old pervert!
    poor kid :(