It is mentioned in Holy Quran that every soul should have a taste of death (kullu Nafsun Zayikkun Maut). History bears witness to the fact that whatever has been created has been destroyed. Huge empires, Great rulers, philosophers, religious scholars or ordinary people, no one has escaped from the hands of death. There is no favoritism or gender discrimination in the law of death, but what matters is what our reason of death becomes! Was it natural or planned? Was it an accident or murder? Was it sudden or prolonged? Safoora had never imagined she would become a victim of homicide. Right after her marriage, she had learnt the fact that her marriage was not going to be a smooth affair given the treatment of her husband but she tried to swallow the bitter pills as many times as she could.

She was married in a very conservative and orthodox family where women were still treated to be inferior to men. She was given a step motherly attitude shortly after she was brought as a new bride in the family. She used to get a daily dose of taunt in breakfast and sarcasm for lunch. She figured out in the few months of her marriage that she was brought in this family just to keep the family tree growing. The males of the family treated women just like child producing machines and they have no respect for her individuality.

The males used to come home late, eat and sleep. Females were not allowed to share table with them, they were not allowed to talk except for one lined answers. These things suffocated Safoora who was an educated girl and wanted to change this chauvinistic attitude of males in the family.

She tried her hard but all her efforts had gone to winds since there was no change in the attitude of her in laws. After a couple of months, Safoora was expecting a baby, her husband warned her that it has to be a boy (without knowing the fact that it is chromosome Y that is responsible for the gender of baby, and this chromosome is present in males not in females) This chromosome theory was far from their mental comprehension and they lived in fool‘s paradise to believe that it is woman who is responsible for the gender of baby. The delivery date came and everyone was interested to know whether it was a boy or a girl, the doctor came out of the operation theatre and sighed heavily, we can either save mother or the baby. Her husband got curious to know whether it was a boy or a girl, on shelling out some dollars, the doctor said it was a boy, Safoora‘s husband got overjoyed and told doctor to save the baby! His family supported his decision. The doctor operated as per the instructions and saved the baby. Safoora died in a pool of blood not knowing that her husband chose the baby over her. There was no remorse in the eyes of her husband. He held the baby in his hands and his chest swelled with pride. Not once did he regret his decision or recalled his wife! How callous a human could be? This reminds me of a line by Khalid Hossaini from his book A thousand splendid suns which goes like,” Man’s heart is a wretched wretched thing”

P.S: In February 2015, a database was launched online entitled Femicide Census: Profiles of Women Killed by Men. It is a project designed to force recognition of the scale and significance of male violence against women and is the culmination of several years of work by Ingala Smith, who began a grim and time-consuming task of counting Britain‘s murdered women and putting their names on her own blog back in 2012.

There were 126 women killed through male violence that year, 143 in 2013 and 150 in 2014. According to Indian Penal Code, 1860 Section 304: Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished with[imprisonment for life], or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.

Excerpt from Book TEARFUL PAGES authored by Azra Mufti, a freelance columnist having written more than 100 articles for various domestic and national dailies, currently working as an assistant professor in CGC Landran Mohali.