The heart wrenching story of a 24-year-old Kerala woman’s alleged torture and death due to domestic abuse has sent shockwaves across the country. The woman, identified as Vismaya Nair and a resident of Kollam district was a an Ayurveda medicine student. She had reportedly sent photos of her torture to her family over WhatsApp but was found dead at her in-laws place this week. Her husband S Kiran Kumar was later arrested who has now been arrested. Condemning the tragic incident, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for the annihilation of the ‘barbaric dowry system’ which ‘degrades our daughters as commodities.’ He urged people to ‘treat them better, as human beings.’
In a series of tweets, Vijayan also denounced the extravagant show of wealth and prosperity at weddings which often act as a desperate race for families trying to one up each other.
“We need to reform the prevailing marriage system. Marriage must not be a pompous show of the family’s social status and wealth. Parents have to realise that the barbaric dowry system degrades our daughters as commodities. We must treat them better, as human beings," he said.
As a society, we need to reform the prevailing marriage system. Marriage must not be a pompous show of the family's social status and wealth. Parents have to realise that the barbaric dowry system degrades our daughters as commodities. We must treat them better, as human beings.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) June 23, 2021
He added the need for men to accept the reality of how women are at par with them and thus their rights must be respected at all costs. Vijayan also urged youth organisations to initiate awareness campaigns everywhere. He also urged parents to make efforts in order for their children to have an understanding of such progressive ideas from the start.
Men must accept the truth that women are not inferior and that they have equal rights. Youth organisations need to initiate awareness campaigns. Parents should make conscious efforts to inculcate such progressive attitudes in their children. We have to nurture a new culture.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) June 23, 2021
As a step ahead from the state government, Vijayan announced the initiation of ‘Aparajitha’, an online service to resolve cyber crimes against women that will pick up complaints of offences against women and domestic abuse cases.
From now on, 'Aparajitha', the online service to resolve cyber crimes against women can be used to submit complaints on offences against women and domestic abuse too. Mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9497996992.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) June 23, 2021
Apart from the Kollam district case, two other recent cases of suspected dowry deaths in Kerala has led to outrage and demands for changes in law preventing such incidents.