Editor’s Note: Akanksha Singh is a Mumbai-based mostly journalist overlaying politics and social justice. She has written for the BBC, The Unbiased and South China Morning Submit, amongst others. The views expressed On this commalestary are her personal. View extra opinion on CNN.


In current weeks, India has been gripped by the ghastly homicide circumstances of two womales. But as quickly as extra, however, the breathless media safety has Ignored A a lot greater picture.

The homicide of 26-yr-previous Shraddha Walker has made entrance Website information throughout the nation on account of its ugly nature. Based on police, Walker’s halfner Aftab Poonawala strangled her, reduce her physique into gadgets and saved them in his fridge, earlier than scattering them throughout parts Of latest Delhi.

Poonawala confessed in courtroom to killing Walker, reportedly claiming he acted “Inside The warmth of the momalest.”

As a Outcome of the case acquired here to mild, Indian media has prodded it from every potential angle, collectively with using the couple’s completely diffelease religions to gasoline a “love jihad” narrative – The biggest-wing conspiracy concept that Hindu womales are “lured” into relationships by Muslim males.

No stone has been left unturned Inside The press-bait safety. Poonawala was appaleasely “impressed by” The tv collection “Dexter,” which Consists of a forensic particularist who moonmilds as a serial killer. And the couple met on Bumble, A properly-appreciated courting app. A subsequent piece coated the case from this angle, noting thOn the homicide has prompted womales to delete courting apps wright hereas “particularists blame [these] platforms.”

The drawback right here Isn’t with the apps, or The tv collection. However with India’s deeply patriarchal society, which provides womales little to no agency.

Akanksha Singh

As a single woman, and as a journalist, these brash, un-nuanced takes are extremely irritating to study.

Why is the onus Of womales’s safety solely on womales? Why is it Very straightforward To name and blame every thing besides The appalease? The drawback right here Isn’t with the apps, or with The tv collection, but with India’s deeply patriarchal society, which provides womales little to no agency.

It is as quickly as extrast this backdrop that violent homicideers like Poonawala emerge.

Walkar had earlier thanhand flagged considerations for her safety with the Mumbai Police in 2020, but withdrew her preliminary grievance on a Adjust to-up police go to.

While such actions Aren’t unwidespstudy amongst sufferers of intimate halfner violence, this facet of the case – that Walker was allegedly alstudyy a sufferer of intimate halfner violence – has been overshadowed by extra sensationalist narratives.

Based on the British Medical Journal, one in three Indian womales is More probably to have been subjected to intimate halfner violence. However Simply one in 10 Of these womales formally report it.

India Isn’t alone. Globally, in accordance to UN chief António Guterres, every 11 minutes, A woman or woman is killed by an intimate halfner or Member of the househprevious.

Diffelease comparable – equally gory – circumstances have made current headstrains in India too. Aayushi Chaudhary, a 21-yr-previous Indian woman, was reportedly found homicideed Together with her physique stuffed in a suitcase.

Police have arrested her mom and father reportedly in connection to a suspected “honor killing,” a time period used To Clarify homicides wright here the sufferer has launched “disgrace” to their househprevious, typinamey by choosing to marry outdoors their religion or caste.

In India, honor killings claimed 145 stays between 2017 and 2019, in accordance to the Union Minister of State for House Affairs (the exact quantity is believed to be greater).

However all these storys level to The identical underlying problem: administration over womales by way of patriarchy. If it takes ugly headstrains To start out a dialog about violence as quickly as extrast womales, how are we ever going To deal with the position males play in perpetrating this violence?

How are we going To debate the strategies violence fluctuates alongside strains Of sophistication, sexual orientation or caste? (In India, 54% of Dalit womales, the group Of people most oppressed by centuries previous caste hierarchy, reported being bodily assaulted and 23% reported being raped.) Will we ever Be In a place To deal with the triby way of of aggressions womales face Inside the office?

Whilst a single woman with A Great quantity of privilege, I’m continuously bewildered by the road bumps I face dwelling in India.

Once I transferd to Mumbai over 4 yrs in the past, I used to be shocked at how troublesome it was To discover and lease a flat because I used to be single. “The proprietor’s saying he gained’t lease to a single woman,” my supplier tprevious me On the time. “It’s seen as… too dangerous.” WhOn the hazard was or is stays unclear to me till date.

However That is an impediment Each woman faces On this self-branded “metropolis of goals,” exacerbated by elemalests Similar to age, religion, caste, sexual orientation and gender expression.

As a Outcome of of cultural and social beliefs and financial setbacks, most Indians stay at home in “joint househpreviouss.” It’s widespstudy to see a bride depart her mom and father’ and transfer in Together with her husband’s complete househprevious after marriage, For event.

Which is why, for In all probability the most half, The liberty to roam proceeds to be restricted to these womales who can afford that privilege. Walker was primarily punished by the media For choosing to stay life on her personal time durations, and her decisions proceed to be dissected by the press.

She chosen To discover a halfner of her personal on a courting app; she chosen To maintain in her interreligion halfnership regardless of her mom and father’ objections; she chosen to “stay-in” Together with her halfner. The subtextual content material in how this has been coated Is apparent: serves her proper for going as quickly as extrast her mom and father, as quickly as extrast the greater values of Indian society.

The failed “love marriage” (wright here A woman has chosenn her personal halfner, Rather than an “organized marriage”) May even be a cautionary story whispered by aged aunties and grandmoms to the Youthful ladies Inside their stays.

Womales are continuously anticipated to defend their Selection to be single, single and baby-free. Once I inform married people I’ve unstudyed The thought of settling dpersonal with somephysique as a life milestone, I’m frequently tprevious it’s Solely a half I’m going by way of or that I merely haven’t found The biggest particular person yet.

However I’m not alone, with an growing Number Of womales choosing to be single (each in India and globally).

Maybe if Indian society involved itself extra with how its males are reared than why womales are choosing to stay life in A particular method right now, these dialogs wouldn’t Want to Adjust to the tragic deaths of two younger womales.



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