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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bigotry kills, again

Even in India, where sex between consenting adults is not criminalized, stigma kills.
An incestuous relationship ended in tragedy when a 21-year-old boy committed suicide within hours of his sister giving birth in Katiya Koilara village of Betul district on Sunday evening. Sammal Dhurve was found hanging from a tree, not far from his house where his 20-year-old sister gave birth to a boy in the afternoon.
The panchayat [council of elders] had met on Friday after the unwed girl admitted that she and her elder brother were involved in a physical relationship for nearly a year. They told the panchayat they wanted to live as husband and wife and did not relent even in the face of opposition from villagers. [...] "The girl said there was no pressure on her and she was firm." [...]
Baghel said the duo appeared unperturbed when they walked into the police station with a kotwar on Friday. There was no case to be made because both were adults.
[...] [M]ost villagers seemed to have reconciled to the duo's unusual decision when Dhumal killed himself. The police said what could have led the boy to end his life was the fear of ignominy due to coverage in the media. It was only when outsiders started pouring in that the couple realised the consequences of their relationship, a police officer said.

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