Dr Manmohan Singh Ji
Respected Prime Minister ofIndia
South Block, Raisina Hill,
Fax: 91-11-23019545 / 91-11-23016857/91-11-23015603/91-11-23014255
Good morning sir,
I am writing to you today because not only are you the esteemed prime minister ofIndia, but also a father of three daughters.
Sir, it is bad being a woman inIndia. It is really tough. Though I am lucky my parents wanted me, they educated me, I am a doctor today, but perhaps things would have been easier had I not been an Indian.
Sir, as I have told you in my previous letters I am a mother of two twin daughters, trying to save them from death right from the time my in laws got the sex determination tests done, till date when all they would like is to see us all dead.
Sir, I am happy that the government is doing its bit to raise the status of women, by making schemes and laws that are woman friendly, but sir, has anybody ever tried to see what happens beyond the making of laws and schemes. Why despite laws being so woman friendly the status of women continues to be bad. I am not talking about a handful of woman who have managed to make their way to top, but the majority who are still struggling to live with love, respect and dignity.
Sir, when I went to the law enforcers (police stations) I was told things like-
- “Either withdraw your case against your in laws or you and daughters will be killed”-an inspector in crime against woman cell.
- Why have you come to file complaint against your in laws to women cell, we do not have any powers, go to the local police station.- again when I went to crime against women cell to file a complaint
- Go to the women cell and file your complaint ,we do not take action on complaints where family matters are concerned- local police station when I was turned out at midnight by my husband.
- Why do you want to file a legal case against your husband and in laws? It will only harass you more, go, take some money from them and finish the case. It is a long battle in the courts and you’ll not get any justice only harassment
- So what if your husband does not like the statements made by you, you can change your statements (i.e. the statements made by me in my complaints). If he says he did not turn you out, say it that yes he did not
- If he says he does not like your visiting your parents so what you can live without visiting them
When I tried to contact some social activists who were campaigning against the issue the comments I got from them were
- So how does your sister look like? Is she attractive?
- This is all a victim psychology and nothing else? We can not take your case, because tomorrow you’ll reunite with your husband and than we’ll be left in a lurch.
- You have already written to Prime Minister and better you take help from him only, please do not contact us.
What I do not understand is what my sister’s attractiveness has to do or how should it matter to a social activist fighting for a cause. By the way we are only two sisters.
As you can understand even my family members are under pressure not to file the case, and take some money and settle the case. Sir, that’s how most of the case end up, because everyone is afraid of long legal battles. Sir, than why are the laws made. It is rightly said “justice delayed is justice denied”
Sir, I am a doctor, I have supportive parents. I am being supported by Mrs Bijaya Laxmi Nanda, but after my previous letter to you, the people against whom I had complaint, though I had not mentioned any names, they went and told her that I have written to you that no body is helping me. How about women who are not so lucky .They’ll end up with all the abuse again. It is the corruption at all levels & delays in justice which are not allowing the women who really need the laws to benefit from them.
Sir, your daughters are lucky, but sir are we all not your daughters, and sir, how can you be a mute spectator, when under your leadership, women are suffering.
Sir, it took me three years to come out of my marriage and start this battle, but somehow I feel I have landed up from some harassment to more harassment. Sir, the people who wanted to kill my daughters are sitting comfortably, while I am going from pillar to post trying to get justice for my daughters. I don’t know weather I `ll get it, or I’ll be killed someday, and then my struggle will end as a name in newspaper and nothing more.
Sir, I have sent you all my papers, including my story, sir, today I implore you to take a look, and do something to assure early justice. The delay is killing my hope for a justice as a lone woman who has to fight the system, it is very difficult.
Sir, what would you have done had this been one of your daughters instead of me? Things would definitely have been different, but as the Prime minister of the country you are our guardian. And a father figure to all of us.
Sir, please do some thing for your daughters who are not so lucky. Sir, this is not a complaint, I am too afraid to complain, I do need any action against anyone, but this is a prayer, a cry from a daughter to her father for help. It is very difficult for a common woman to access the laws made for her, and perhaps that’s why the woman who do get justice are just a handful and they make to the headlines of the news.
Sir, it is very difficult for a women to come out of her marriage and then fight the society, the in laws, and also the corruption in the system. The legal battles are so long, that they themselves are a deterrent for the woman who want to bring guilty to book. Sir, I am being threatened over phone, my emails are being hacked, I am being followed. And about all this I have complaint time and again , but nothing is happening.
Sir, my husband while beating me during my pregnancy used to say- “what can you do anyway? You are a Indian girl. You’ll go the police station, we’ll get a bail. Then what? Than you can not do us any harm, you’ll be harassed more than us” at that point of time I had trust in Indian legal system, but now I know what he used to say was right.
I am really sorry to say, that all claims of government that we are trying to save the girl child are a bogus. Sir, for past 3 months I am running from office to office, to complain about sex determination of my daughters. I have all the papers, and all the proofs required. But no action is being taken by anyone. The only action being taken is giving threats to me to withdraw the case.
Sir, it is almost 3 months since I first wrote to you, but I am sorry to say, even you have not taken the matter seriously. It is just claims that your government wants to save daughters. No case has been registered, and no progress is being made in the case. The guilty are moving free.
This is when an educated women is trying to raise the issue, what justice do you propose to give to a poor and illiterate woman. Sir, daughters are being killed day in and day out, and your government and government officials are just sleeping over the matter. Only the public money is going into everyone’s pockets.
The legal system inIndiagives the law breakers the confidence can no harm can come to them. It is the sufferers who continue to suffer. And sir, this sufferer could be anyone. Today it is me; tomorrow it will be someone else.
Thanking you in anticipation
(Dr Mitu Khurana nee Khosla)
7th November 2008.