By Nitum Jain:
The case of a Punjab Minister Bibi Jagir Kaur, who has finally been convicted for kidnapping and forceful abortion, has brought to the fore the perennial issues of foeticide and honour crime once again. A public figure like Kaur didn’t think twice before kidnapping her own daughter and forcefully aborting her unborn child, which later caused the daughter’s death, which raises the question that how many women across our country have similar stories to tell, but their voices echo back to them, ricocheting off deaf walls.
Kaur is a cabinet minister in the Punjab government and is a former head of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (from which she was forced to retire when she was accused of murder). She claimed that her daughter died on her way to the hospital due to severe case of food poisoning on 20th April 2000. Despite the suspicious circumstances of the death, the body was cremated before an autopsy could be done.
The real story is much different. Harpreet, before her abortion and subsequent death, was kidnapped and confined on her mother’s orders as Kaur disapproved of her marriage and was outraged at the news of the pregnancy. It was only after the husband filed a case against Kaur, that the mystery around Harpreet’s death was dispersed. The Punjab Minister has been sentenced five years of jail with a fine of Rs. 5000, her accomplices have also received similar punishment; all of them were though acquitted of the initial murder charges pressed by the husband.
A mother did this to her child and her child’s child. So you can imagine the kind of moral structure that she must have internalised to carry out such a horrific act against her own blood. THIS is the ideological state of a large fraction of our society. The ugly head raises itself time and again to show that despite all the education, all the awareness and all the ‘modernity’ that we claim to possess, among us still persist evils that transcend humanity.
Image courtesy: http://sikhsangat.org/1699/jagir-kaur-acquitted-of-daughters-murder/