In a village called Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, a woman was tied to a tree and beaten up mercilessly by her own husband as the crowd watched on and even took videos. The woman withered in pain while men recorded and later circulated the video, barely flinching at what they saw. She was unconscious by the end of this incident and the crowd seemed satisfied. Her crime? She was allegedly committing adultery. She had been ordered a beating by the village panchayat because of the suspected affair. But this isn't the first incident to have bought the brutality of a panchayat's decisions to light, degrading women in public seems to have become a norm.
The video will leave you flinching in pain:
A kangaroo court decided to make a public display of this woman's personal life, later releasing the video online. Thankfully, the husband and three other people involved in the incident have been arrested by the police after a complaint was filed against them. "We found out about the incident yesterday. We called the woman, spoke to her and registered a case. We have arrested the husband, the panchayat pradhan (village headman) and his son. We have filed a case against 20-25 unknown people," Pravin Ranjan Singh, a senior police officer, told a leading news publication.
Before I sat down to write this article, I decided to watch the video for myself and when I typed the details into the search bar 'woman beaten in UP', there were about 20 lac results and all of them recalled a similar case from across the country. Is this the modern day witch burning? Trialling women over 'alleged' affairs and moral values in public, makes it more difficult to form a foundation of respect for the gender in India. And the important question that I cannot seem to get out of my head is, what about the man she was allegedly having an affair with? Has he been forgiven by the virtue of being a man? Why does the woman always suffer?