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Lavanya Bahuguna


Gujarat Woman Who Was Gang-raped Is Now Forced To Undergo ‘Purification Tests’.

  • JWB Post
  •  June 18, 2015


This is a story of a modern Sita. A woman who was gang raped for eight months in Gujarat is now pregnant as a result. After returning back to her home, she has been forced to undergo few “purification tests” by her community’s local courts in order to get back to her normal lifestyle.

This Surat woman is merely 23 yr old, married and has 2 sons. She was kidnapped last year in July and was repeatedly gang raped by more than five men for 8 months. Her petition for abortion was turned down by the Gujarat High Court because she is heavily pregnant.

Though her in-laws have refused to ‘accept’ her, her husband has left his parents to be with her along with their 2 sons. On the other hand, her own parents are worried about the effects this new baby will have on their family.

Her mother said during an interview with BBC: “I have two other children both unmarried. If she delivers the baby and keeps it then no one will marry them. My 14-year-old son will get cast out. The only way out is that she will have to undergo the ‘chokha thavani viddhi’ (purification ritual) and whatever the community decides will be final.”

This purification ritual is conducted by a tantric who practices black magic. In the ritual, the tantric asks the girl several questions and then checks if she is telling the truth by taking a pinch of barley seeds and asking her to ‘guess’ whether the number of seeds in his hand are even-numbered or odd.

This is shocking, isn’t it? How would that poor soul know if he is carrying even or odd number of seeds! What if she answers wrong? Will she and her baby be punished? One thing is for sure, they will be ostracized from the community.

If this isn’t traumatic enough, she is also expected to carry a 10-kg stone on her head until the tantric is satisfied that she is telling the truth.

Thankfully, her husband is determined to be by her side. He said: “I am going to be with her. I have two children and I can’t marry again.”

The absurdity of this situation is, this woman herself believes in this ritual. She said: “If I am wrong, the Goddess will tell them.”

This is nothing but lack of education. Women like her leave their fate in hands of others, and they are okay behaving like a puppet for the rest of their lives. I wonder, there must be other tribes in India who follow such shocking practices. Do you know any?

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