A marble miner in western India beheaded his 20-year-old daughter with a sword and carried her head through their village before surrendering to police and being arrested. Ogad Singh’s daughter, Manju, had been living with her parents in the Rajasthani village of Dungarji after leaving her husband two years ago. She had reportedly been having affairs with other men and arranged to elope with one of them two weeks ago.
On Sunday, Singh requested that his daughter return home and, when they were alone on Monday, beheaded her. Police Superintendent Umesh Ojha said he had been upset at what the Indian Express refers to as her “illicit relations” with other men.
As an Associated Press story in the New York Daily News observes, “rapidly modernizing India faces increasing social clashes as youths resist traditions like arranged marriage or limits on women venturing outside their parents’ or husbands’ homes.” These clashes are likely to continue as economic development continues apace in India, the world’s largest democracy.
The same Indian Express story that described Manju’s killing also describes an incident in which “an alcoholic man repeatedly banged his two-year-old daughter against the ground following heated arguments with his wife on Friday night.” The man buried the child but authorities have exhumed the body to investigate.
A recent survey ranked India as the worst place for women in the countries with the world’s largest economies. Infanticide, child marriage and slavery all still exist; girls can be sold into marriage at the age of 10 and burned alive over disputes about their dowries — economic development is clearly not the only answer to creating a better world for women to live in.
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