Pains and Stains

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By Saba Rizvi, Edited By Adam Rizvi, The India observer, TIO, NJ: The recent case of Shraddha Walker and Aftab Poonawala  has shocked the entire country for the macabre manner in which the crime was committed.

The Indian media is anything but sensitive when it comes to portrayal of crime against women but it’s not that it takes up every case of  violence, domestic abuse and rape unless and until there is no scope for creating it a religious tension.

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Its sad that it has become common in India where there is a normalisation of structural violence and instead of focusing in the right direction, we go  around taking up different tangent  which can create “masala” for the people.

What makes Aftab’s case more terrifying is his cruel and ghastly actions on a woman’s body but the sad part is that there is a huge backlash happening against the murderer, with regard to his religion and profession and  fails to address the gender based violence happening in India.

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The people and media are still analysing the victims  morality choices, lifestyle, his profession parenting  and his religion.

Sample the tickers:”fridge main ladki, baghal main lash, mohabbat to murder, tukde tukde love story, aashiq nhi jallad, mission love jehad”.These title of section of news channel shredded every rule of ethical journalism and created fear amongst people and evoked hatred towards people of a community.Is that what is needed at this moment ?

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It leads to atmosphere of doubt ,fear and distrust. It also leads to normalisation of criminal pathologies and copy attacks.The potential impact on the impressionable minds of children is also enormous.

I am also worried to see Muslim community under seige and they are compelled to come out to issue their condemnation and clarification but we should not, as he is not ‘Us’.

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Instead of looking it through the glasses of communal  mind, it’s better to deal with issues of domestic violence and ways and means to handle it so that it’s not repeated.

All those who are terming it as “Love Jihad” were the irresponsible  ones who did see the red flags and the toxicity  of that abusive relationship and be his friends or his parents they were all knowing that she was not in the safe hands but they didn’t do anything to help her come of it nor gave that support system at that vulnerable  moment.

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Her family didn’t keep in touch with her as she took her decision of life. They were informed by her friend that she was missing and now they are claiming it to be a matter of “love jihad”.

She herself did see that he was abusive but still continued. He was a psychopath who did this barbarian act and disease have no religion.


The tragedy should have led to a renewed examination of ways to strengthen women’s agency and confront endemic sexual violence instead of targeting a whole community in the name of love jehad .There was no love between them nor there was a so called Jihad.

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Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai

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