“He Pushed My Mother By Holding Her Hair And Thrashed Her”— This Is When I Lost It

Anonymous Anonymous in Your Story on 19 March, 2017

My name is Aarti Thapar and this is the experience of my marriage. The country is celebrating its 68 years of independence but sadly women like me, educated and financially independent — are not independent to make choices in our own lives. In the year and a half that I was with my husband, I was forced to abandon every choice I made regarding my own life and live a life ruled by their choices for which I paid a heavy price. This is regarding injustice meted out to my family (my parents, my daughter and I) in the hands of my husband and In-laws. We have been tortured — physically, mentally, emotionally and exploited economically for dowry by them in the period I have been married to my husband.

Things took a turn for the worse when my daughter was born, as my husband and his parents expected a male child and were not prepared to accept my daughter.

I got married to my husband who is resident of Chandigarh, on the 10th of November 2013. Despite belonging to a middle class family, my parents conducted a high profile wedding. The match was arranged by both our families. Post the agreement between our families, we knew each other and were in a relationship with an understanding of marriage for 8 months. Regarding our background; I am an MBA from one of the renowned colleges of India and working with an MNC in Panchkula. My husband is also an MBA and runs his own coaching centre jointly with his sister.

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Immediately after my marriage, my husband and In-laws started pressurising me for dowry. I was forced to spend my salary entirely on all household expenses with no economical support from my husband who also earns well enough and should rightfully have pitched in. We lived close to my In-laws home and they visited us very frequently, interfering in the goings of the household and instigating my husband in the smallest of matters. The amount of work that they expected me to do in my household was burdensome and unfair as I was managing a full time job along with it and none of them pitched in to help.

My sister-in-law and her husband often complained about the gifts given to them and their son by my parents during marriage and after marriage on different occasions. My husband was abusive throughout the marriage, frequently saying the choicest of things about my parents and relatives. This in itself was very distressing. He was also very suspicious and controlling and often checked my phone to see how many times I talked to my parents. He strictly instructed me to stop visiting my parents often. I told my in-laws about this but my mother-in-law told me that her son-in-law and husband also used to behave in the same manner so I should not complain.

In May 2014 I found out I was pregnant. Being in a delicate state of health early in my pregnancy, I wished to hire the services of a driver as I am in a sales job that involves extensive travel (about 100 km per day). But I was not allowed to hire one as at that stage my husband controlled the finances and therefore I was incapacitated by the same. This led to sleep deprivation and extreme fatigue. The burden of household chores didn’t lessen during the period. There have been numerous instances when my in-laws said really hurtful things about me being unfit to be married to my husband and were on a constant fault finding tirade. I tried in all earnestness to improve things by constantly apologising for all my imaginary faults.

My husband takes the cake as far as saying the worst things during this period goes. He threatened me saying he will conduct DNA test to confirm the paternity of the child if he found the child’s appearance “not matching him”.
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It was the worst torment that I thought I could bear and brought it up with his parents to intervene and speak sense. On the contrary, they defended him and put me off rudely. In fact I was told that my husband is better than my father-in-law and my sister-in-law’s husband as they behave even worse. In fact my mother-in-law started taunting me by saying that I am not a good wife as I complained to her about her son’s abusive behavior. On the other hand, my sister-in-law mentioned that the things would have been better if my parents would have fulfilled their expectations which were raised after engagement. But as my parents couldn’t stand up to their expectations, hence I have to undergo such treatment.

Some other instances of his harrowing behavior are listed below:

– Upon asking my husband if I could go ahead and attend my first cousin’s wedding in July 2014, I was physically assaulted and told to abort my child and leave the house.

– He turned the car from outside the mall as I was not carrying a dupatta. I felt quite strange as duppatta was not required with the kurta I was wearing but I couldn’t say a word, I’d rather just listen to his abusive remarks.

– My MIL went to Dubai for a holiday where she stayed at her cousin’s house and I was forced to gift a Nautica perfume to her cousin whom I have never met but I was not allowed to celebrate my first bhaidooj with my cousins as my MIL said No to it. My husband forcefully took back the gifts that I bought for them from my salary and gave it to my SIL, who was aware about everything but accepted all the gifts.

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– On Diwali last year, I woke up at 4 a.m when my husband started abusing me for the gifts given to their family by my parents during karvachauth. He mentioned that his sister and brother in law complained about the gifts while my MIL and FIL complained that no ornaments were given to them despite them clearly asking for them.

– We were going to my in-law’s house on Diwali. My husband turned the car back to Chandigarh from Kharar which is around 20 kms from Chandigarh and forced me to clean toilet seat after which we went to his parent’s house.

– I was forced to spend a lion’s share of my earnings on unreasonable gifts for my in-laws in the name of festivals and was forbidden from doing the same for my extended family. This was carried on to the extent that I was given lists of exorbitant ornaments that my MIL demanded (I have a copy of one such list as proof of dowry harassment)

– I was expected to clean the house to their unreasonable standards of cleanliness failing which my husband became horribly abusive and I still tried to mend ways. I did all they asked and offered to quit my job to if he was particular about me doing the household tasks but was refused, as I was a source of steady income for the family.

– During my baby shower my mother in-law again asked for expensive gifts from my parents, however, they were deliberately not invited for the occasion.

– I was beaten up again in December when my husband asked for a sum of Rs. 10 lacs and not having the means I gave him Rs. 2 lac via cheque. On 2nd Jan 2015 I went to my in-laws’ place where he and his mother once again demanded for 8 lacs and upon my refusal I was beaten up.

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– On 3rd Jan my parents were supposed to take me to Ludhiana for delivery so he turned polite with me. Next day I came to Ludhiana with my parents and on 4th Jan he again started fighting with me over text. I was admitted to DMC hospital on 28th January 2015 for delivery and my in-laws were intimated about it as the doctor observed that the heartbeat of the child was irregular. My in-laws and husband came but returned without meeting me. They were absent during the childbirth and were duly informed thereafter. That was the first time they came and expressed displeasure over the birth of a girl. I tried to reason with my husband with no avail.

Finally he came to talk to me on March 11, 2015 and apologized for his behavior. He asked my father for help of Rs. 2 Lac which he gave to my husband. Thereafter he told me that he will not be able to come to take me home as he has met with an accident. I went along with my parents and child to see him. My parents left our house so that we could talk. But he again started misbehaving with me. Hence, I called up my parents and came back to Ludhiana. I again messaged him to try to end our differences to which he called up one week later and told me that he will let me know when he would meet me. However after waiting for several days I went to my matrimonial house on 19th April 2015. The door was open as the maid was working. I went to the bedroom where my husband was watching TV. He asked me to get out and enquired who has come along with me. He asked his maid to leave the house and locked the door.

My parents were waiting in the dining area, he went to them and started abusing them and me and asked them to get out. I sensed things getting out of hand and got in touch with women and child welfare, Chandigarh informing them that my husband wasn’t allowing us in the house. While I was talking to them he started calling up and telling his family that I have called up the police and tried to snatch my phone. When I tried to stop him, he bit me on my arm. He threatened my parents to stay away from me.

He then slapped my mother twice and pushed my father. When I came to rescue my father he pushed me, while my mother started beating the door as she couldn’t open it. After all he pushed my mother by holding her hair and thrashed her. He held her by her hair and dragged her from door to dining area. I went outside and opened the door and shouted for help.

I went to see my child who was crying. He tore his shirt and told everyone who had started to arrive falsely that we have beaten him. He called his sister’s family that arrived. He threatened my parents and me with the name of IPS SK Asthana. My sister in-law’s mother in law admitted that we have been beaten up but had the audacity to tell me that being a girl I have to put up with a lot if I want to settle in my husband’s family. Police came but he used the names of supposed connections with influential people viz. IPS SK Asthana and MLA Amreek Singh Dhillon so they did not take any action. Then two ladies from Women and child welfare arrived. They assured my parents that they would handle the situation and advised me to stay. Heeding to their advice, my parents left the house.

At night I was threatened by my husband. Next day it came to my knowledge that my mother has suffered multiple injuries and my father was in a state of shock so I informed the women and child welfare when they called the next day and I came back to Ludhiana. Here I have filed a case against my in-laws on 8th May 2015. I wrote a mail to DCM of Punjab after which he assured me justice. However, some police officials are completely supporting my husband and my in-laws and ignoring all the evidence that we have given them. I also have many messages exchanged between my husband and me clearly showing how he mentally tortured me.

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Today, my daughter and I live disowned by my husband. My daughter does not know her own father. This, I can say, is the best thing that happened to her, as I do not want such a man with such scant respect for women to father my daughter.

What I need though is justice and the people responsible for our plight paying for their misdeeds. Today is an important day. It is the day when our country got freedom. On this day, I would request you all not to tolerate any violence and tell the world that if a woman has patience to tolerate the violence, she even has the strength to fight against it. If anyone among you or anyone whom you know is undergoing such violent treatment please come forward and raise your voice.

DO NOT TOLERATE

 This post first appeared on Aarti Thapar's facebook status