The menace of dowry deaths once again came to light when 24-year-old Ayurveda doctor Vismaya V Nair was found dead in the wee hours of last Monday. The initial assertion, that she took her own life, was challenged by her family, and while the matter is being investigated, what is sure as of now, is that there is a dowry element to the entire case. Her husband, S Kiran Kumar has already been taken into custody and the Kerala government is taking a personal interest in the case, with Ministers visiting the family, the recent one being the Governor of the state Arif Mohammad Khan. He ensured the family speedy justice during the visit.
Talking to the media after meeting the bereaved family, Governor Khan said that any daughter of Kerala is like a daughter to him. "For me, she (Vismaya) is like my daughter," he added pointing out that the gruesome treatment that the 24-year-old had been subjected to by her husband brought tears to his eyes. He then went on to say that it was like a lesson to the entire society that brings to the forefront the need for an 'organized movement against dowry.'
"I am ready to work as a volunteer and appeal to the organizations to start something in an organized manner to create awareness and I shall be fully associated with them," he said adding that if somebody demanded dowry, they should be told in very stern terms that this marriage or this relationship cannot go ahead. "The girls and their families must be mentally prepared to say no," he said.
Stating that Kerala is far ahead compared to many other states in terms of higher education, social welfare, and health standards, he said there would be a certain human weakness, evil howsoever good or better you become, and 'dowry is on evil'. While pointing out that the laws are quite strong, he outlined the need for social awareness, and for that, he sought the help of the a. "Media could play a greater role in it," he said.
It is pertinent to mention here that Chief Minister of the state Pinarayi Vijayan in view of the case had promised the women of the society that the government would stand by them and protect their rights. "We will strengthen the already existing support systems and introduce innovative measures to provide assistance," he said, moving on to give information about the Domestic Conflict Resolution Center in every district, which is working online to resolve complaints on atrocities against women. He added, "We have directed its the DGP to enhance its operations and resolve the complaints received without delay."
In the exclusive conversation with Republic Media Network on Friday, the bereaved family had narrated the entire story. They had pointed out that once Vismaya reached the marital age, they made her account on a matrimonial site where they found S Kiran Kumar, who through his profile looked like a 'decent, well-educated guy'. "We did not think of anything else, we thought she would be happy with him," her brother had said while pointing out that they gave everything that their financial capabilities allowed-starting from gold to 1.5 acres of land and a Toyota Yaris, the on-road price of which back then was over 12 lakh.
He, however, had said that in spite of all this, things turned ugly. "It's been a year- 365 days, and we get the news that she is no more," he had added, underlining that he feels guilty for not being able to do anything for his sister. Narrating the last few days with her, he had said, "She had started staying with us but she loved him so much that one fine day she left. She never even complained about the harassment she was facing there, and one fine day, I lost her, to dowry. It's all because of dowry'.
Vismaya was found dead in her house on Monday. She was allegedly tortured and harassed by her husband S Kiran Kumar, an assistant motor vehicles inspector, over dowry, as per her family. A day after she was found dead, the police arrested Kumar and charged him under section 304B of the Indian Penal Code (dowry death).