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Mitu’s Story: Tortured for having Twin Girls

October 2, 2010

Mitu’s story is significant in light of India’s systematic annihilation of millions of its daughters. Mitu first posted her story on 50 Million Missing’sdiscussion/support forum.  (For the discussion forum click here.)  She said:

The day after my engagement my sister in law sent me an SMS saying that she hates me. I  had hardly ever interacted with her. On the third day after my marriage, my mother in law told me that they never liked me, but they agreed to this match as a compromise. According to her the compromise was because of my husband`s increasing age. But now looking back, I wonder was it also because of his addiction to pornography, or other reasons which became clear to me after marriage.. During the period that followed our marriage, I was kept under total house arrest. After I came back from hospital (where I was working), I was not even allowed to go to the local market. My husband used to totally ignore me. In addition, whenever he used to talk to me, it used to be to shout at me for some or other reason.
In the meantime, my mother in law started demanding a Honda city car, a flat , and a permanent place in my father’s clinic for my husband. However, my father being a self-made man never agreed to this. My husband frequently asked me what has he got from marrying me Then they would have given much more to their daughter in dowry. When ever my husband used to abuse me , my mother in law would tell me that I should silently listen to all abuses because I was a woman, and in their house women don’t speak. She also never allowed me to sit with my husband saying that men are allowed to come to their wives only in the night. My husband was addicted to pornography and spent most of his time watching pornography on computer.

Within the first few months of her marriage when Mitu was pregnant with twins, her husband and his family colluded with the hospital to secretly determine the gender of the fetuses.  They were told she was expecting girls. Her husband and in-laws thereafter started pressurizing her to have an abortion.  While it is routine for pregnant women to undergo ultrasound, it is illegal for doctors and hospitals in India to reveal the sex of the fetus during these tests.  Despite this law, called the PC&PNDT (Pre-Conception & Pre-natal Diagnostic Test), it is estimated that in India more than a million potential daughters are selectively eliminated before birth each year, sometimes late in the pregnancy so the family can be sure that they are getting rid of a daughter and not a precious son!

Mitu’s case also challenges the assumption that it is poverty and lack of education that is driving this daughter-annihilation.   Like Mitu, her husband too is a medical doctor, from a well-do family, and various other members from his family are also doctors! In deed the largest gender ratio gap in India is among the educated, well-to-do, middle and upper classes. It is not that they cannot afford to raise girls, they just don’t want girls!

Mitu’s case is not unique. Thousands of young, married Indian women are tortured, tormented, and forced into aborting their daughters, often late in the pregnancy, at great risk to their own health and lives. Mitu however refused to submit.  Thereupon, her husband and mother-in-law subject her to various forms of abuse to induce an abortion.

When Mitu was 6 months pregnant, her husband pushed her down the stairs so she would miscarry.   She began bleeding and that fall caused her twins to be born prematurely.   Her mother-in-law was happy that the twins would die.  However,  they survived and Mitu went to live with her parents. Her inlaws and husband never even came to see the babies.  But Mitu wanted to believe that once their father held them, he would grow to love them, so when the babies were a few months old she moved back to her husband’s house.  He hardly showed any interest in his children, and seemed unmoved even when his mother kicked one of babies down the stairs at four months in an attempt to kill her, a fall that the baby survived only because she was strapped to her cradle.  At that point Mitu moved with her babies into her parents’ house.

For the last 4 years Mitu’s parents have been her rock.  They have whole-heartedly supported her in her fight for justice and have provided a loving, stable and safe home for their grand-daughters.  Their support has been critical in light of the fact that women in Mitu’s situation in India, often don’t find much support or sympathy from society and even their own parents.  On the contrary, they face tremendous rejection from family and society, and there is much pressure on them to return to the husband’s house and learn to live with it. Even the doctors, and officials Mitu met from police and government offices, as she tried to file a PNDT case, advised her to stop kicking up a fuss, make amends with her husband and in-laws, and try to give them a son.  Mitu also expressed to our campaign administrators her desire to forgive her husband, and take her daughters back to her husband and in-laws house, but we strongly advised her against it.

Mitu has been lucky that unlike other Indian parents, hers were very supportive of her.  It is what has kept Mitu going.  It also gave her the strength to fight on, to file her PNDT case, and where other women in her situation have been rebuffed and silenced by a overwhelmingly corrupt and bureaucratic system, Mitu became the first woman in India to file a case under the PNDT law – a feat that was recorded in the Limca book of Records.

Then we heard from Mitu that her husband has applied for visitation rights for their twins.  We could not understand this.  Why would a man who didn’t want these daughters,  who tried to compel their mother to abort them, attempted to induce their abortion by inflicting abuse and pushing Mitu down the stairs,  who stood by indifferently when his mother tried to murder one of his babies by kicking her down the stairs, who showed no attachment towards his children as they grew up in their maternal grandparents’ house, and has provided no support for them, financially or otherwise, suddenly decide he wants visitation rights?  And why would the judge compel Mitu to bring her little girls to court for every hearing, even if it means taking them out of school?

Mitu explained that this was a pressure tactic to compel her to withdraw her PNDT case.    The campaign at that juncture, wanted an independent body to examine the case and the proceedings.  We could not understand how the courts would consider giving the custody of the children to the father or compel Mitu to go and stay in her husband’s house.  However, Mitu was uncomfortable about outside intervention in a case that she already felt she had no control over. 

We currently are not engaged with Mitu’s case.   We hear that it is still ongoing.  We just hope that whatever the outcome of the case, Mitu’s two girls are not pushed back into a horribly abusive, violent environment where they were unloved and undesired.  We believe that every child, girl or boy, must grow up in a home environment where they are deeply loved, desired and nurtured to grow into their full potential as strong and beautiful individuals.

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35 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2010 11:31 pm

    Good day!This was a really marvelous post!
    I come from itlay, I was fortunate to approach your website in google
    Also I obtain much in your topic really thank your very much i will come daily

    • Aldo Carobene permalink
      October 6, 2010 6:48 am

      Two new studies appearing in the journal Human Reproduction seem to provide further evidence that environmental factors are adversely affecting men’s reproductive health. The studies suggest that environmental pollutants could be changing the ratio of sperm carrying the X or Y (sex determining) chromosomes and that they could be contributing towards male reproductive disorders.

      Male sperm determined the sex, it is not the burden of the women who caries the fetuses.

    • October 6, 2010 11:52 am

      @Aldo — Well most people in educated middle-class India definitely know that the chromosome that determines the gender of the fetus is contributed by the male. And certainly a family of doctors — like the one Mitu married into knows that! But assume for an instance that women were biologically responsible. There are recent studies on how the levels of potassium or magnesium in the woman’s body at the time of conception can affect what she conceives (ie. which sperm is more successful in getting to the egg). So some wise guy can turn this argument on its head. The man is contributing both Xs and Ys — and it is the woman who is selecting the X over the Y! Well — why does it matter who is responsible the father or the mother for which sperm gets to the egg? Why should the conception and birth of a girl ever be an issue? It is only when something horrible happens that we try to pin the blame on one or the other. Which is why it is very important we move away from this argument.

  2. Gebelik Testi permalink
    October 5, 2010 3:28 pm

    Yes, I really find this idea of this blog on gendercide successful. Thank you very much.

  3. christian louboutin permalink
    October 27, 2010 5:46 am

    It is so much useful imformation for us to read that we not get in newspapers here in western country.

  4. tagesgeld permalink
    October 30, 2010 7:04 pm

    Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful .. Amazing ? I usually don?t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful ?

  5. Vestellen permalink
    November 1, 2010 6:28 pm

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

  6. pc spiele permalink
    November 2, 2010 10:16 am

    You made some good points there. Most people will agree with
    your blog on this issue with infant girls.

  7. fahrrad stadler permalink
    November 3, 2010 11:26 am

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.
    Keep working ,great job!

  8. Giochi permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:30 pm

    I think it’s a shocking story.

  9. Willene Tope permalink
    November 5, 2010 5:41 am

    Any time i check your website i read a unique perspective on the issue of women and girls. Good job with your campaign.

  10. mckenzie fahrrad permalink
    November 6, 2010 7:53 am

    Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful .. Amazing ? I usually don?t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful ?

  11. solice permalink
    November 6, 2010 11:31 pm

    Such interesting work and reporting on a subject very important to the world! Keep up the great work guys

  12. Gabriele Schrecongost permalink
    November 9, 2010 1:53 am

    Useful post can i have your permision to mention this on my site? Thanks

  13. Matt Rogers permalink
    November 9, 2010 4:20 am

    Thanks for the post. I thought it was good.

  14. g15 key permalink
    November 9, 2010 5:01 am

    Hello!I am following your posts for quite a few days now. Thanks for the interesting inputs .

  15. Dortha Vigo permalink
    November 9, 2010 1:13 pm

    Useful post do you mind if i summerize this on my site? Thanks

  16. Lora permalink
    November 9, 2010 6:30 pm

    What a horrible story!!

  17. bachat permalink
    November 9, 2010 9:27 pm

    many friend can’t understand why i read so much blogs, i will show them this and they will finally know what i’m talking about.

  18. Katherine permalink
    November 10, 2010 12:44 am

    The good thing of the internet is that i can find unrelated to my interests posts but at the same time interesting.

  19. Enriqueta Haubold permalink
    November 11, 2010 1:36 pm

    You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material.

  20. November 11, 2010 2:03 pm

    Thanks for this good read. I actually liked it and I’ve bookmarked you to check out the contemporary stuff you post.

  21. Rufina Breznak permalink
    November 11, 2010 2:31 pm

    Thank you for your perfect site.

  22. Courtney Wisz permalink
    November 11, 2010 2:45 pm

    This is the best blog, i’ve ever seen, bookmarked

  23. November 11, 2010 6:44 pm

    Very detailed post can i translate into Italian for my blogs readers? Thanks

    • November 12, 2010 5:20 am

      We would be very happy to have you set up an Italian version of our blog, and be its coordinator. If you could please make sure you put in the petition — it is the most important reason for this blog. And send us a link at 50millionmissing@gmail.com and we will circulate it. thanks much!

  24. Aaron Culpit permalink
    March 1, 2011 2:20 pm

    I wish more people would write blogs like this that are really fun to read. With all the fluff floating around on the net, it is rare to read a blog like this instead.

  25. September 7, 2011 11:44 pm

    Wow. Thank you for enlightening us…. this is a tragic practice and my heart goes out to the mothers suffering from situations like this. Thank you for sharing this story.

  26. Jodi-Ann Richards permalink
    August 18, 2013 11:46 am

    Mitu is an inspiration for saving her daughters.

  27. sahitha permalink
    December 10, 2013 8:03 pm

    If these are the kind of doctors produced in this country, God save the women in India!

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  1. 5 Important #Advices for Women Being Blackmailed for #Dowry | THE 50 MILLION MISSING CAMPAIGN BLOG ON INDIA'S FEMALE GENDERCIDE

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