Elaine's Reviews > Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
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Dec 08, 13

Read in June, 2011

For most of the book I thought I would give it a three but it has been a long time since I cried at the end of the book.

The following are facts from the book, not a review!

The struggle for women's rights in India: infanticide of baby girls, dowry deaths, bride burning, sex selective abortions.

Bride-burning is a form of domestic violence practiced in India .It is not the same as ancient and long abolished (formally abolished in 1829) custom of Sati, where widowed women were forcefully placed on a burning pyre of the dead husband (usually a man in his old age) and burnt to death.

This has been treated as culpable homicide and if proven, is punishable accordingly (mostly up to death sentence or life imprisonment) According to Indian National Crime Record Bureau, there were 1,948 convictions and 3,876 acquittals in dowry death cases in 2008.Accounts for around 600-750 deaths per year in India alone. In 1995 Time Magazine reported that dowry deaths in India increased from around 400 a year in the early 1980s to around 5,800 a year by the middle of the 1990s. A year later CNN ran a story saying that every year police receive more than 2,500 reports of bride burning.

Dowry deaths are the deaths of young women who are murdered or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and torture by husbands and in-laws in an effort to extort an increased dowry. Dowry deaths are reported in various South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Dowry death is considered one of the many categories of violence against women in South Asia. According to Indian National Crime Record Bureau, there were 1948 convictions and 3876 acquittals in dowry death cases in year 2008.

Most dowry deaths occur when the young woman, unable to bear the harassment and torture, commits suicide. Most of these suicides are by hanging, poisoning or by fire. Sometimes the woman is killed by setting her on fire; this is known as "bride burning", and sometimes disguised as suicide or accident.

Mother India does not love all her children equally. Girls are killed or put in orphanages. Males now pay to bring a bride from Bangladesh.

How much wrongness can you tolerate?

Partition-1947. Acompanied the independence from the British empire.division of the country into India and Pakistan, Hindu and Muslim. Families forced to move.

Ganish-- remover of obstacles. Place at the door of a home as a welcome.


India-A five star pile of contradictions!

Indian widows wear white to their husband's funeral and it is a tradition to wear white for the rest of their lives.

To lose a mother is to become "unmoored"

Diwali-commemoration of the battle of Lord Rama. A celebration of the triumph of good over evi. Festival of Lights.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Maloney This is not really a review.


Elaine Jennifer wrote: "This is not really a review."

I know. There are many reviews. I just posted some facts relating to the book that I thought were interesting.


message 3: by Nadia (new)

Nadia Thanks for the interesting, sad, angering info. Makes me want to read this.


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