Man kills first wife

This December 3 report in The New Indian Express (“Man kills first wife, burns body in forest“) bothers me on so many levels but what irks me the most is the unquestioning regurgitation of a narrative as provided by the police. A man kills his first wife “suspecting her fidelity”. He suspected she had been unfaithful when he returned from Singapore two years ago. Since then, they have fought, she left him, three months ago he married someone else. The victim, who I think was treated poorly by her husband, who has three children by him to raise, returns at this point and asks the elders to intervene on her behalf. The report says she was, “allegedly afraid of losing her claim over Chinnathambi’s property.” Does this not make her sound like a greedy minx? In this trying situation, her husband, generously “allowed her to live in a thatched hut nearby.” How kind of him to allow this greedy, happiness-ruining, suspicion-deserving mother-of-his-three-children to live in a hut nearby. Then they allegedly quarreled again and she went missing. She had evidently been strangled and her body burnt. This woman was obviously the victim, seeing as how she ended up dead. There may have been more to the couple’s relationship. She could have been awful. She  could have been Mother Teresa reborn. But what is the impression of this murdered woman that we take away from the way in which this story has been reported? Are the words in this article not the result of several prejudices trickling all the way down to the reporter and therefore the report itself?

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