This matter-of-fact news item, tucked away in a front page corner last week, was a prosaic epitaph to Seema Saini. No one christened her love's martyr, none proclaimed shock over the absurdity of her death. It was dubbed as "another suicide over love affair," yet one more casualty of caste hatred that kills those it cannot control. No one was arrested, no one interrogated. And not a single newspaper report talked about the frustration and pain that pushed young Seema into ending her life, a life that she would never be allowed to spend with the man she loved.
Sadly, just a week before Seema's death, her harried lover, Amit Goyal, had met Outlook's correspondent at the Muzaffarnagar SSP's office. Outlook had been in western UP to investigate the frightening fate of those who dare to love in our conservative, caste-ridden countryside. Routinely battered, bruised, excommunicated, and even 'sentenced' to death, young men and women are at the receiving end of communities that would rather kill than permit people untraditional choices in love.