October 20, 1990 |
Monica Chadha, a 19-year-old student, looked up from her morning newspaper, which described a rash of protest suicides by Indian teen-agers, and announced that she was going to kill herself. Monica "told us she was going to burn herself to death--just like that," her elder sister Sonia recalled the other day. "I told her, 'Monica, come on, you're joking.' And she said, 'No, it's not a joke. I am very serious.
October 14, 1990 |
A schoolgirl set herself on fire and burned to death in the northern India city of Chandigarh in another violent protest against Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh's plan to reserve more government jobs for low-caste Hindus. The girl's death raised to nearly 100 the toll in protests that erupted after Singh's Aug. 7 announcement of a plan to dramatically increase the number of government jobs reserved for the lower castes.
September 30, 1990 |
India's Supreme Court agreed Saturday to hear an appeal to halt a plan that reserves nearly half the civil service posts for low-caste Hindus. The policy has led to a rash of protest clashes and suicides. A panel of five justices is expected to meet Monday on an application by the Supreme Court Bar Assn. for a temporary injunction on the program, announced Aug. 7 by Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh to counteract centuries of discrimination.
January 25, 1988 |
The Press Trust of India said Sunday that Bhupinder Singh, alleged by police to be an area commander of the Sikhs' separatist Khalistan Commando Force, bit a cyanide capsule and died just after he was arrested in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar.
November 23, 1987 |
Roop Kanwar, a young widow said to have committed sati (ritual suicide) on her husband's funeral pyre in September, was actually burned alive by her relatives, a court was told. The Press Trust of India news agency on Sunday reported on a preliminary hearing in Jaipur against 32 members of Kanwar's family and others who witnessed her death in Deorala village in northwest India. The sati was hailed by traditional Hindus as a holy and voluntary act.
October 10, 1987 |
On a hot and dusty day last month, 25-year-old Meera Bai was doused with kerosene and burned to death in a New Delhi suburb. On the same day, thousands of celebrating Hindus gathered in a small Rajasthan desert village to honor Roop Kanwar, 18, for climbing onto her late husband's cremation pyre to die in flames, rather than face life as a widow. The two events happened about 100 miles apart on a map. They were different in many respects.