Is a woman still a property or a burden in the male dominate society? Has she no voice? The good Lord said that a woman should be submissive to her husband, but does that mean she has no right? That too in the present world?
In a shocking incident in Andhra Pradesh, a debt-ridden man sold off his wife and children for Rs 5 lakh at Koilakuntla in Kurnool district.
According to sources, Venkatamma, 35, of Nandyal town was married to Pasupuleti Maddileti, 38, hailing from Koilakuntla. They were blessed with four girls and a boy. Over time, Maddileti became addicted to gambling and liquor.
Unable to cope with mounting debt, he devised a plan to sell off his eldest daughter, now aged 17, to a relative for Rs 1.5 lakh last year on condition that she should be married to his son’s relative after she reached marriage age. Maddileti spent the money within no time and again began looking for an easy way to get some more. His other daughters are now aged 10, 8 and 6, while the boy is aged 4.
This time he negotiated with his brother Busi and agreed to sell his wife, the three remaining daughters and son for Rs 5 lakh. The matter came to light when his brother Busi insisted on executing an agreement with his wife before the deal was finalised. When Maddileti approached his wife to sign on the dotted line, she refused. He subjected her to torture. Unable to live with him anymore, Venkatamma ran away to her parents’ house at Nandyal. Her parents took the matter to the Nandyal Taluka police station and lodged a complaint of harassment.
Sub-inspector Ramesh Babu told this newspaper that he has received a complaint but denied that it was related to a man selling his wife. Mr Ramesh Babu, however, said that in Budaga Jangalu community that Maddileti belongs, buying and selling of wives is a regular practice. He said the complaint was of harassment at the hands of the husband and adding that the police was looking into it.
An officer of the Integrated Child Development Services said though the practice of selling one’s wife was found in Budaga Jangalu community, what made this case unique was that the husband put his entire family on sale against their wishes. The ICDS officer said that they have rescued the two eldest girls and have sent them to a state home.