This is really sad news, but it is something that needs to be written about in the hopes that it may help someone else. Priya Vedi, was a 31-year old woman who was a doctor at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), who committed suicide after 5 years of marriage, alleging that it was due to torture by a closeted gay man whom she married named Kamal Vedi. When they married, she was unaware of his sexual orientation. However, she had then discovered a secret e-mail address through which he would communicate with other men prior to their marriage. After she discovered he was actually gay, he began to torture her emotionally. She wrote about all the details of their marriage in a 4-page suicide note she posted on her Facebook Page. The note has subsequently been taken down and her Facebook page has been changed to a tribute page to her. On her page, she had written, “In spite of knowing this [that he was gay] I decided to help him to b as a wife with him. But he tortured me a lot mentally… You are not a human being you are a devil, who take away my life from me.”
She also wrote in the post that she they had never consummated their marriage and that she was a wife only in name – i.e. “just a wife tag” she wrote. Priya alleges that he mentally tortured her once she discovered he was actually gay. She cited the failed marriage, the hiding of his sexual orientation, and his torturing her emotionally as the reason for her decision to commit suicide. She said she had come to terms with his orientation and had “accepted it” but his torturing her was too much for her to live with.
According to reports Kamal has been arrested and charged with abetting his wife’s suicide. Where a woman dies under strange circumstances within 7 years of marriage, the death is governed by a section of Indian law that originally governed dowry-related deaths. This is significant, because it means that since she died within the 7-year period, Priya’s husband can then be arrested and the death is to be inquired into by a magistrate. However, there must be proof of emotional cruelty.
Her death has brought to the forefront India’s stance on Homosexuality. Under Section 377 of India’s Penal Code, it is illegal to be a homosexual. The Section states, “377. Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
So, although many wonder why she chose to commit suicide and blame her husband, others blame the restrictions of society as the truly culprit. After all, if homosexuality was legal, perhaps one wouldn’t marry to simply conform to a standard forced on them by society. In the above case, however, an inquiry remains to be made as to how and to what extent Kamal tortured her emotionally. Nevertheless, society is to be blamed as well.