India: "Lust and love" murders on the rise

Western influences are to blame for the rise of love-related misery in India: from divorce to murders

Published June 14, 2012 2:25AM (EDT)

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

In a country where many still believe love isn't a necessary reason to marry somebody, love sure stirs a lot of heated emotions.

Global Post

How else would you explain the conclusions from the latest crime statistics in the southern Indian province of Tamil Nadu?

The number of murders under the heading "lust and love affairs" hit 347 in 2011, an increase of 123 percent over the previous three years.

In the same period, the total number of murders increased by only 7 percent, The Times of India reports.

Local police say that love affairs gone wrong have been among the main motives for murder in cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy and Madurai.

The reasons behind the increase in passion crimes aren't clear.

More women in the workplace is one factor apparently leading to an increase in illicit affairs. Here's what Preethi Manohar, counsellor at Suryah Hospital in Vadapalani, told The Times of India:

Women are spending more time at work than at home. They are more opportunities for men and women to mingle, increasing the chances of illicit affairs developing. Many people are developing relationships at the workplace. Intrusion of western culture also plays a role. Live-in relationships have become very common. About 60% of the complaints I deal with are related to love affairs.

This, of course, isn’t the first backlash against love and the impact of Western culture on traditional Indian relationships.

With the effects of globalization, the number of love marriages has gone up and people’s expectations of relationships have changed.

This has resulted in — you guessed it — a sharp increase in divorce rates in India. Some say that’s enough of an argument against love. Other say it’s just growing pains and point to what the US. was like in the 1970s.

And, of course, there are plenty of those who blame the constantly diminishing "lack of morals and values in society" for this.

Take S Chandrabasu, retired superintendent of police (CB-CID), who was interviewed by The Times of India:

Even schools are not teaching moral science as a subject. They are focusing on computers. Students are learning all things apart from morals and values. The law should be made more stringent, so that it will act as a deterrent.

A law on love? Now, that’s interesting.

If there ever was a piece of legislation more utopian than prohibition, this would have to be it. Love, as many could confirm, is far more addictive than alcohol.

I guess India knows why it tries to keep people away from it in the first place.

By Iva Roze Skoch

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