On September 15, Evana Laila Choudhury was found dead. Evana, mother of two beautiful children, is believed to have committed suicide. It has been assumed that her lawyer husband's extra-marital affairs might be the reason behind her suicide.
It was just five days after the World Suicide Prevention Day 2021 was celebrated on the theme of 'creating hope through action'. Well, Evana's life, nevertheless, ended in hopeless tragedy.
However, her death has left some questions for our conscience. The word 'conscience' is a powerful word that led to the establishment of the chancery court in Great Britain in 1792.
Evana, an urban girl, received her degree in law but she quit law before joining the bar training course. Did she ever dream about the dress she was going to wear for a bar dinner? I wish I could ask her.
But I rather ask myself: Is an educated lady in our society secure enough to live independently with children? Or, how will the marionette society respond to it? When will divorce stop bringing prejudices and uncertainties to women in our socio-economic position? Is having a special child considered as a frustrating event and if it requires special care or attention or love, is it the mother who has to do it all by herself? How can an amazing wife be converted to one occasionally used jewelry? Was a divorce intended to substitute a new jewel?
Evana was a girl who didn't speak much but had enormous sensibility. We have seen the common version of them in our life. They put every effort into making a relationship work. Before marriage they follow family rules and etiquettes and sometimes they abandon their dreams to value their parents' choice. Then, after marriage, they devote their precious time, endless love and do not hesitate to sacrifice themselves academically. Afterwards, with the extension of family, they are placed in the position to take utmost care of everybody and everything. However, they barely receive the care or attention they deserve.
Although the duties they are attached to are undoubtedly meaningful. But this dramatic family life may turn into a 'never ending drama serial' if the husband or the family members are not supportive enough.
Maybe, disagreeing with parents' decisions to get married to a stranger would not harm. Allowing them to pursue their dreams and being independent first would be wiser.
Even without a degree-holder husband, Evana could shine on her own as she had a prestigious job.
Evana must have known that when the husband is attracted to a different woman, the wife is not the one who is lacking in anything, but he is the one who is lacking in loyalty. In truth, Evana wanted to save the marriage for her children, but in the end, she left them behind. Now who will look at their twinkling eyes the way their mother did? Who will warm them up in the coming winters?
According to sources, with the growth of her youngest child, she was becoming more patient. Subsequently, she was even enquiring about the post-divorce procedures regarding maintenance and the rest. So, she was aware of the rights she is entitled to.
But she just could not be the reason for worries for her parents. It could be that she was tired of performing her role as a successful wife who is deemed to be the unsuccessful one on the occurrence of divorce. In such moments of crisis, our ladies then come across the inevitable questions of survival: Where should I go? What should I do?
We cannot deny that even though our society sets up a pattern of normal life, it is not essential to fit into that pattern. Ample examples and exceptions are set by girls who have fought against all odds.
For instance, respected Rumana Monzur. Even robbing her of her eyesight by her husband could not make her life dark or incomplete. We also have examples of some ladies from the entertainment world who were set for media trials by the public following divorce. But they did not even try to justify their actions and achieved more victories after divorce. So, life never takes a downtrend following a divorce.
It has been a month since Evana's death, the discussions are on the course to evanesce.
However, we cannot let the status quo of treating divorce as 'defeat or defamation' to exist. We have to ensure that frowning upon the women for divorce is gone. Instead of giving them a squint look, the community should treat the ladies as human beings, not charming fishes inside a transparent jar.
Evana's father has filed a case against her husband and a practicing doctor for abetting her to commit suicide. Therefore, law will take its due course.
But the questions Evana left to the insensible society should be answered and emotional intricacies within the families should be dealt with consciousness. No feud can be bigger than life itself. We cannot afford to lose any more Evanas.
Amena Siddika is an advocate and a human rights activist.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.