The latest statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau has revealed a glaring trend in the State: sex and love were the most common reasons why people killed others.
In 2011, love and sex topped the list of motives behind murders in Tamil Nadu. The Crime in India - 2011 report attributes as many as 297 murders, out of a total of 1,877, in the State to amorous pursuits.
While at the national level, ‘personal vendetta’ was the top driving factor behind murders by a big margin, in Tamil Nadu, the motive stood second, being the reason behind 292 murders.
Incidentally, love affairs are also a major reason behind suicides in the state. This accounted for 3.1 per cent of the suicide cases. The report also noted that 56.5 per cent of kidnaps in the country were either to force people into marriage or to enter into illicit relationship.
Significantly, in the preceding year (2010), murders due to sex and love affairs were much lower at 237 and it was only a distant second - ‘personal vendetta’ accounted for 316 murders that year.
Psychiatrists attributed the trend to changing social norms. “For example, consuming alcohol now is no more an unacceptable thing in our society. Similarly, people are getting more and more impatient and the need for instant gratification is growing more.
The increasing alcoholism also helps people overcome social inhibitions and behave violently on the spur of the moment,” says city-based psychiatrist D Srinivasan.
“It is not as though the trend has changed within a year. It was happening over the years and the statistics are reflecting it only in the recent years,” says Srinivasan.
Significantly, in 2011, robberies had led to only 123 murders and property disputes were attributed to 145 murders.Dowry harassment had led to 1,339 murders in the country, but apparently accounted for just eight murders in Tamil Nadu.