Honour Killing

 

‘Honor crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce — even from an abusive husband — or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that “dishonors” her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.’

‘Honor killings are not new to the rural India especially in the regions of Hariyana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. But then such cases are not just restricted to the rural areas. They are also heard of in our capital and in the southern states like Kerela, Tamil Nadu etc. The Aarushi Talwar Case and the killing of Kuldeep and Monica are speculated to be such killings.

Our country has been very selective about the kind of development she has undergone. On an international level with the nuclear deal, 8% growth rate and the recognition India is enjoying to voice its opinion, it seems that ‘India is shining’. But dig deeper into the dark secrets of this developing nation and we still find rampant killings of young couples by their own family members to save their honor because of the incest committed by the couple. Their crime: living in the same village and getting married.

According to the ‘conservative’ khap panchayat, marriage between people of the same village is considered incest as they are siblings and hence these marriages are not valid. So the panchayat orders the murder of the couple and hangs their body in the village crossing as an example to other straying couples.

In India, with its patriarchal society, women are considered as property and the vessel of family’s honor. And any act which might blot the family’s prestige renders an absolute right to the male members to murder the girl, undo her wrongs and win back the honor.

Such crimes as well as such criminals have been breeding under the political blessings of the political parties mainly interested in the vote banks of these villages and the support of the khap panchayat. 

In order to find a solution for such killings, it is necessary to analyze it from the very core. The solution to this problem mainly lies in the eradication of myths in the minds of people. They need to be educated with the provisions given in the Hindu Marriage Act and what kinds of marriages are actually considered invalid. Khap Pachayats should at last be ripped out of all its power so that it is unable to wrongly influence the naïve people and to instigate them to commit such inhuman acts.

It is time India finally developed in the real sense. Building malls and increasing the standard of living of the common man is not really development. Cases on Honour killing show that more than half of the Indians still lead lives within the strong crutches of caste system and even today youths don’t have the power to make decisions regarding their own lives. To see that even today, people blindly commit such barbaric crimes and consider it as an act of sanctifying the impure shows that India has really not modernized.   Development has to be from the very base, the core. Or else it’s just a hollow wooden structure eaten on the inside by the termites that eventually comes crashing down.

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