Thursday, May 19, 2011

No Honor in Killing!!!

The recent murder of Shobhit Modi in Delhi has brought back a long series of shocking and shameful act of "honor killings" into limelight. At a time when we are talking about India being a superpower and praising ourselves for being the world’s largest secular democratic, the frequent stories of these honor killings depict an entirely different picture.
To start with, honor killing is defined as the killing of a person for marrying against their parents’ wishes, for having premarital or extramarital relationships, or for marrying within the same gotra or outside one’s own caste. What I don’t understand is where the "honor" part comes in from. What is the honor in killing someone of your own blood just because they defied the norms laid down by the society, on order to get married to someone they liked/loved? Is this the cost one is supposed to pay for following one's own heart?
Unfortunately, this practice of preserving the honor of the family by killing people is not bound only to the rural areas where the literacy rate is low or the caste system is very rigid. There have been many cases of such incidences in metro cities like Delhi also.
So what can be the reason behind such inhuman acts? The most obvious reasons that come to my mind are the caste system and the attitude of the people towards marriage. They still don’t accept that marriages can take place in the same gotra or different caste. They feel that “only a whore has the choice of choosing her own partner”. If a daughter disobeys her parents’ wishes for marriage, it would bring disrepute to the family honor and hence, they decide to declare the ultimate sentence, that is death, not just to the daughter but also to the guy she selected.
I came across the funny yet thought-provoking story of this guy who kept changing his girl every 3-4 months. One day, when one of his friends asked him the reason, he came up with the following justification:
“I found a very nice girl, took time to know her completely and then introduced her to my parents, asking them to get me married with her. They refused. The reason: she belonged to a different religion. I was helpless. I again went around, found another girl and introduced her to my parents. They refused this time too, saying that she belonged to a different community. I was helpless. Unwillingly, I went around with another girl for 3 months, but unfortunately my parents objected again. The reason this time: she belonged to a different caste. I was broken but did not lose hope and found another beautiful girl, who was perfect housewife material. Luckily, she belonged to our religion, community and caste too. But again, my parents disagreed with my choice, citing the reason that she is from our gotra and we don’t endorse such marriages because of the fear of honor killings.”
Now what can be done to prevent such things from happening? The first thing is to create awareness among the people and change their mentality. In most of the cases, the people from the families of the deceased also seem to support and even defend the act. (See the video, showing the response of one of the family members of a girl killed by her own brother for marrying a guy of her choice). They need to understand that a girl from their family marrying a guy of her choice does not bring any dishonor to their family.
The second thing to be done is to have stricter laws against such horrendous acts. The Supreme Court of India has stated that such acts come within the category of the rarest of the rare cases deserving death punishment. People need to understand that there is nothing honorable in honor killings, and they are nothing but barbaric and brutal murders by bigoted persons with feudal minds.
We cannot brand anything as wrong just by attaching the honor and pride angles to it. Such acts not only show the failure of law and order but also portray the real picture of the democratic and emerging India. Marrying someone of one's own choice does not bring dishonor to the family. Rather, being dishonest in one’s job, being corrupt, being untruthful and being unhelpful are the real causes of dishonor. Honor killing is contempt of an individual’s freedom. It is not honor killing by any means but it is certainly killing of one’s honor in a real and tragic sense.
Family defends honor killing..


4 comments:

manish said...

Nice. Won't be reviewing this 'till later, but looks like a decent start. I've been meaning to start a blog myself, but something always kept coming up. I guess I'll join you in the race about 2 months later.
- Manish Gill

AzzArun said...

Manish,
Thanks bro. Same problem with me. Thought of starting many times but couldn't. Thanks to the three months vacations and unemployment, I am here. Hope to see you soon. :)

Rose said...

One thing which leaves me speechless. Its impact is awful on young minds sometimes., specially when it happens in a city like Delhi, or in the so-called high-educated-sophisticated society. :(
Not much I have to write on this. :(

AzzArun said...

Rose,
I agree with you. And I am waiting for your post. :P :)