H for Honor Killing
If you thought honor killings happen only in India, you are not right. If you think, only women are victims, then also you are not right.
I was in double minds when I was picking the topic for letter H. While I wanted to go with something positive like Handling Emotions, my heart kept going back to Honor Killings every time I thought of emotions. And then, the thought struck me. Honor Killings happen when some people cannot handle their emotions and just so you know, this is not new. This practice of killing ones own kith and kin has been there for ages and the families who do this, take this as a matter of pride.
Loving and marrying outside of clan, caste or religion is considered bringing dishonor to the family and the outcome is death. In a case as recent as of yesterday, gruesome murder of a couple was reported and the preliminary investigation smells of honor killing. Brothers don’t spare brothers and fathers don’t spare daughters. It gets harder for women for once the “love affair” is exposed none from the clan would come forward to marry and it brings shame so families do not hesitate to take such bizarre steps. Then education is blamed and it is concluded that had the woman not studied in college, she would not have taken such a step. What these so-called justice givers fail to understand is that it is cos of “their” lack of education that they cannot accept the choice of their adult children. In a country where you have the voting rights and driving license at 18, why can’t she choose a partner for her own self?
Sometimes, I wonder what is honor? Isn’t it relative or isn’t it just a subjective notion of one’s beliefs? In cases not as extreme as of killing, I have heard of parents calling up the girl or the boy trying to help understand how love in marriage is of no importance. What matters is that the families are of the same stature and agree. I have witnessed parents feeling ashamed of their daughter’s choice of partner. I have seen parents threatening to commit suicide if children choose to marry outside of community. What is this shame and what is honor?
While researching for this post, I realized that murder is of course a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code but Honor Killing isn’t. I do agree that perpetrators can be charged with other offences but I think we should have some strict laws around killings of this order. I am no legal expert so I would love to hear for some legal advice. But I feel that people with motives like these need to brought out in the open and charged with the offense. May be this will deter others who want to follow suit.
When a husband abuses his wife, when a son rapes a woman or a child, when someone attacks another human being with acid, or when one kills a girl who wasn’t even born, that’s when I think it brings shames to the family and not marrying someone you love.
Honor Killings could be for other reasons as well like saying no to an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is not accepted by family, having sex outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing inappropriately, or engaging in homosexual relations. For the purpose of this post, I have written only about the cases people are killed when they marry someone out of caste, clan or religion.
I am blogging from A to Z during April (#458 on the list) and the theme I have chosen is set on women. Some of the posts will be here for you to know and some will be to reflect and accept. Share your thoughts and let me know how things are going. There is always a room for improvement.