By Sindhu Nathan: Honour killing is the murder of a family member or social group by other members, due to the belief that the victim has brought dishonour to the family or community. The perceived dishonour to the clan is believed to be caused by unacceptable dress codes, marriage of their choice, marriage within same gotra or inter-caste marriage and engaging in sexual acts.
This heinous crime has gained more momentum in the recent past. Such incidents have been making news headlines across the country. Story of a prince and princess, who loved, married and lived happily, has been a part of everyone’s childhood. But in real life after marriage they do not live happily, but are found as corpses, if they show the audacity of going against the pride and reputation of the family and community. They are punished because they forget that marriage is not for their happiness but one in which community’s happiness is taken care of.
Love your parents, siblings, relatives, friends and everybody is what we are being taught as children, but least does the victims know that what they had been taught since childhood will turn out to be their cause of death. It is a sheer shame that we talk about love, harmony and unity on one side and ruthlessly stamp them under our feet in the name of reputation and honour.
This is the harsh reality of Indian society. Sociologists believe that these killings continue because of continued rigid caste system. The pseudo-caste status which brings along other benefits for the family and clan pushes them to this crime. Another important lingering point is the mentality of people which has not changed and accepting marriages in same gotra or inter-caste is still considered a sin. The abnormally increasing rate of this crime is mainly due to lack of formal governance in the concerned regions.
Statistics reveal that honour killing has a greater geographical coverage than just being limited to rural areas. Definitely, the rural percentage is predominating but cases in big cities and states like Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Tamil Nadu also cannot be ruled out.
This bubbling cauldron of inhumanity is mounting as the growing incidence of “honour killings” becomes public. However, it would be infantile to believe that the reported facts and figures talk in entirety. Much has still to be done to safeguard those who dare not speak out.
A lot of things to be done to reform cultural settings, amend the existing laws and add clauses to IPC as separate offence, educate, and provide professional help to those who commit, inspire, and subtly condone this aberration. Violence is endemic in nature and in humankind. What is the answer? The spider continuous to create deadly orb web and, in the process, the cycle continues.