The Lost Honour- Kiling for false Honour

Posted on May 14, 2010

Shewta Bhalla:

In the wake of sudden media light on the cases of honour-killings, latest one being that of Delhi based journalist Nirupama Pathak, we are exposed to a heinous side of society that most of us have always chosen to ignore.

Honour-killing, as the name suggests, is the murder of family or clan member by one or more members of the family. It generally comes down to the acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members who have brought dishonour upon the family. The reasons could be refusal to enter into an arranged marriage, being a victim of sexual assault, allegedly committing adultery or being involved with someone from another caste.

There have always been reports in the past but none gained enough media glare to be splattered on the front page. The major cases are seen to be happening in the rural areas of the country all the time, where the caste system is so stringent that it is impossible for love to blossom freely. And if it does, it is crushed brutally on the pretext of saving the honour of the family by killing the boy-girl involved. But if we try to delve into the phenomenon, a not so pleasant one, one would wonder — WHY? What is the reason that allows someone to go to such extent against their own family member? Is it just that they are unable to tolerate the fact that someone is making decisions according to their own free will and is refusing to concede to the ones made by the society? Is being in a relationship with someone in other CASTE a good enough reason for a person to be brutally killed? Is the SOCIETY and REPUTATION so important in front of happiness and well being of a loved one?

It is impossible to not spot any discrepancy in the logical answers to these questions and what actually seems to be happening! Most of the cases that come up are because of the caste differences among the boy and girl, and family members being against it. Instead of peacefully sorting out the whole issue, they prefer to silence the culprits. This is a gross outcome of the fatally uneducated society, with their minds boggered down by the strict norms of the society. The caste differences that had been created by society to let the variety of cultures flourish in the same country, have taken an ugly turn with the same coming in the way of a better life that the younger generation looks forward to, but fails to realise. These young people don’t connect with the unwritten norms and question them; and instead of getting any logical explaination, they are forced to do what the family wants out of them. Some concede; some revolt. And things do get ugly!!

These cases are still happening at a large rate. And just the judicial-policing is not enough to reprimand the guilty. For every case that comes up in the newspapers and actually goes to the court, there are many more that are lost in the bylanes of the villages. Moreover, these people really believe in what they do. There is no way they would have done otherwise in any case. What we need here, and we do need it urgently, is Moral Policing at a large scale. The social norms will never change for the people, but at least they can be made aware of the fact that what they do in the spur of the moment, to protect the honour of the family, is nothing short of the act of the demon itself. They need to understand the next generation, its dreams, hopes and aspirations. .to make the place a better place to live !!

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