Love is not a crime but to kill a woman for the sake of ‘honour’ by her brother and other male members of the family, is really disgusting and punishable. Being in love with someone, and choosing him as a life partner is a basic right of anyone who has matured enough to take the decision. It’s her life and nobody is allowed to interfere.
Love is spontaneous, it is beyond caste, creed, and status. So, if a woman loves someone wholeheartedly and wants to spend her entire life with him, it is not justified to kill her for the sake of ‘honour’.
India is known for ‘unity in diversity’. So, what is the cause behind the harassment and murder of someone who is deeply in love with a person from another religion or caste, whom they found as the right choice as a soul mate?
Why do parents, who gave birth to and bring up their daughter with a lot of love and care, become so mean when she wants to choose a life partner who is not ‘perfect’ according to social norms like same caste, class or religion?
She is humiliated for falling in love with a man who is not accepted by her family members, and due to this conservative mentality, they become so selfish and don’t bother about her sentiments. They take extreme steps in order to save their ‘clean’ image and their ‘reputation’ in society.
Sometimes, due to a lot of pressure from the side of family members and other enemies of love, the women die by suicide. It is ridiculous to think that parents become so cold-hearted and they don’t feel any guilt when they lose their loving daughter.
‘Honour killing’ is not only seen in villages, but what is also really unbelievable that in cities too, where people are supposedly well-educated, people are against love marriages which do not suit their caste, class and religion.
In Haryana and Western UP, khap panchayats give diktats against intercaste marriages and there have been several cases of murder of both the man and woman by the villagers and families. In cities also, caste prejudices play a very negative role despite the propaganda that educated people don’t believe in caste. A few years ago a Dalit boy was murdered in the broad daylight for marrying an OBC girl in a metropolitan like Chennai. Marathi film Sairat was also based on a similar theme.
Another reason for ‘honour killings’ is inter-religious marriages. Muslim boys are accused of luring Hindu girls to convert them into Islam. The right-wing calls it ‘love jihad’. However, it has been proven that ‘love jihad’ is a myth and is used by the right-wing to spread hatred against Muslims. The case of Hadiya in Kerala is an example of this, when the 18-year-old, who converted to Islam to marry a Muslim man, was targeted by her family members.
The families want to control their girls and women to maintain their ‘caste purity’. If an ‘upper caste’ girl marries a ‘lower caste’ boy, it is considered polluting. The children born of this marriage have been called ‘varna sankara’ in the Shastras. The real concern is that the property remains within the caste because due to intercaste marriages, people from different caste can make a claim on your property which is considered very bad by ‘upper caste’ people. Hence, the question of caste purity is linked to fake honour and the families commit murder without any guilt.
Only the spread of progressive education, implementation of strict laws against caste discrimination, creating conditions for social, cultural and economic equality can put an end to this false pride and ‘honour’ killings.