A term defined in Wikipedia as homicide of a member of family or community or social group due to the belief that the victim has brought dishonour to the family!!
Was going through a news article today which report a Pakistani family stoning their daughter to death, in front of the high court, in midst of a huge crowd which undoubtedly would have policemen too, for marrying her lover and bearing their child! She was pregnant! And was fighting a case slapped on her husband by her parents that she was abducted by her husband!!
This is not common to one country. But this particular heinous crime is meted out to thousands of women and homosexuals in a year. Northern states of India, the Middle East, other Asian countries, all are witnesses to this crime. Even the first world countries are facing issues of containing these crimes which are brought to their countries by people migrated from certain Asian countries and Middle East.
In most cases, the belief of righteously killing is so imbibed that the case is not reported, or if it is reported, it is conveniently ignored by the protectors of law!
I am sure that the news article I read today is not going to be last of its kind. And hence, what gets me thinking is the mental set up of the perpetrators who think that killing their own kith and kin is more palatable than suffering the “dishonour” brought to them! Let us look at the bigger picture. What is being done about it by the Government?
Back home in India, I read about the Northern States of Punjab, Haryana and Bihar, where such crimes are “ordered” by Khap Panchayats, a social administration unit of 5 people, who are supposed to be protectors of law and solvers of internal feuds. Though these units, passing illegal orders, have been declared illegal by the Supreme Court of India, power has been given to them by the people who look up to these Panchayats as the rule-makers.
There are a few NGOs like Shakti Vahini and Love Commandos who specifically include this cause in their mission. But looking at the larger picture, very less motives of the Government are taking shape as law. And even if it does, so far as the people protect the perpetrators, who are the actual victims in their eyes, not much is going to change.
What we need is to talk about it, against it, to spread the message so loudly, crisply and clearly that with time and tide, it dawns on the people believing in merit of such honour killings! We need to educate the people. The system needs to change. No person can have so much control over the life of other person. NGOs need to be funded to make a necessary impact. Writers need to write about it, entertainment industry need to work on it, the message needs to be passed across as widely as possible.