What is Honour Killing?o An honour killing (also called a customary killing) is the MURDER of a family or clan member by one or more fellow family members or relatives.o It is believed in the Indian society that “A Girls Character Represents Her Family”o The perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought DISHONOUR upon the family, clan, or community. Source: ‘Honour and tradition Bill, 2010’ document
Why Honour Killing, not a Murder?o Honour killing, by definition, is a murder whose motive is to defend or preserve somebody’s honour.o In Indian societies, a woman is considered to reflect on her family’s honour. In 99% of the cases be the women’s family who would commit the murder. The removal of the “shame” restores the family’s honour.o The parents also have the belief that they have a right to kill their child as they have given birth to them, so it should be legitimate and different from murder. http://justgrits.wordpress.com/2006/09/25/murder-or-honor-killing/
Honour Killing vs Domestic violence Honour Killings Domestic Violence1. Carefully planned. Death threats are often The murder is often unplanned and used as a means of control. spontaneous. The reason given for the honour killing is The bitterer-murderer does not claim any2. that the girl or young woman has family concept of "honour." "dishonoured" the family. At least half the time, the killings are While some men do beat a spouse to3. carried out with barbaric ferocity. death, they often simply shoot or stab them. The extended family and community The bitterer-murderer is seen as a criminal;4. valorise the honour killing no one defends him as a hero. The murderer(s) do not show remorse. Sometimes, remorse or regret is exhibited.5. http://www.meforum.org/2067/are-honor-killings-simply-domestic-violence/
Probable Reasons for Honour Killings:As perceived by the community indulging in honour killing• Utilizing dress codes unacceptable to the family/community• Wanting to terminate or prevent a love marriage or desiring to marry by own choice.• Engaging in certain sexual acts, including those with the opposite or same sex.• Huge caste based discriminations and stratification of the society.
• Honour killings have been reported in northern regions of India (mainly in the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar).• According to a survey done by the Delhi-based Indian Population Statistics Survey (IPSS) in mid-2009, almost 695 homicidal cases have been registered as honour killings, in India. Honour Killings 32% 43% Haryana & Delhi Uttar Pradesh 25% Other States
Punjab:• As per data compiled by the Punjab Police, over 200 honour killing cases have been reported in the state between 2008 and 2010; 97 in 2008; 85 in 2009, and 56 in 2010.• It has been reported that the victims Prabhjot Kaur and Pradeep Singh from Ferozepur, both students of Class 12 were shot dead by five unidentified gunmen, when they arrived at a local school in Amritsar for their board examinations. (Punjab Newsline Network Tuesday, 30 March 2010) Haryana:• The situation in Haryana is the worst of all, the number of cases mentioned in police records is around 160 but the actual scenario is unimaginable.• Even as rural Haryana remains in the stranglehold of the defiant caste panchayats, honour killings continue in their most horrible form.
• In a recent case , the family members of a girl allegedly killed her and her teenaged lover and hanged them as exhibits in their house for the village to see their "fate“. According to police, Monika (18) and her lover Rinku (19), both from Jat families, were brutally killed for honour at Nimriwali village, near Bhiwani.Bihar & Jharkhand:• Bhagalpur in the northern Indian state of Bihar has also been notorious for honour killings.• Nirupama, a 22-year-old journalist was found murdered at her home in Jharkhand. Nirupama, hails from a Brahmin family, was in love with a boy from another caste.
Delhi & NCR:• Capital city Delhi, for all its aspirations to be a truly international cultural centre, has also seen three related honour killings recently. And these murders were carried out by jeans-and T-shirt wearing youngsters, not the dhoti-kurta-pagri clad caste leaders.• A man and his son were arrested for murdering a youth, who allegedly had an illicit relationship with the mans daughter, as told by police.Tamil Nadu:• One more story of honour killing reported, but this time it is from the Shivaganga district of South Indian state Tamil Nadu not from North India.• In Shivganga, 20 year-old Megala and 24-year-old Sivakumar, were told that they could not marry as they were related. Despite Megala’s love, her family married her off in June. She eloped with Sivakumar ten days after the wedding. Her family traced the couple and killed Sivakumar with sickles.
Survey and AnalysisWe did a survey in IIT, where we asked the following questions from thestudents:-•From which state do you belong or in which state have you spent most of yourlife?•How frequently do you hear about cases related to Honour Killing in your state?•What do you think is the concept or the belief which leads to most of theHonour Killings in your state?•Those cases generally involve execution of females only or both male andfemale?•Have you come across any cases of Honour Killing anywhere in your nearbysurroundings, if yes could you please describe it?•Do you agree with Khap Panchayats petition to make Honour Killing legal?
Statistics 0 3.333 Percentage of 6.667 people who agree legalizing of Honour Killing? Percentage of people who partially agree legalizing of Honour Percentage of people who 90 disagree legalizing of HonourChart showing the percentage of people who agree or disagree withKhap Panchayat’s petition to make honour killing legitimate.
8070605040 7430 51 Series 320 Series 2 Series 1 2210 15 5 0 Inter-caste Inter-religious Financial gap Marriage of Others Marriage marriages between the people in the corresponding same village families Chart showing number of people out of 120, who believe the reasons for Honour killing in their state are these. Other reasons include, Families of different beliefs, Love Marriage and Illiteracy.
ANALYSIS AND STORIESNORTH INDIA•HARYANAa) People of Haryana have generally stressed that the main reason for honour killing is marriage of people in the same village or the gotra and also Inter-caste and Inter Religious marriage.b) Most of them have also mentioned that, the frequency of them hearing such cases is very high.c) A case has been posted by one of them which goes as follows: “There is a village nearby my city where an SC guy married an GEN girl. First they eloped for almost an year. Then when they returned with a child, the khap panchayats allegedly made them brother and sister and the baby was given to the old parents of the boy. This was not the end ,later the guy was murdered and then the girl hanged herself, so only thing which was destroyed was the future of a child. Their family was disturbed always ,their social connection (of the boys family) was cut, all their land holdings were sealed. The Haryana govt. wont take actions because the old royal and rich family members are the members of khap panchayats."
•PUNJABa) People of Punjab have generally stressed that the main reason for honour killing is marriage of people in the same village or the gotra and also Inter-caste and Inter Religious marriage.b) Most of them have also mentioned that, the frequency of them hearing such cases is very high.c) Most people also emphasized on the point that both male and female are brutally murdered.
•DELHIa) People mentioned that the main reasons are inter-caste and inter-religious marriage.b) Lot of them also emphasized on financial gap being the cause as Delhi is a metropolitan city.c) Both are killed but people are more strict on females.There were stories like: “The boy was from a rich family and the girl was from a different caste and poor family, they eloped. The boys family tracked the two down, and killed the girl, and brought their boy home.” “There was a case in which a girl was killed because she became pregnant before marriage.”
•UTTAR PRADESHa) People mentioned that the main reasons are inter-caste and inter-religious marriage.b) They also mentioned, marriage in the same gotra being a prominent reason for murder. Story by one of the UP resident: “This case happened in my village. Female was eloped by male and they got married to each other. They belonged to different castes. But case was different because boy’s family got the girl gang-raped by goons and girls family filed a case against the boys family and also killed the boy. Again boys family filed the case against the girls family.”
•RAJASTHANa) People mentioned that the main reasons are inter-caste and inter- religious marriage.b) They also mentioned, marriage in the same gotra being a prominent reason for murder.c) Most of them mentioned that females are more vulnerable for killing. One guy from Rajasthan had details of the concept of Marriage in the same village or gotra. He said that, as per rule in north India, a boy is not supposed to marry a girl from upto the level of seventh cousin, while the rule is upto fifth cousin for girls.
In, Eastern India, states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa, the mainreason for Honour Killing has been Inter-caste marriage whilesome people have also mentioned marriage in the same villageor gotra and females have been more vulnerable. The state ofWest Bengal does not face Honour Killing cases because fromabout a century ago reformers have worked against it.Few people from Madhya Pradesh had also given thesurvey, which were similar to that of Rajasthan except that bothmale and female have been found to be equally vulnerable inmost cases, while the few surveys from Gujarat showed thatInter-caste marriage and Inter-religious marriage was primaryreason for killing.
SOUTH INDIA•ANDHRA PRADESHa) People have emphasized on, Inter-religious marriage being the main reason for Honour Killing followed by Inter- Caste Marriage.b) Both male and female are generally killed & Financial Gap has also been a dominant reason.A story from a resident is as follows: “A Rich business man who belongs to a higher caste has a daughter who fell in love with a poor school teachers son belonging to a lowly caste, the Rich man came to know about this when his daughter is talking to her lover in a park. Then rich man sent rowdies to poor mans house and threatened the parents. as the daughter is in deep love with poor man, the rich man Killed the poor boy and married his daughter to a NRI. This is the story of my uncles neighbour at a place Ananthapuram in Andhra Pradesh. In this case the poor one is the victim.”
•TAMIL NADUa) Financial Gap between the families has been a prominent reason.b) Love Marriage, even though in the same caste has been given another reason.c) People have mentioned that male members are generally killed.There have been two stories of Chennai and both are similar: “Boy and Girl ran away from home and made Registered marriage. After knowing this, the Father of the girl hired a person and killed the boy. This happened in Chennai.”People of states like Kerala and Karnataka have reported that they hear nilto negligible cases of honour killing in their states.
Honour killings and Judiciary: Currently there is no special law mentioning the term “Honour Killing” in IPC. There are also no laws which punish the illegal and often barbaric actions of the Khap or community panchayats or other caste or religious associations. Some offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 are invoked to sometimes book offenders in these cases but these offences do not cover the entire gamut of illegal actions perpetrated in the name of Honour or prescribe adequate punishment for these barbaric acts.
Actions Against Honour Killing:State & Year Case Name Culprits(Relation Court’s Decision with victim)Haryana,2007 Manoj-Babli Girl’s Brothers Life sentence(2010) (both Murdered)U.P.,2011 Baburam Case Girl’s Father Pending (Only girl killed)Punjab,2009 Gurpreet Singh 4 relatives of girl Death Sentence (Boy murdered)Tamilnadu,2009 Sripriya Father & 2 cousins Hearing going on (Girl Murdered) of girlU.P.,2011 Zahida & Husna Mothers of both the Life Sentence (Both Girls were girls murdered) Courtesy: Web
Why No One Speaks Against Honour Killings?• Social panchayats and the village community approve of this custom, especially common among Jats, encouraging more such killings.• No political leader has either condemned these crimes, or tried to punish the perpetrators. Haryana CM Hooda is on record as declaring: "We cannot interfere in the social customs of our people".• Taking the cue from politicians, state functionaries too make only token arrests.• Even those who oppose it dont say anything for fear of losing their lives.
The stand of Government against such cases:• After so many agitations outgoing Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) Girija Vyas said on 04/06/2011 that- "I believe the Bill will be introduced in the Monsoon Session. With the GoM (Group of Ministers) approving it, there is no hitch now."• The GoM headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, included Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath and Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.
The Prevention of Crimes in the Name of ‘Honour’ & Tradition Bill, 2010• The draft bill intends to add a clause to Section 300 of the IPC.• Section 300 deals with the crime of murder, the maximum punishment for which is death and/or a fine.• It also wants to amend the Indian Evidence Act and the Special Marriages Act, 1954, which would do away with the provision for the mandatory 30 days notice period for marriages intended to be solemnized under this Act.• The new bill is also expected to bring in a definition of such honour killings so that it will be treated as special crime and will ensure clarity for the law enforcement agencies.• All members of the caste or clan or community or caste panchayat, present or participates or incites the commission of an act by which death is caused was ordered, shall be deemed to be guilty of having committed such act.
Honour Killings and Politics:• State Governments in the greed of votes have shut their eyes in the past in many cases of honour killings.• “Only whores choose their own partners…. Recently an educated couple married against the samaj’s (community’s) wishes in Jhajjar. We hail the panchayat’s decision to execute them…The government cannot protect this atyachar (immoral behaviour)…. (The law of the land) is the root of all problems… That’s your Constitution, ours is different.’’ – Mahendra Singh Tikait, leader of Western UP .• Congress MP from Rohtak, Deepender Hooda (whom the Congress proudly counts among its contingent of ‘young MPs’) had expressed sympathy for the “sentiments and local customs of khap panchayats.”• “I am opposed to honour killings. I told them not to take the law in their hands. I am with them so long as they are within the ambit of the law.”- Naveen Jindal
• The Khap and Sarv Khap was a system of social administration and organization in the republics of Northwestern Indian states such as Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh since ancient times.• A number of villages grouped themselves into a Gohand. A number of Gohands formed a ‘Khap’ (covering an area equal to from a Tehsil to a District) and a number of Khaps formed a Sarva Khap embracing a full province or state.Criticism:• Under the backdrop of political rumblings over the sanctity of the Institution of Sarva Khap Panchayat, the institution has been critiqued as one in dire need of reinterpretation & adaptation, to the extent its integrity and basic structure remains totally uncompromised.• The Supreme Court has declared illegal ‘khap panchayats which often decree or encourage honour killings or other institutionalised atrocities against boys and girls of different castes and religions who wish to get married or have married.
CONCLUSION We can conclude that honour killing, varies in different parts of India, like it was abolished about a century ago in Bengal, while practiced heavily in Punjab and Haryana. It is still being practiced in this modern India from urban cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai etc to the most rural and backward areas of India, so clearly we can’t say that illiteracy or development is the reason for Honour Killing. In rural areas, marriage in the same gotra is the most dominant factor leading to honour killing while in the metro cities, financial gap or other factors like homosexuality or divorce etc are the major factors. So, it has something to do with the psychology or the mentality of the people who feel, that their pride among the society is of utmost importance to them. They love their pride even more than their own children.
Even in, our survey in the premiere institute of India (IIT Delhi), we found that there are 10% people who either partially or fully agree with Honour Killing being legitimate and there are a lot of people who do not have any or much knowledge about honour killing. We would like to wrap up by mentioning the positives stated by Khap panchayat as well as the hypo critic mentality of society. Khap states that, because of their rules of treating people of same village as brothers and sisters, the security of women increases, there are less rape cases and women can freely work. While the hypo critic mentality is that people feel dishonoured in the society due to undesired marriage or affairs of their children, so don’t they feel dishonoured, when in front of the society they commit the most disdained act of killing and if so why does the society restore their honour? After all, two wrongs never make one right.
REFERENCES:- A Human Rights and Health Priority". United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved 2007-08-15. "Violence Against Women and "Honor" Crimes". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 2001-04-06. Mayell, Hillary. "Thousands of Women Killed for Family "Honor"". National Geographic. Retrieved 2008-02-08. Indian village proud after double "honour killing". Reuters. May 16, 2008. http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_14 05020.php/Father_kills_daughter_in_honour_killing_in_western_Indi a "Five to be executed for honour killings". ABC News. March 31, 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 5 get death penalty in honour killing case". CNN-IBN. March 30, 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2010."Honour Killings in India". Daily Life in India. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 3September 2010.
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