There is no honour in 'honour killings'

Published: May 13, 2019, 05:53 IST | mid-day correspondent

This 19-year-old fears for her life, quite rightly, after her family has been threatening to kill her for her crime. i.e. falling in love with a boy from a lower caste

There is no honour in 'honour killings'

For a while now, this paper has been following a Pune case. A young woman has written a letter to the National Commission of Women seeking a First Information Report (FIR) against her uncle and cousins. Following this, an FIR was registered against three people at Pune's Talegaon Dabhade police station

This 19-year-old fears for her life, quite rightly, after her family has been threatening to kill her for her crime. i.e. falling in love with a boy from a lower caste.

The FIR is a good move and is an indicator that this complaint is being taken as seriously as it should.

Often, such cases are dismissed as internal family problems or the girl or young couple is not taken seriously enough or even told that they are imagining things.

Meanwhile, education and awareness is needed to bridge the caste divide in society. Children have to be taught there is no upper or lower caste and adults are wrong when they talk about these divisions.

This is also a huge indicator of how girls continue to be controlled by the family. She is told that she is the repository of 'honour' and by choosing to marry an unsuitable person, she is lowering the honour of the family. This is the seed of honour crimes and honour killings. Women are the primary target of honour killings. It is about taking away her voice and choice – how she dresses, where she goes, who she meets and who she marries.

Honour crimes, with their run-ups of threats and intimidation as first step and then steady escalation should be acknowledged, recognized and dealt with for the very dangerous situations they can spiral into. No more controlling women by inculcating feelings of shame, guilt and inflicting violence on them if they do not conform to a certain way.

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