Soreness of the Society Supervening on Honour Killings

The media, for last few days, has been converging much about the honor killing of Pranay, who married Amrutha in January 2018, against the wishes of her parents. On September 14, 2018, Pranay was inhumanly killed. The murder has been written off as an honor killing. In India, the honor killings have been intensified over a period of time. In this perspective, let’s look into the problem and scrutinize why at all these honor killings take place.

According to the available crime data, the honor killings in India have grown by more than 796% from 2014 to 2015. As per the National Crime Record Bureau statistics, while 28 murders were conveyed under this category in 2014, this number soared to 251 in the year 2015. Even if this number has given the idea to come down to 71 in the year 2016, certainly, the number has taken back to its unusual locus in the years 2017 and 2018. This spike could be a result of more heedful reporting of these crimes, which mostly go unreported. Otherwise, it is not an overstatement if supposed that honor killings take the lion share in Indian crime statistics, every year.In general, an honour killing or shame killing is the homicide of a member of a family, due to the committers’ belief that the victim has brought embarrassment or dishonor upon the family, or has despoiled the principles of a community or a religion, typically for reasons such as snubbing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a connexion that is disapproved by their family, flattering the victim of rape, etc.

Honor killings are not confined to India alone. Even in the U.K., according to the Honour Based Violence Awareness Network (HBVAN), honor killings are committed within families or social groups with the purpose of scheming behavior. Such murders are carried in the name of shielding cultural beliefs or honor. Those besieged are alleged to have crestfallen their family or community. Both men and women can be victims of honor killings, although women are more usually beleaguered — these crimes can include abductions too.

In my opinion, if we clearly examine the state of affairs, there are various reasons why people or family members decide to kill their wards in the name of preserving their family honor. The caste system is the most obvious reason for this practice to continue in India. Despite the fact that India has been forward-looking in many areas, it could be strappingly held that India is behindhand by many centuries in practicing certain superfluous gears such as pride in their own caste and creed. The caste system continues to be at its rigid best — the people from the rural areas, customarily, refuse to change their defiance towards inter-caste marriages, even in the 21st century. According to them, if their ward dares to contravene the parents on the issue of marriage and chooses to marry a person exterior to their caste, it would bring opprobrium to the family honor. This mind arrangement results in the crucial verdict — the death, in terms of honor killing.In the recent episode of Pranay, it was the son-in-law, who is killed. According to many sociologists, the reason behind the honor killings is the unrelenting rigidity of the caste system. Just for the fear of losing their caste standing through which they gain many gains makes them obligate such dreadful crime.

Bowing to the spate of increased honor killings in India, there is a need for the government to decide what laws should be getting underway to stop this dreadful crime. It should be also examined whether the Hindu Marriage Act should be renovated or not. There is no other force that could change the temperaments of individuals than the inherent vigor. A change has to come from within. One should introspect to appreciate that nothing could be achieved with such monstrous crimes, except for dragging the families into a ditch, while letting oneself into a dike.

–      Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi