When honour kills love
Opposition in the name of honor-some extreme cases
Scenario: Ms. W sadly belongs to a caste( in a rural area) that has always valued protecting the community and traditions over her feelings, emotions, and decisions. Whenever she tried to gather the courage to say no, she was labeled as stubborn and disobedient. The girls in her community were in the habit of saying yes, to literally everything in their life. She had a rebel friend who had the courage to say ‘No’ to her parents but was outcast by the society. She tried to be the good girl but it the pain of losing out would gnaw at her continuously. She somehow managed to complete her education by convincing her parents against the norms of their society.
All was good and going according to plan when she met a guy, Mr. M one day. It was love at first sight and she knew he was her soulmate. He was of the same caste and sect and surprisingly lived in the same lane as hers! How had she not spotted him all this time?
In the meanwhile, she is being forced to meet with prospective grooms and their families, who inspect her like a pet! Her color, complexion, hair, voice is inspected as if it is not real! She is quite fed up these arranged meetings with strangers and cannot wait to introduce her newfound love to her parents.
But, it will need a lot of guts to do so. Their reaction may be intensely violent, especially if the relatives get to know of this. In their community and sect, their falling in love is a crime since they are treated as brother and sister, and not as lovers!
If they go ahead with their relationship, they may receive an ultimatum to forget each other or to risk each other’s lives with death threats.
These death threats are quite common and real in their community. They do not even regret slitting their throat or even electrocuting them in the name of honor. It will be a big mistake to fall in love and risk losing each other anyway…
Point of View
” We live in a community which strictly follows some set rules for marriage and we have to face severe backlash and social isolation if our daughters fall in love and prefer to choose their own partners.
” We love our daughter but if we threaten the traditional code of our community and challenge the power dynamics of patriarchy, we may invite the wrath of the society and also the local panchayats.
” We may be threatened with a complete social boycott and a ban on social and commensal relations in future.
“This collective refusal may make our life so uncomfortable that it may force us to voluntarily leave the community.
” Even if we support our daughter’s decision of marriage, our relatives and the dominating people in the society may attack us physically or eliminate our family (especially our girls) in the name of honor.
” Not marrying according to the parent’s choice of partner is considered a crime and a treated as a dilution of values, which leads to corrective measures of honor killing to preserve the societies’ honor.
” What will we do if we are not able to accept our daughter’s choice? Will we be influenced by our relatives to get rid of them to preserve our honor?
” Will we be forced to become cold-blooded criminals in the name. of honor?
” Will the society treat our other daughters with respect, if they come to know of our girl falling in love with his “brother” as they consider him to?
” Social stigma can force us to leave this place, but will it really let us live in peace forever if this news spreads in our community?
” What is the guarantee that some goons may not try to attack my daughter and his partner after they have married ?(even if they have shifted somewhere else)
Couple(Mr. W and Ms. W)
” Is there the slightest possibility that we will be treated as partners for marriage and not partners in the crime of committing for love?
” Will we able to even face the wrath of the elders of our community for maintaining this relationship?
” It is our families and siblings that will be dragged in all this mess, should we risk it and run away?
” Will we be able to start a new life afresh and change our identity? What will happen if someone tracks us down and targets us(and our children)?
” Our communities treat us our brother and sister, not considering us valid for a marital relationship. Is there any way to change this mindset?
” We have seen some daring couples marry against their families’ wishes and hacked to death. Should we be risking our lives even after we know of the fatal consequences?
” Will the relatives be successful in turning our parents against us and force them indirectly to take the extreme step to protect the family honor?
” Will we even have the time to take legal help or call the police if we are alerted to the risk to our life? Will we not be on the run? Is it practically possible?
” It scares us to think about the torture that may be inflicted by the community if they catch us red-handed? Will we be hacked to death/lynched by an angry mob/ poisoned/ attacked with swords/cut to pieces and thrown away/ shamed publicly and paraded in public??… (this is the harsh reality, readers…)
” Honor is not about being respected but being worthy of respect. This has to be explained and communicate through plays and acts in public gatherings to try to change the mentality of communities. “Killing for honor is like killing our community ” should be the propaganda.
” It will take time but will surely change the mindset slowly as continuous education about the loss of innocent lives will only shame their community. And not save or replenish their honor!
” The couple should avoid not talk about their relationship immediately with their parents, without doing a small test about their feelings towards a fictitious couple thinking about marriage.
” If they become angry and advice to stay away from them, then it is better to delay the talk about your own relationship.
” If you are lucky enough that they show sympathy, but also fear for their life then it is quite the right time to consider discussing your partner.
” It is better to avoid any kind of news of your relationship to fall on the ears of anyone except your parents in such a situation, to avoid violent backlash from those opposing it vehemently.
” Seeking private police protection if you sense danger to your lives is the best bet to avoid any untoward incidents during this tedious process of approval.
” It is, even more, better to file for a Protective Order(P.O.) to be considered more seriously by the police in case of necessary physical protection.
” It is essential that the mind is changed, or at least people supporting honor killing be shown the consequences of this crime through the enactment of such an honor killing case in public theatres and gatherings. Instilling fear of the law and the punishment is important to hit the target at the right place.
Existing Penalties for murderous attempts under Indian Penal Code should be covered as separate plays: (https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-laws-against-honour-killings-in-India)
1)Sections 299-304: Penalizes any person guilty of murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The punishment for murder is life sentence or death and fine. The punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder is life imprisonment or imprisonment for up to 10 years and fine.
2)Section 307: Penalizes an attempt to murder with imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine. If a person is hurt, the penalty can extend to life imprisonment.
3)Section 308: Penalizes an attempt to commit culpable homicide by imprisonment for up to 3 years or with fine or with both. If it causes hurt, the person shall be imprisoned for up to 7 years or fined or both.
4)Section 120A and B: Penalizes any person who is a party to a criminal conspiracy.
5)Sections 107-116: Penalizes persons for abetment of offenses including murder and culpable homicide.
6)Section 34 and 35: Penalizes criminal acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.
Confronting the break in tradition-Part 7
About the Author
Hi, I am Adeeba.I’m a freelance writer and a full time mom who likes writing intriguing stories and poems. I love leading my readers on an escape from everyday life. Nature is my inspiration and I firmly believe that self confidence is a key to success. My educational background includes an MTech in Computer Science and Engineering. I have a B.E. in Computer Science from M.J. College in Hyderabad, India. I have a research article on machine learning to my credit on IJEIR journal for Engineering research. Art mesmerizes me and reading fiction is my hobby.