Another case. Another couple. And it’s Ranchi this time.
Honour killing is not a new term in India. It has existed for years now, in some form or the other. A number of couples have been murdered in the name of these ‘honour’ killings. However, the major question still remains unanswered. What kind of ‘honour’ needs to be protected? Is the family’s honour only limited to ‘their’ girl marrying within the same community, class and caste group? Endogamy is practiced and upheld in the majority of the households in India for ‘various’ reasons, where the question of one’s right to choose a life partner does not even exist in the larger framework!
People within a certain caste cannot marry outside it since others consider it a way to rise in the caste hierarchy established in the society- which might lead to the destruction of the power dynamics between various caste groups.
Whose ‘honour’ are we talking about?
Who actually are these ‘protectors’ and the moral ‘upholders’ of the society then, since they themselves do not abide by the law- the very law of peace and harmony. People often take upon themselves the ‘responsibility’ to punish the law breakers of these rigid caste and class laws. They consider having done a huge favour on humanity by either killing the couple or by killing the male first and then raping the female in turns; eventually murdering her. A lot of similar cases have been reported in the past but the area of problem is of the ‘n’ number of unreported cases. It might come as a shock to most of us but honour killings are appreciated and openly practiced in certain parts of India.
The proceedings in the Ranchi ‘Honour’ Killing case so far:
The most recent honour killing case which came into picture was the one which took place in Ranchi. Not two but three lives were lost since the girl was reportedly pregnant. The dead bodies were found hanging near the Muri railway station in Ranchi on Wednesday where people had collected in a large number. Where some clicked pictures of the dead bodies, there were some who took pictures with them *Selfie Culture*. The post-mortem is ‘supposedly’ being carried out and as reported any further investigation will only take after that’s done. Where people are not scared of murdering others in the name of honour, I wonder what kind of a world we are leading towards. A world which only has space for the cult of machismo, probably?
The girl, Rani, (name changed- how ironic can it get?) was unmarried but the man she was involved with was already married to someone else. The newspaper reports claim that the man involved with Rani used to work as a cook at a hostel in Ranchi. Even though he was already married he developed feelings for ‘Rani’ and the two started meeting each other at regular intervals since he was a resident of a nearby village. The Police officials suspect that the girl’s relatives hanged the dead bodies after they murdered the couple.
If speculations are to be believed then it was when Rani got pregnant, she was forced to tell the entire story about the love affair to her parents. The police team in charge expressed its suspicion regarding the girl’s family and how it might have carried out the murder in order to take revenge from the man; the man being already married and having played with their daughter’s life. If that was the case then why was the daughter murdered? Wasn’t it the daughter for whom the man was murdered in the first place?
Have we learnt nothing from the past?
Rajya Sabha on Wednesday announced how ‘only’ 18 cases of ‘honour killing’ were registered in 2014. The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary stated, “as per information provided by the National Crime Records Bureau, collection of data on honour killings has started since January last year on a monthly basis…there is no available data for the last three years. A total of 18 cases were registered under ‘honour killing’ during 2014.”
Fissures in the Judicial System:
Can these figures be trusted when we know about the real story which exists beyond the layer of progress and development in the society? Where people see India moving ahead, I only see it as taking two steps backwards from every case like this. The point is- till when? Till when will we act like nothing is wrong?
Where fighting and rebelling against such killings is the only option left for us, one can only hope that the judicial system bounces back to its ‘glorious’ days and takes strict actions against these ‘upholders’ of our society. Such honorable people deserve to be in a ‘special’ place and that special place is definitely not our ‘polluted’ planet, Earth! The case not only highlights the fractures in the judicial system since it becomes easy for the guilty to get away with some heinous crimes but also reflects the psyche of the moral upholders of the society who take upon the task to purify the system and serve ‘justice’ in a much swifter way.