Dawn was coming. Sun has just started rising above the horizon. There was a calmness unusual and creepy. It was warmer, and the lone woman walked along the path towards the river. Fancy coloured ribbons lay across the street scattered. Stray dogs were eating the carcasses and remains of the feasted goat of the last evening. She came along the river and stared at the green robe that took Soraya, the stoned woman. Underneath lay her brittle small bones. She took the bones and washed them in the river and wept towards the sky as if it would reach whichever God she prayed at.
From the film ,“The stoning of Soraya.M”. Needless to say, you can understand from the title what the film is supposed to deliver. Soraya a mother of 4 children was falsely accused of adultery with another man by her husband, who was trying to get her out of the picture since she was the one standing in between his decision to marry a 14 year old girl ,Mehri. The film was based on a true story and depicts the horrific practice of honour killing women for personal and other reasons.
This left me in a state of shock for almost a day and i grabbed myself up and went on to look further. We see it.We read it in the news papers. But it just doesn’t affect too much as it never has happened to us or surrounding us. So we just move on to the next one without any feel towards it. News channels make it a weekly sensational episode until the TRP stays high and move to the next sensational issue of the week. This movie though, made an impact and i made up my mind that my first blog is going to be this.
Honor killing as defined by Human rights which states,
“Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that “dishonors” her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.”
Before detailing about the honour killings of today, i wanted the reason of how we came to practice such horrendous act of crime. And i came up with something after a lot of thoughts. It could be right or wrong. But i just wrote it for constructive discussion. It goes like this.,
Humans are always insecure about their position in their surroundings. This insecurity led them to equip themselves with materialistic protective advancements and laid up a code or order in a group that helps them to survive the harsh environment that offered no assistance. This however led to our progression and made earth a home that suits dominant human inhabitance. He stayed away from forests and started his own way of living. Permanent life settlements and agriculture came into practice. He needed an order in his society. So the physically dominant took over the leadership and separated his group for performing a specific work and kept women under their control as they were not physically dominant as men. He developed religious theories and made women themselves believe that they are inferior to men and were supposed to assist them. Any women who were freethinking or questioned the above laid laws were put to death or made outcasts.
Even the puranas and epics of Hinduism states evidence of such act. Remember the stories of Parasurama( incarnation of Lord Vishnu) slaying his mother and Rama sending his wife Sita to be an outcast and test her with the agnipariksha? For those who don’t know these surf through the links below.
I would not go in deeper because there would be a justification for all these in the religious texts. But was it their fault completely? Jamadagni was clearly seen as a sage, and Renuka was just being used to serve him devotedly. Had he given equal respect to her feelings, would it have happened? Ram was the one who failed in protecting Sita. He left her in his brother’s hands and went to hunt the deer. If he had convinced Sita, that it was dangerous and not had left her, the lankan episode would not have happened in the first place. The women were not given the time to explain themselves, and i mean if Ram was so just and a caring husband, he would have never doubted her or want her to prove herself to the society. So clearly, it was physical dominance and the evolution of religions that were having theories and books made by men to weaken woman. And to say with a sad note, the conditions remain the same.
The incidence of honor killings is very difficult to determine and estimates vary widely. In most countries data on honor killings is not collected systematically, and many of these killings are reported by the families as suicides or accidents and registered as such.Although honor killings are often associated with the Asian continent, especially the Middle East and South Asia, they occur all over the world. Murder is not the only form of honor crime, other crimes such as acid attacks, abduction, mutilations, beatings occur.
What concerns me though is the motive of the crime and the people who commit the crime. How could a caste or religion or sexual orientation of a girl or a boy make the beloved father and family go blind over the care and love they had on their child and make these people go to the extent of murdering by torture?
Remember the mysterious Noida Aarushi murder case? and many other cases in Tamilnadu and other states? For those who are ignorant about these or forgot the issue ,the scars run deep in those areas and their communities but still the bad roots have not been uprooted and it can’t be done by force. The khap panchayat systems and Shalishi panchayat systems act as an autonomous judiciary within their community of villages and often their judgements are barbaric and talibanistic in nature. Most of the cases are not registered after officially as honor killing cases ,and are covered up as suicides and passion driven murders.
All these cannot be changed overnight, but still small steps must be set foot to reach that ultimate destination of no honor killings in our country. Governments should have a clear, long term, sensible means to handle this issue. Laws must be created strict. Justice must be swift and cold. It is not a solution but, still these must bring fear among those who do these.
Unless the people themselves progress, and leave this barbaric practice, we are unfit to call us humans. What benefit comes, when we surround ourselves with our materialistic evolution, when our emotional level still remains the same old primal life? We must evolve. Emotionally.
Before completing this post, I would ask the people who read this, would you accept marriages of your family outside your expectations? What if your son decides to marry a caste outsider. What if your children doesn’t accept yours decisions? What if nothing happened the way you thought?? Would you be so concerned about the credibility of your status or give respect to the feelings of others? Its a deep question. Lot of things at stake. Situation, surroundings, society, community, family. Everyone looks at you. What would you do??Just answer within your hearts.
A tribute to the victims of honor crimes-
I spit on your grave!!
Stone me, for iam a woman
loving a man from another caste;
Slit my throat, for iam a daughter
who married without parents consent;
Hang me, for i have stepped inside
a relationship with
someone of my sex;
Burn me, for i did not accept
to marry the ones you said;
Kill me, for i decided not to live
With my alcoholic bullying husband;
End my life, for i am from a lower caste
and loved your daughter of higher ones!!
Beat me to death, for i had sex
And keep on saying
you restored honor!!
Raise your flags high!!
With those blood stained hands
and barbaric smile,
I intimidate you once again.!!
I will do this again and again!!
And again!! And again!!
For iam a human, and i have
my own feelings!!
I am not your property!!
Iam not your asset!!
Iam not your status holder!!
Iam not your selling product!!
Iam not something you own!!
I can breathe
I can feel
I can love
I can cry
I can smile
So, i have the right
To think and decide
My own life!!
Soon, time will lay its cruel hands
and you will become weak
Don’t, think i will forgive you
From the heavens above,
I will spit on your grave!!!