Honour in Killing ?

There is always inconsistency with marriages to religion & caste in India. A strange, prejudicial term called love Jihad is widely circulated among right-wing political conservative groups in India. This hoax has now become law in a few states. The apathetic law of love jihad, if really persists in society or not, but hurdling women’s right to dignity and liberty most importantly the right to life and freedom of choice. Not even the Supreme Court or parliament can deny these rights. Then why the states are more focusing on some prejudicial, hypothetical practices that threaten women rights? On whose interests such bills are drafted when no umbrella law protect women?

Why India Needs a Separate Law for Honor Killings | The Swaddle

Why such intolerance among communities if, either one among couple marriages to upper/lower caste in same religion or the state’s tolerance if Muslim men marriages Hindu women? What was the stake of parents/communities or states when the constitution guarantees the right to life and the supreme court reaffirms their right to choose & choice? Read this https://naikhere.in/2020/12/02/the-unconstitutional-love-jihad/ Is the honour of family more important than their daughter/son happiness? Another term Honour Killing, the term itself is unjustifiable. The honour in patriarchy society, however, is still a blind dominant in contemporary society.

There was no clear definition of this term honour killing neither such term exists in Indian Penal Code (IPC). So these killings were considered as murder under IPC section 300 and punished under section 302 of IPC. However, Human Rights Watch defined Honour Killing as an act of violence against a female family member who is perceived to have brought dishonour on the family or the social group. But in the Indian context, the definition is not broad. There were certain instances where male or both the couple were killed in the name of honour killing.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), India records 900 honour killings per year. As per National Crime Report Bureau (NCRB) data in 2016, there was 792% increase in Honour Killings. National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2015-16 points out that many communities prefer marriages in the same caste/community. This scenario is very high in southern states except in Kerala. The exception of Kerala might be due to higher literacy rate, openness towards other communities and more freedom to choose liberally. The rate is alarming in TamilNadu i.e. 33% as against the national average of 15% followed by Lakshadweep, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana.

The supreme court in lata Singh vs state of U.P & others (2006), justice Ashok Bhan & justice Markandey Katju noted that ” This is a free and democratic country and if a person becomes major he/she can marry whomever he/she likes. If parents can not approve then it better to cut off the social relations but can not then threaten them to harm or kill”. In Bhagavan Das vs the state of Delhi(2011) justice katju and justice Mishra said that honour killing came under the rarest of rare cases deserving death penalty. 

However, there is no act or law that Honour killing can be brought under the ambit of legal procedure. In some cases, if Dalit then the case is registered under the SC/ST atrocities act. While some cases are registered under the POSCO act 2012, Hindu marriage act 1955, special marriage act 1954 and other laws. In 2009, M/o Home affairs brought a draft bill ‘ prevention of crimes in the name of honour killing & tradition & prohibition of interference with matrimonial alliance’. that never seen the dawn. Further, Planning commissions steering committee report 12 FYP (2012-2017) stated that the current provisions of IPC are inadequate in dealing with honour killings which seriously distort societal norms undermining the rights of women and girls.

Over the years the honour killings have specifically exposed the vulnerability of women and protection of their rights. At the same time, men’s rights are also needed to be protected. United Nations global study on Homicides (2019) noted that the women and girls account for a far smaller share of victims of homicides in general than men (81%) as of 2017. The murder case of Pranay (lower caste) who married Amruta (upper caste) was allegedly killed by his father-in-law. This case shook the Hyderabad city and became a sensation of honour killing. So there needs to be equal rights & protection given to both members of the couple.

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