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Honor Killing – Another Form of Violence against Women?

Bhupender Singh for BeyondHeadlines

Honor killing has been a recurring social problem being featured in media time and again. Many innocents have lost their lives falling prey to this illegal practice prevalent in certain parts of India.

Let’s know what’s honour killing is. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary is killing a family member who is believed to have brought shame on the family.

And the reasons for honor killing could be refusing for arranged marriage, going for relationship which is disapproved by family or relatives or tribe/clan, victim of rape, dressing in an appropriate way, engaging in homosexual activities so on.

According to an Amnesty International report, “The regime of honour is unforgiving: women on whom suspicion has fallen are not given an opportunity to defend themselves, and family members have no socially acceptable alternative but to remove the stain on their honour by attacking the woman”.

The way honour killings are happening in India has sounded alarm in general public in India. According to women’s right campaigners, more than 10,000 women are getting murdered each year in India in the name of honor killings and most of these killings are taking place in northern part of the country, especially in Haryana, Punjab, UP, Bihar & Rajasthan.

Marriages in rural India are mostly arranged by within the same caste. Inter-caste marriages, interfaith marriages, love marriages, extramarital affairs, marriage in lower caste and illicit relations are considered to be plaintive triggers for violence and honour killings.

Honor killings actually point towards a larger problem of violence against women. In India more than 8000 dowry deaths are reported but they were not reported as honor killings. Unlike other crimes like rape, domestic violence, honor killings are intentional and intended. Mostly the family members are involved and they are hardly apologetic.

The question here is: honour killings are actually in a name of honour, pride or its other way of being violence towards women?

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