The Bold Voice of J&K

Honour killing most heinous of all crimes

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Sunaina Malik

Amid innumerable crimes against women, honour killing is the most atrocious and cold blooded of all. Unlike other crimes, this appalling act is committed by one’s own blood relations like parents, brothers, maternal and paternal uncles. Honour killings have reduced we human to the least level of humanity. It is very hard for me to digest that how the parents who have given birth to a girl child, worked hard for her upbringing and dreamt a lot for her bright and affluent future soon turned into wild beasts and commit murder of their most dearest child over a pity reason of loss of honour. Can any body answer me? Are these shallow social norms more important than life? The answer is big no because norms were made for the comfort of human being. More over the norms which our society considers important are actually baseless and with out any religious back ground. It is not mentioned even in a single religious book of world that if an adult girl shows her consent to marry a man against the will of her parents, it is irreligious or loss of honour. It is not at all a loss of honour if, a young girl desirous to marry out of her caste, it is not at all loss of honour if, an innocent girl is subjected to rape, it is not at all loss of honour if, a girl chooses to marry a boy of low caste. Irony is, this crime is rising at an alarming rate. According to statistic from United Nations, one in five cases of honour killing internationally come every year from India. Of 5,000 reported cases internationally 1,000 are from India. Indian states like Punjab, Haryana and UP are reported to have largest number of honour killing cases.
Following are some of the references from some major religious books of world which will definitely enable us to differentiate between right and wrong
(1)Quran —— Quran in Surat 4.19 says “O ye, who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will nor should ye treat them with harshness”. Even Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said, in order for a marriage to be legal and not against the God’s Almighty law, one has to ask permission from female in marriage. A marriage cannot go ahead unless consulted and she has given approval for marriage. If she refuses and say “I donot want to get married then her wishes must be fulfilled and not go against her decision”. Abu Hurairah narrated that: Prophet said “A matron should not be given in marriage until she is consulted and a virgin should not be given in marriage until her permission is sought and her silence is her permission (Jami-at-Tirmidhi) volume 2 book 6 Hadith 1107.
(2) Hindu mythology —- Smiritis in Hindu mythology recognise eight methods of marriages like Barva, Daiva, Arsa, Prajapatya, Asura, Raksasa, Paisacha and Gandharva. Out of above mentioned forms of marriages, Gandarva marriage according to Apastamba Grhyasutra ( an ancient Hindu literature) is a form of marriage where a girl selects her own husband. They meet each other of their own accord consensually agree to live together and their relationship is consummated in copulation born of passion. This form of marriage did not require consent of parents and any one else. According to Vedic records, this is one of the earliest form of marriages in Rig Vedic times. In Mahabharata one of the two major epics of Hindus, Rishi Kanva-The foster father of Shakuntala recommend Gandharva with the statement ” The marriage of a desiring woman with a desiring man without religious ceremonies is the best marriage.
(3) Christianity—- As stated in Wesminister Directory for public worship “Parents ought not to force their children to marry without their free consent nor deny their consent without just cause.
(4) Gurugranth Sahib also teaches that Sikhs are free to choose their life partner. An arranged marriage according to Guru Granth Sahib does not mean forcing a boy or girl into a wedlock of parents choice.
After going through the text of major religious books of world it becomes evident that all those norms which society has made in order to suppress any one’s personal choice of marriage, have no mention in any religious book of world. If, girl’s selection of a man would be a loss of honour then it should have been mentioned in any of the religious books of world. So, it is a ripe time to awake the society from deep sleep of ignorance and brutality. Society should take following steps in order to eradicate the weed of honour killing from our society.
(1) Spread awareness among the masses that it is not a matter of dishonour if, a young boy or girl show their choice to marry but it is their basic right even permitted by religion.
(2) Give importance to the choice of your daughters and sisters because if we go against their will un doubtly we will loose them forever
(3) Let adults choose their ways. Even if they are at wrong path, time will make them realise their follies
(4) Do not inflict your ego over your siblings. Because it is not the ego and shallow social status which matters but it is the life, relation and happiness of relation around you which matters. More over if some one kills his daughter or son-in-law for saving his honour, it would further dishonour him by throwing him behind bars under charges of massacre.
Hence in the end, I would like to emphasis that God has created us to ascertain compassion not viciousness.

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