Honor Killing in India

Topics: Domestic violence, Honor killing, Violence against women Pages: 13 (5167 words) Published: March 23, 2011
Name: Nishant Sharma

Sub-theme- Honor Killing: A Paradox?

Key-words: Honor Killing, United Nations, Supreme Court, Govt. of India, Pakistan, Middle East

Honor Killing: A Paradox?

Honor Killing, as the name represents is killing in the name of Honor. This phenomenon is not restricted to any region or any geographical entity could be put to blame for spreading the seeds of this crime. Of all the acts that Human has come up with, to take the life of the individual who we claimed to cherish on the flimsy pretext of dishonour is itself deplorable.

The Essay addresses three major aspects:

Addressing the topic on an International Scale:

The United Nations Population Fund statistics reveal the estimates of worldwide deaths as 5000, with India bearing 20% of it.

Countries not only condone such acts, or give lenient punishment, but in some countries it is not a crime in the first place.

The International Conventions and the role they play in the modern world.

Addressing it on the National Scale:

Is it just our social and cultural apathy to such incidents or does the problem lie much deeper?

Has the Legislature and the Executive done enough with regard to curbing this menace?

Is the Judicial Activism with regard to this threat only sporadic and not constant to merit a response?

Analysing the Honor Killing Bill to be introduced in Parliament.

Suggesting Remedies:

By taking into account recent legislative and judicial developments and the measures that are being undertaken by the State, the essay tries to suggest remedies for not only curbing the menace in the short term, but eradicating it in the long term.

Honor Killing: A Paradox?

Honor Killing, as the name suggests is the murder of a person due to their disrepute or alleged dishonour that they have brought upon the perpetrators and the community by their acts. To take the life of another human is itself an unholy act and a sin, but to hide it in the garb of the victim’s acts meriting the same is highly disrespectful. To justify such acts is itself a deplorable act.

This societal evil, has existed in our social structure for centuries. Honor Killing is more than just a menace to society, as it does not stem from economic, or social or cultural or political roots, but a combination and amalgamation of all the same. Removal of a menace, that is so intertwined with the society itself and embedded in our psyche to such an extent, requires constant attention and a change in the thinking and perception of the root level of the society, the individual. This evil however, is not restricted to a few countries or one geographical region but can be found from progressive Countries such as North America and Europe in the West, to Countries such as India and Pakistan in the East.[1] Have our laws deterred the cultural perpetuation of this despicable practise or have they inevitably led to systematic usage and following of this practise. For removing any menace, one needs to focus on removal of the causes to mitigate the effects. The causes range from social to cultural, and sometimes even economic. Until one looks at how to mitigate the causes, the effects would still be there for all to see. Since it is so widely spread, it becomes imperative to look at it not only from the narrower national perspective, but from a holistic global one.

International Aspect:

According to the United Nations Population Fund estimates in 2007, about 5000 individuals, especially women are murdered each year under the garb of Honor.[2] However many other groups suspect the number to be many a times higher.[3] Honor Killing does not have a worldwide acceptable definition, but a widely acceptable definition by the Human Rights Watch describes it as “acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family.”[4] However, it must be noted that Honor Killing...
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