Every morning, when I sit with my cup of coffee and newspaper, the matter of honour killing is unnervingly reported on the first few pages of the paper.A girl who does not want to enter into an arranged marriage, or wants divorce from an abusive husband or merely talks with a person who is not her relative, etc. is being killed in the name of wiping out the imputed stain on the family. These allegations have no legal basis; rather they are based on rumors and gossips of a few sadists.
Law does not prohibit any women to enter into a marriage of her choice; it does not stop her to get a divorce from an abusive husband, neither is it illegal if she communicates with a man who is not her relative. All these obligations are imposed by the society and are being rigidly followed by individuals. What is legal from the lens of law, can it be made punishable by society based on the perspectives of a few? It is shameful for a society to not respect a woman and not give her equal status and it cannot be veiled under the garb of ‘Honour Killings’.
The practice of killing a woman who does not follow the ordered path and wants to live a life of her own choice is an alternate law made by society. Every individual has an integral right to life, which does not mean a life of mere animal existence; rather it should be a life of worthy living. When we force a woman to do what the society feels rather allowing her to do what she wants to, we diminish her integrity and status. What makes the situation worse is that she is not even given a chance to prove herself. Most of the times, even allegations may trigger the practice of ‘Honour Killing’. In a land where our Constitution itself provides for equality to all, how can we fit in such a practice in our society? It is obviously shameful.
It is acceptable that morals do play a major role in society. The societal perspective is what those morals dictate. But, nothing can be made fixed, everything needs to be changed with changing times and the same is with moral values. This is the time we need to mould our moral values, according to our practicality. We need to recognize the fact that a woman is also a human being; even she has her right to life, right to life of her own choice. We cannot snatch from her the liberty which she has and name it ‘Honour Killing’.
Women need to be given equal status in the society. We need to change our ideologies and this can only be made possible by educating the masses. Educating the younger generation may not be the only solution, we need to eradicate it from the source itself and this needs to be done by educating adults also. Government may arrange evening classes for adults and focus on the need to provide equality to both men and women, arrange for awareness programs, provide vocational education to those women who have been disowned by their families etc. This may not be the only steps to eradicate the issues from its root but may prove to be of worth. Participation of the youth is most needed in this regard, as that is the only section of the society which is willing to fight for a cause and bring about change against this social evil.