Honour Killings in India
By Anam Ansari

August 5, 2006
Can you imagine being a young female who canít live her life in peace, and if she chooses to, the price of that may be her own life; a life taken by her very own family. Itís hard to imagine but it happens a lot in India. Women are being put to death is they ďviolateĒ the honor of their so called family and community by marrying a person outside her community or religion. A woman doesnít have the right to live her ďownĒ life because she has to live up to the standards of her family who donít care about her well wishes at all, but rather about their own honor. These killings are known as honor killings. Just like rape or discrimination against women, this is another issue which mostly targets women, making them inferior in society.
In places like Haryana, Utter Pradesh and Punjab there is a ďjuryĒ selected who make decisions about marital, domestic and matters relating land issues. Imagine your personal problems being forced to be put in the open and someone else deciding the consequences for your decisions; a decision which you thought was perfectly right for you. Not the best thing in the world, right? Well, for the villagers living in Haryana, Utter Pradesh and Punjab it is an everyday thing - something that the villagers have never had a say over.
Can you believe that 10% of the murders in Punjab, India are honor killings? I donít know about you but I think thatís absolutely pathetic. Murdering women because they want to live their lives by their wishes is absolutely feeble and shameful. People in India and many other countries are taking away the basic rights of women to simply live. And what is even more despicable is that the society tries to defend men with the exact same so called faults as these women. Itís completely astonishing as to how human beings can treat the two genders totally differently on the same violations. The woman from the same social group will almost always be killed for destroying the honor of the family and community, but itís funny how the girlís death is never reported as if she never existed.
The killings that take place are the most inhumane and painful deaths a person can face. In the rare occasion when men are blamed for seducing women to marry them, their hands and legs are cut off or they are shot. On the other hand, women are repeatedly raped and disgraced in front of the whole village and finally killed later on. In some cases, people's faces are blackened or their heads are shaved off, as a form of humiliation. Some are forced to eat body waste or drink urine, while others have to face social boycott. The people who kill the others so violently only do it so they have control and power. In my opinion, people like these should be sentenced to death or face the same consequences as those innocent people, or even worseÖ if it is humanly possible.
Marrying out of the community is not the only reason why honor killings take place. Other ridiculous and bizarre reasons also exist. For example, in India more than 5000 brides die annually because their dowries are unsatisfactory for the groomís family; meaning that status is the most major cause of honor killings.
Come on guys! Itís time to wake up and spread awareness about issues like these. We canít sit here and watch while people in India suffer so painfully. If we arenít willing to do anything about topics like these, how are we much different than the vicious and obnoxious honour murderers in India? Our society does not realize what we have and donít know about happenings like these at all, but now we all know and itís our responsibly as humans to do something about it. So in the end, we can sit here and pretend like we know nothing, or we can step up to the plate and help those in need in places like India. At the end of the day, itís our decision to make- will we help or notÖ the decision is ours.

Sources:
http://atheism.about.com/b/a/057179.htm
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/02/0212_020212_honorkilling.html
http://www.onlinewomeninpolitics.org/archives/04_0112_in_wrights.htm



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