There are about 437 Google Email Alerts so far since 2017 with reports of honour killing which I am in the process of compiling for an empirical research. Meanwhile, I have made the database public here. Anybody can take a look at it. I also regularly share information on ‘honour killing’ cases in India on Twitter.com/sanjukta
In my latest column on Daily O, I wrote that Twenty-three-year-old Sakshi Mishra’s bold and desperate step to go public about her fears of being harmed by her father, Rajesh Kumar Mishra (alias Pappu Bhartaul), a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh (UP), has probably saved her husband and her own life. The fear of being killed at the hand of father, brothers, uncles and sometimes even mother in the name of family’s honour is a real fear. Every body know about the crime and the community even condones it. Every TV debate and online opinion piece on honour killing is about caste bias. On a recent NDTV everybody focused on caste bias. Within days of Sakshi’s story coming out in the open, Swati Chaturvedi wrote on Gulf News that this incident exposes India’s caste problem.
I disagree. There are many incidents that exposes India’s caste bias – manual scavengers death, atrocities on Dalits, suicide of Rohit Vemula and Dr. Payal Tadvi and so on. Honour Killing is not one of them. This crime actually exposes how deep and rotten are the roots of patriarchy in every community. Singling out upper castes for their bias against Dalits as if in Dalit community women have full freedom to marry whoever? Do they allow their daughters to marry whoever they want? No. Just as many cases of honour killing happen even when the girl has relationship within the same caste. HK also happened when a Dalit girl married a Brahmin boy. The singular factor behind these killings are a girl’s daring to make her own choice, her action of falling in love and having romantic or sexual desires, and the dare to act upon them, the act of eloping with a man – these are the reasons why she and her boyfriend or husband gets killed.
I am saying this because for a long time I have been tracking honour killing cases reported on media. These just come and goes as part of routine crime in a corner of newspaper, they have been their from thousands of years and nobody pays any attention. We never hear a word of concern from any political body, any RSS, this and that Sena or Dal or any other so called Hindutva groups. Our NIA was busy investigating Love Jihad, but nobody even bats an eyelid on these news day after day. It because they condone it. Right wing ideology goes hand in hand with such things as honour killing because the concept of communal identity is retained through woman’s bodies and reproductive potential. It is the right wing groups who makes rules like Mobile phones not allowed to women and ban intercaste marriage, while SC has ordered that right of choice in marriage is a fundamental right.
Tracking honour killing cases reported on media since 2017 for empirical research.