Friday, November 7, 2008

Family Honour

We still live in medieval times, and upholding family honour is considered the 'right' thing by so many.

In 2008, here is a story of 2 girls being murdered by their cousin because they had gone on an outing without informing their family, and not telling who they had gone out with. (TOI article)

The accused obviously has grown up in an environment where it has been ingrained into him that:
> women are subservient,
> do not have the right to lead their own life
> they exist only like other living things (example, cattle)
> they are the property of the family
> Honour is about keeping your women 'pure' and 'unviolated'

And it is up to the men to ensure and protect the family honour.

While this misguided one will face the law of the land, is he the real criminal?

Or his entire family and his social circle that has given him these messages all these years?

And will they be ever punished - by law or atleast by society?

Or, will their social circle actually make a martyr out of him & his family..


Cool Cancerian said...

The family, the social circle and the society that spawned him will go scot-free only to raise more like him. We see this attitude of 'honor' in varying degrees all around us. Makes me feel pretty hopeless sometimes when even the supposedly 'educated' condone this upholding of 'honor' which rests on the women being 'pure' and 'unviolated'!!

Does it matter said...

Oh yes.
You should check out the queries of educated males in the sex advise columns of magazines - half of them seem to only want to check if their wife is a virgin..

Does it matter said...

if their TO-BE wife is a virgin

wordjunkie said...

Sadly, men ike these will be upheld as heroes

wordjunkie said...

oops, I meant 'like these'

Indian Home Maker said...

Terrible news. Though it is true that the family is also to be blamed, that does not excuse the murderer. I hope the killer(s) are punished, didn't read the details of this news.
One of the reasons why I dislike some TV soaps and Bollywood movies is the way they show how a girl is her family's honor and her Indian values, her entire life, revolve around obedience, virginity, taking great care of maintaining the precious and easily injured family honor.
Real life is different, many parents do allow 'life after elopement' and forgive a girl's elopement, provided it has not become public knowledge (so no dishonor). They bring her back home, often forcibly, and get her married to a boy of the same caste/religion/social status/or just a boy of their own choice. They do let her live, on their terms...this killing might have other reasons. Maybe the 'cousins' didn't like the boys the girls liked, there was some other animosity?...also isn't it unusual that both the girls eloped together. I may be mistaken but at a glance I doubt if the information in this news is accurate.

Does it matter said...

@ wordjunkie
Yes, unfortunately, they are.

Apparently, another paper claims the 2 boys were their tenants. It is odd, but can sure happen.
Yes, so many intellectuals would also object to so many things - religion, caste, socio-economic status, anything.

Pinku said...


am sad too at this news but wanted to tell you that its not always the family thats to blame.

Even in this case it was the father of one of the girls who reported the killing to the Police and also pointed to the murderer as the probable killer.

My own cousin who has grown up almost with us in a pretty liberal set up, seen his mother as the sole earning member of the family etc etc...still goes ballistic if he sees a girl's bra strap showing. How do you explain that?

Does it matter said...

@ pinku

Yes, I was unaware of this fact you mentioned.
As a society, our men are still conditioned to consider themselves as the owners/ custodians/ gatekeepers (take yr pick) of a woman's honour. And you are right, it may make no difference whether the person is from the lower strata or the middle/ upper class.. they still think the same.