Honor killings among Hindus in India

It seems that Muslims are not the only ones who kill to save the honor of their families. In Pakistan’s rural areas, one hears daily about boys and girls falling in love and fleeing their home towns after marrying in court to escape being killed. But invariably they are traced by their relatives and shot dead. But in India (“shining” India, remember?), the situation is the same.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a man was killed after he married the girl of his choice. It appears that their customs don’t allow marriages between members of the same caste (surprisingly, since in Pakistan, such couples are killed if they don’t belong to the same caste or “biradari”).

One wonders why this kind of thing is happening in the twenty-first century, and how long it will take India to join the group of civilized nations. But I suppose the Indian elite is too preoccupied with getting super-power status rather than attending to problems like illiteracy and poverty.


9 thoughts on “Honor killings among Hindus in India”

  1. In US, the children of late baby bloomers and later generatios are very much attached to their parents and more likely to listen to them than those born in the 60s to early 80s. They are much like Asian kids.

  2. @Shakir: This was 7 or 8 years ago. The young lady’s now married to a young attorney, just starting out. Most decent kids I know trust their parents’ judgment and do pretty much as they’re told. My son was the easiest kid to raise I could imagine; all I did was keep an eye on him, once in a rare while a word of warning or correction, instantly heeded.

    Aren’t teenagers always rebels? The late teen years are problematical because the young person is no longer a child, but not yet an adult, and they flip back and forth, testing the limits of what they’ll be permitted to do by their parents to keep up with their peer group. I gather that Pakistan is going through the early stages of women’s lib, so the kids are trying new things the oldies didn’t do at their ages and don’t understand and which seem excessive. Kids gone wild.

    In the US, my generation was the “kids gone wild” with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. We were also a very large bunch of kids, “baby-boomers.” Us boomers, later when our turn came, had far fewer kids, and when we did, they couldn’t do anything new that would surprise us, ’cause we had done it all in the sixties and seventies, knew all the signs, and the kids couldn’t fool us.

  3. @ James: I’m surprised your friend’s daughter didn’t object to her father interfering in her affairs. Did this happen recently or in the nineteen fifties? Are there boys and girls in the U.S. who obey their parents blindly? Even in Pakistan, children are turning into rebels.

  4. I think caste and class and local customs are little more than umbrellas of rules to prevent real-world problems like some young buck taking advantage of your daughter, your youthful offspring being blinded by lust and pairing up with one who’s not suitable socially or financially. We all have standards and wish even better for our children.

    A good friend of mine’s lovely 18-year old daughter was dating a boy about 20, whom the girl liked but my friend didn’t. The boy was consistently bringing her home very late from dates and didn’t seem to have a word to say to Dad. When the young fellow showed up to pick up the young lady for another date, my friend had a few minutes’ friendly chat with the young man, while cleaning his Pattern 14 Enfield rifle on the sofa. The boy got the message; he had the daughter back on time and it was the last date. No, he wouldn’t have shot him.

  5. @ Hend: Pakistan may not be civilized, but it does not aspire to be a superpower (as India does). Further in Islam there is no caste system. If Muslims have divided themselves into communities or castes, it’s anti-Islamic. Moreover, at least in some families, people do not object to marriages between Urdu-speaking Sunnis and Gujrati or Sindhi or Pashtu speaking Sunnis. Sometimes, marriages between Sunnis and Shias also take place (as they do in U.P., India). I still maintain that Hinduism is the only religion on the planet which has the caste system as one of its pillars.

  6. When and wherever it happens, it is wrong. Plain and simple. I cannot believe that in this day and age, such killings take place.

    No religion or culture condones this. And shame on anybody whether in rural or urban/suburban area that turns a blind eye to such incidents.

    In Pakistan, hudood ordinance was created by zia —and it is the most un-Islamic and hypocritical (among many things) that he did.

  7. Shakir

    You make a few interesting statements.

    First,
    “In Pakistan’s rural areas, one hears daily about boys and girls falling in love and fleeing their home … But invariably they are traced by their relatives and shot dead. But in India (”shining” India, remember?), the situation is the same.”

    Then
    “One wonders why this kind of thing is happening in the twenty-first century, and how long it will take India to join the group of civilized nations.”

    So it is apparent it is happening in Pakistan too isn’t it? Do you mean to say Pakistan too is no civilized? We cannot judge an entire country based on the acts of few people.

    “It’s the Hindu caste system which is responsible.”
    Caste system is the manifestation of ancient ethnic divisions. If a Gujarati sunni boy cannot marry a Pashtun sunni boy then it is exactly the same thing whether you call it caste system or not.

    Caste/ ethnic systems were formed in multi-ethnic societies before religions came and will remain regardless of religion. Practices like honor killings are purely cultural traits and not common to all ethnicities (or castes if you call it that way). If a particular community believes in honor killings, no matter which religion they follow, they will still do it.

    Therefore the answer is as Tayab said wisely, “Shakir, It has nothing to do with any religion.”

  8. It is a curse and has nothing to do with religion. It is an evil and can be found among ignorant ncommunities. The most annoying thing is that our so called intellectual try to associate evil and bad practice with religion.

    Shakir, It has nothing to do with any religion.

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