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Honour Killings - Part 1

Published on: 12/09/2011

“In the Name of Honour,” is a 28 minutes documentary revealing the phenomenon of honour killings that are taking place with alarming regularity in India today. The victims of this tradition are young couples who dare to break the community norms of love and marriage. Such kinds of discriminations work against the interests of many young Indians, in particular, their right to exercise freedom of choice. Such atrocities and violence are committed in the name of saving the “honour” of the community, caste or family. The documentary looks at why parents are ready to kill their own children, and specially the role of the self-styled lawmakers, called “khap or Caste Panchayats”, that pronounce penalties for the youths who dare to enter in a relationship outside their caste/creed/religious and economic circle. These regional and caste Panchayats are so harsh and unquestionable that they even give death penalty straight away irrespective of the circumstances and ignoring Indian law.
An honor killing, or honour killing is the homicide of a member of a family or social group by other members, due to the belief of the perpetrators that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family or community. The perceived dishonor is normally the result of one of the following behaviors, or the suspicion of such behaviors: dressing in a manner unacceptable to the family or community, wanting to terminate or prevent an arranged marriage or desiring to marry by own choice, especially if to a member of a social group deemed inappropriate, engaging in heterosexual acts outside marriage and engaging in homosexual acts. Many women’s groups in the Middle East and Southwest Asia suspect that more than 20,000 women are honor killed each year. Honor killings have been reported in northern regions of India, mainly in the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, as a result of people marrying without their family’s acceptance, and sometimes for marrying outside their caste or religion. In contrast, honor killings are rare to non-existent in South India and the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

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